The Reverse Corte in Waltz

This step recently came up in a waltz class I am taking with the Caltech Ballroom Dance Club. It’s a really lovely and simple step that ends in the unusual position (for waltz) of the follower outside partner.

  1. Leader (backing): right foot back, begin to turn to the left
    Follower: left foot forward, turning to the left
  2. Leader: close left foot to right, continuing to complete 3/8 turn to the left
    Follower: right foot to side, continuing to turn and rise
  3. Leader: shift weight to right, lowering at the end of the beat
    Follower: close right foot to left, lowering at the end of the beat (outside partner)

(More nitty-gritty details for those so inclined.)
Other than in step one, there isn’t very much actual motion. (In fact, it’s almost more of a hesitation with turn, in my opinion.) But that lack of progression leaves a lot of room for some beautiful swaying and shaping. The first step can have some contra-body movement, in which the couple’s upper bodies turn slightly to the left (against the natural slight motion to the right otherwise implied by this step). Then steps 2 and 3 can be stretched out, with a slow, lovely rotation (of the upper bodies) to the left as the couple floats upward and then settles (late) on the end of 3.

It turns out that this step is part of the Bronze syllabus for International Waltz. Despite, well, fifteen years of dancing, I don’t consciously remember ever encountering it before. I’m very glad to add it to my repertoire!

Note: in my opinion, while following this step is a breeze (and great fun!), leading it is significantly more difficult. The leader’s first step backward and then closing while rotating 3/8 and leading the follower’s rotation is a challenge to both balance and coordination. However, it’s a beautiful, compact yet (optionally) showy step, and it flows very nicely into a back whisk. Enjoy!

P.S. Art by Parviz Yashar.

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