The Killarney Waltz is a modern sequence dance whose origins are attributed to Florence Newbegin (1950). Some have referred to it as the “Killarneyvale Waltz”. It is a faster, 32 bar waltz which should be danced to music at a tempo of 46 bars per minute. We commence the dance with both partners facing down the line of dance in open extended hold – the man on the inside and lady on the outside; the Lady’s left hand in the man’s right hand.
TECHNIQUE TIP:- The man lowers (bends his legs) slightly and uses “heel leads” to step forward; backward steps are drawn with his toe (again, lowering himself) and whenever they bring their feet together in a sideways movement, both man and lady should rise up onto their toes and then lower. This is called “rise and fall” and adds class to the appearance and feel of the dance.
If You Prefer to Just Watch the Killarney Waltz, Scroll to the Video at the Bottom
The following is a description of the Killarney Waltz dance steps from the commencement position.
Killarney Waltz Dance Steps
(1) Two Walks Followed by Solo Turn
Both partners, commencing with the outside foot, step forward then with their inside foot, move forward to point. This is called a “step and point”. This is followed by a second “step and point” only now with the opposite feet. So the foot that has just pointed continues on into the “step” and the outside foot “points”.
Next, both partners release hands and do a solo turn. The turn commences with your inside foot along the line of dance, turning out from it, the man toward the centre and the lady toward the wall, continuing around to face one another again – the turn finishing with both partners now in open extended hold but this facing against line of dance.
(2) Two More Walks and Turn into Facing Position
The above procedure at (1) is then repeated in reverse direction, moving against line of dance. Step and point commencing with inside foot, then again with opposite feet, followed by another solo turn but this time finishing with both partners facing one another, ready for the next move.
(3) The Man’s Chasse With Lady’s Allemande
From the facing position, the man now does two chasses along line of dance, commencing with his left foot, while the lady turns under his raised left arm, coming back to face one another. Next, the man turns under the lady’s raised right arm while she does two chasse steps along the line of dance.
They finish this move in promenade position, taking up double hold.
(4) Promenade Walks and Chasse
Commencing with the outside foot, both partners in double-hold promenade position, take two walks along line of dance. The walk once again takes the form of a ‘step and point’ as described above. This is followed by two chasse steps continuing in the same direction. At the end of the second chasse, the feet are not drawn together but the man and lady turn and face against line of dance with the outside foot remaining forward, ready to proceed to the next move.
(5) Counter-Promenade Walks and Chasse
We call these next Killarney Waltz moves ‘counter-promenade’ because they are still in promenade position but this time, walking against (or counter to) line of dance. The outside foot that ended facing down line of dance in the previous move now moves forward to step, follwed by the inside foot moving forward and pointing. Now do it again, only this time, begin the step with the inside foot then point with the outside.
This counter-promenade step-and-point is followed once again by two chasse steps against line of dance. It is in fact, simply a reversal of the moves described in (4) above. The move ends with both partners facing one another.
(6) Swivels and Walks
The next phase of the Killarney Waltz involves co-ordinated swivelling by the man and lady. The man begins by stepping back with his left foot, diagonal to centre, against line of dance, while the lady steps forward with her right foot, diagonal to centre, against line of dance. The man then swivels his right foot around and behind his left, swivelling his left foot in the process, so that the right foot ends diagonal to centre, along line of dance. He doesn’t swing his foot OUT and around, but does so in a motion that BRUSHES his right foot against his left as it passes. At the moment where the right foot brushes, is where he swivels his left, so that his right foot can now proceed straight back to complete the swivel.
The lady completes the same motion, only with opposite feet in a way that complements the man’s steps. Lady right food forward diagonal to centre against line of dance, swivel right to facing diagonal to centre.
At the top end, both partners complete the swivel in a ‘shoulder-to-shoulder’ formation.
Next, the man puts his weight onto the foot that just swivelled, brings his outside foot forward to brush the inside foot, transfers his weight onto this foot and swivels it against line of dance and brings his other foot back diagonal to centre against line of dance. The lady complements his move with her own. Both partners finish this step in another ‘shoulder-to-shoulder’ formation.
The man now has his right foot pointing diagonal to wall along line of dance. He then brings his left foot forward, to brush against his right, transfers his weight onto this foot, swivels it and brings his right foot back diagonal to centre along line of dance. The lady complements this move.
The man now draws his left foot to the side along line of dance and brings his right to brush it in a chasse step. Another chasse step down line of dance, swivelling then moving his right foot across his left in a ‘contra body movement‘ position, diagonal to wall along line of dance, stepping outside the lady and taking up ‘ballroom hold‘ while preparing for the final move in the sequence – a natural waltz.
(7) Natural Waltz Ending
This final Killarney Waltz move involves two turns, rotating smoothly to the right in 1-2-3 rhythm.
The man brings his left foot back down the line of dance (1), followed by his right to the side down line of dance (2), then he closes his left foot to his right foot so that he is now facing the line of dance (3).
Now the man moves his right foot fowards down the line of dance (4), brings his left foot to the side down line of dance (5), his right foot closes to left foot as he turns to a position backing line of dance (6).
The above 1-2-3-4-5-6 steps are repeated so that the sequence ends with the man facing along line of dance and the lady against it, taking up open extended hold and ready to begin again.
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