Waltz Minuet


A waltz by Dena M. Fresh.

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Music: "Minuet" from "The Gods Go A-Begging" by Handel.

Record: LS 4567

Position: Open, partners facing LOD, inside hands joined and head
held high.

Footwork: Opposite throughout.

Introduction: 4 measures. Acknowledge your partner on the third

     1-4  STEP, POINT,  ; STEP, POINT,  ; TURN AWAY, 2, 3;
     DIP, 2, 3
     With the dignity and light carriage of the Minuet, step fwd
     in LOD on L and point R fwd, hold; step fwd on R, point L
     fwd, and hold; turn away from your partner in 3 steps (man
     L-face), woman R-face) making a 3/4 turn to face partner,
     with man's back to COH; step back, away from partner on
     R (woman's L) with a slight dip, and continue the L-face
     turn by stepping L and R, to end facing LOD again, with
     inside hands joined. (The minuet hand-hold: man hold his
     hand, palm down, at a comfortable height for the woman,
     and woman lays her hand, palm down, upon it.)
     5-8  REPEAT MEASURES 1-4
     STEP, TOUCH,  
     Release hand-holds. (Man putting his hands, when free,
     palms up, on his hip pockets), step fwd in LOD on L, and at
     the same time pivot back-to-back, step to side on R, step L
     behind R with a slight dip; step R to side (in LOD) and at
     the same time pivot R-face (woman pivots L-face) to face
     partner, step to side on L and step R behind L with a slight
     dip. Man (keeping parallel with woman) steps behind on L,
     steps to side on R, and closes L to R, while woman does a
     complete L-face solo turn, starting on her R (R, L, R); man
     steps to side (facing LOD) on his R (woman's L) and
     touches L in front and holds.
          13-16     REPEAT MEASURES 9-12, to end facing partner
          17-20     BALANCE AWAY,  ,  ; BALANCE TOGETHER,  ,  ;
          STAR AROUND, 2, 3; 4, 5, 6
     Man's back to COH, join R hands, and balance away from
     partner on man's L (man balances twd COH, twd wall);
     balance together on man's R (woman's L); star around each
     other in 6 steps, beginning man's L, with R hands held high
     and elbows touching.
          21-24     BALANCE AWAY,  ,  ; BALANCE TOGETHER,  ,  ;
     With R hands joined, balance away on man's L; balance
     together on man's R; pas de basque to L (man steps L,
     crosses R in front of L, touching toe to the floor, steps again
     on L   woman opposite); pas de basque to R, still facing
          25-28     SIDE, BACK, SIDE; FRONT, SIDE, BACK; AWAY, 2,
          DIP; FWD, PIVOT, STEP
     R hands still joined, do a 6-count grapevine in LOD (man
     steps to side on L, behind on R, to side on L, in front on R,
     to side on L, behind on R); release hand-holds and step
     away from each other (man twd COH, woman twd wall) on
     L, R, L, dipping slightly on final L, leaving his R foot in
     front, while woman steps R, L, R and dips slightly on final
     R, leaving L in front; step twd partner on R, turn L in front
     of woman, facing RLOD (maneuver) and step again on R,
     woman doing the counterpart.
          29-32     WALTZ; WALTZ; WALTZ; OPEN OUT, 2, 3
     Assuming closed position, without a break, step back in
     LOD on man's L and dance 3 measures of R-face turning
     waltz; open out on measure 32, making a slight bow to
     partner. Do not twirl.

Repeat the dance 3 times   ending with a deep bow. Keep the waltz

A note about the minuet:
     The dance described here is not a 17th century minuet. It is a
modern minuet done to the 17th century music, attempting to catch
in a simple way, the unusual feeling of the old minuet. The old
minuet was a very difficult dance, and could be danced only by
members of the wealthy and cultured classes who could afford the
time and money for long hours of lessons and practice. Very few of
the hundreds of minuet routines have been preserved. Those that
have consist of a series of slow steps, sometimes involving knee
action and the flexing of leg muscles that would be unteachable to
the average dancer today. But we feel that the mood of the old
minuet can still be captured in the much simpler steps of our time.
     All of the steps and maneuvers that Dena Fresh has worked
into this dance are based on the old minuet: the held point; the
reverse circles; the pas-de-basque pirouettes (9th and 10th measure),
the slow pas de basque, and the traverse ("grapevine") in 25th and
26th measures are constant features of minuets and of modern
     The waltz steps at the end, of course, are out of place. The
minuet preceded the waltz, and "waltz position" would not have
been tolerated during the minuet period. The waltz steps are a
concession to the future and make this dance modern.

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