Australian New Vogue Dance
“New Vogue” dancing is one of the three brands of Dancesport and is uniquely Australian. It is all about sequence dancing – where the steps you are going to use are all pre-choreographed according to a script and everyone dances the same steps at the same time. This takes the stress out of deciding which steps you’re going to do. You simply learn the moves and, providing you can remember them, after a while they become almost automatic. If you forget, you can always watch the person in front or rely on your partner to remember. This can have its good and bad points however … I’ve seen a few “train wrecks” created from someone giving the wrong lead, others follow and so it goes down the line of dance.
Once you’re confident with the sequence, you can add your own personal flair and feel a great sense of enjoyment and achievement.
New Vogue dancing originated in about 1932 when new dances were created in a “perceived old time style”. It included a change in footwork, so that the old way of dancing on the toes was replaced by long “heel leads” and the concept of rise and fall. You bend your knees and lunge into the heel lead and rise up onto your toes, then down to take up your weight, when your feet come together. In Britain, this new style became known as “Modern Sequence Dancing” while in Australia, the term “New Vogue” was coined. The Australian dance instructors took Old Time English dances such as the Parma Waltz and the Pride of Erin and modernised them into something quite different. Today, the term “New Vogue” is preferred to “Old Time” because it is more appealing to younger generations.
New Vogue dancing is not limited to Waltzes – it also includes other dance styles such as foxtrot, blues, schottisches, samba, tango, cha cha cha and rumba. Each New Vogue sequence has a distinguishing name … like Rumba Forever, Sally-Anne Cha Cha, Merrilyn, Barclay Blues, Social Samba, Tango Terrific, Ladybower Foxtrot etc etc. Since this site is about waltz dancing however, we will be limiting our content to New Vogue waltzes only.
New Vogue dancing seems to appeal more to mature age people interested in social dancing, because they find learning a sequence dance more preferable to ‘freestyle’. The highlight of social dancing is the cabaret (dance with a dress theme) or ball (formal attire), and it is beautiful to watch over 100 people all gliding past in uniform fashion … as well as the prescribed “dance fashion” for the night of course!
New Vogue dance classes are a popular event in most Australian states and are a great way to meet new people and form good friendships. Some popular dance instructors create quite a following, particularly if they have some personal charisma and know how to run an event.
Championship New Vogue
But New Vogue sequence dancing is not limited to social dancing. It is also a major component of dancesport championship events. Championship events focus on much more than “knowing the steps”. It’s about technique and presentation. After watching championship dancers in action, social dancers seem so … ordinary, even awkward by comparison. In Australia, there are 15 official New Vogue championship dances and they are as follows:- Barclay Blues, Merrilyn, Carousel, Parma Waltz, Charmaine, Swing Waltz, Evening Three Step, Tangoette, Exelsior Schottische, Tango Terrific, Gypsy Tap, Tracie Leigh Waltz, La Bomba, Twilight Waltz, Lucille Waltz.
Our approach for New Vogue dance in the Waltz category will be to describe the sequence in as much detail as possible, along with some personal reflections about the dance including, if applicable, its origin and history. You are invited to add your own comments, reflections, personal experiences, about the dance in the box at the bottom of each page.
So let’s begin . . . . .
New Vogue Dance – Waltzes – Table of Contents
The following dances are those recognized by Dancesport Australia as New Vogue dance. For other waltz sequence dance steps, please visit the Modern Sequence Dancing page.
NEW VOGUE DANCES
The Lucille Waltz dance script was composed by Bert Cartledge of Melbourne in the 1930’s. It is a 32 bar dance (see paragraph numbers) in the usual 3/4 waltz time and should be danced at a tempo of 50 beats per minute. We commence the dance in right semi shadow hold with the man and lady both facing down the line of dance and the lady in front of the man and slightly to his right. The man’s right hand should be on the lady’s hip and their left hands should be held at about shoulder height. We describe both partners’ steps here, with the Lady’s in italics.
The Parma Waltz dance script was composed by N.C. Locke. It is a 32 bar dance in the usual 3/4 waltz time and should be danced to music at a tempo of 48/54 beats per minute. We commence the dance in right shadow hold with both man and lady facing the line of dance.
The swing waltz is one of the really enjoyable new vogue sequence dances. It is appropriately named, in that it includes a number of swings back and forth, or sideways, of arms or legs during the sequence. It is a 32 bar routine at three-quarter timing and should be danced to music at 50 bpm. It begins with the man and lady in open extended hold, facing down the line of dance as the music begins.
Tracie Leigh Waltz
The Tracie Leigh Waltz dance script was composed by Bernard and Betty Reilly in 1965 and named after their daughter, Tracie Leigh. It is a 32 bar dance in the usual 3/4 waltz time and should be danced to music at a tempo of 50 beats per minute. We commence the dance in open extended hold with the man facing diagonal-to-wall and the lady facing diagonal to centre down line of dance.
The Twilight Waltz dance script was composed by John Bartlett in 1944. It is a 32 bar dance in the usual 3/4 waltz time and should be danced to music at a tempo of 52 beats per minute. We commence the dance in ballroom ballroom hold with the man facing and the lady backing the line of dance and it ends with a reverse Viennese Waltz.
OTHER NEW VOGUE RELATED: