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The Viennese Waltz III

by Roy & Phyllis Stier
May, 1992

OFF BEAT SPIN: Really a two-step spin that can be continued beyond the normal three-beat counts and should develop at least a full turn. We will describe the usual sequence from a starting position where the man is facing DLC with a R foot lead.

In CP, the man commences a RF turn and spin on the heel of the R with a forward step down LOD and quickly rises to the ball of the foot. He allows his L to move around the lady with very little floor pressure and should end counts 1 & 2 facing RLOD. Ladies place their R between the man's feet without weight and spin on their L maintaining CP while using the man's rotary momentum. On count 3 (or slightly before), the man places his L close to R and continues his RF spin on the ball of the L while holding a high body line to end facing approximately LOD. His R foot is held forward in line with his L which is held behind. Ladies settle onto their R and hold their L in line behind (also in CBMP) to match the man's line.

Note: the normal cue for an Off Beat Spin would take 6 counts but could continue for 12 -- almost never carried beyond this. Sometimes it is used alternately with a Natural Turn using the 6-count version.

FLECKERL: Can be done both LF and RF. We will describe the Reverse Fleckerl which is easier to do and is the one most often used. The Natural Fleckerl is exactly opposite for all practical purposes, however, we will point out a difference in the precedes. Most descriptions start with the man turning 1/4 LF on his L heel, but the more modern version uses a small step on this foot to start the rotation. We will describe the latter version from the normal starting position where the man is facing COH in CP.

On step 1 the man turns his L outward with a small step on the ball of the foot (nearly flat) then rises to start the LF rotation so that he ends facing approximately RLOD. Ladies take a small step to the side on their R as they start a LF rotary action while going from a ball of foot to nearly flat. On step 2, the man swings his R around the lady in a small circle going from the ball of the foot to nearly flat with the ball of the R remaining in floor contact. This is a "planting" step and serves as a pivot point for the continuation of the LF rotary action, now facing approximately DLW. Ladies swing their L in a small LF arc crossing in back of R. The ball of her R acts as the pivot point as she lowers to nearly flat foot while transferring weight to the ball of the L. On step 3 the man continues to make a tight LF turn and allows his L to cross in front of the R (ball/flat) not unlike the Reverse Turn except for the increased momentum. He should end still in CP facing approximately back to COH. On this step the lady allows her feet to uncross as she turns on the ball of the L and transfers weight to the ball of the R with feet slightly apart.

From this point on, the man has the lady's part on steps 1 to 3 and vise versa. At the end of the 6 steps, the man should be again facing COH (= 2 full turns). Most dancers opt to repeat the six-step figure at least once more before going on to something else. The usual transition is the quick Contra Check to go into a turn in the opposite direction.

The right-turning or Natural Fleckerl is precisely opposite in technique and footwork to the Reverse as both are normally taken with the man facing COH. There is a different preparation, however, as the previous figure (usually a standard turn) is overturned in order to face COH for the reverse version and underturned to start the natural.

Note: The only shaping (CBM) is on step 1 for the man and step 4 for the lady; otherwise it is completely a rotary action. There is no rise and fall in the normal sense in spite of the use of the flat foot because the body is kept at full height during the entire figure. In developing and practicing the Fleckerl, it is helpful to think of a small diameter pole in between the partners where both must face each other on every step.

HESITATIONS: Most of these are taken forward and backward, but there are several variations that include leg lifts and directional turns. We will describe the standard where the man faces DLW with a R foot free. On step 1, he steps forward on the R heel to start a body rise as the lady steps backward on her L (ball/heel). On step 2 the man closes L to R while releasing the R heel with a slow rise while keeping weight on his R. Ladies draw R to L while keeping weight on their L with a slow rise also. Step 3 is the hesitation one where the man retains weight on the ball of the R to lower at the end while starting to move his L backward. Ladies do their hesitation using weight on the ball of the L. On step 4 the man steps backward DRC on the ball of the L, then lowers to the heel as the lady steps forward on the R heel, then releases with a slight rise onto the ball of the R. Step 5 is a drawing action for the man (R to L) as he maintains weight on his L with some body rise. Ladies close L to R while keeping weight on the R and using some body rise. Ending on step 6 with a hesitation for both, the man maintains weight on his L as the lady uses the ball of the R where she lowers to the heel at the end and prepares to move backward on her L.

Forward and Back Hesitations can be repeated, normally without any turns or sometimes with a 1/8 to 1/4 turn to the right. The same figure can be used with a L foot lead for the man where he usually starts facing DLC and again, can be turned somewhat LF as a variation.

This concludes our presentation of figures in depth, which has spanned several years of Cue Sheet Magazine issues. Our intent was to offer the nuances and considerations that are not found in the literature or offered in dance clinics. We purposely left out rhythms where we either could not qualify for complete coverage or where there is adequate information available from the many sources at hand.

This column comes from a series published in Cue Sheet Magazine between 1987 and 1992, and is reprinted with permission. The full series is collected in an 86-pg booklet, available for $30.00 plus postage. E-mail Fran Kropf at This article was published in the Dixie Round Dance Council (DRDC)  Newsletter, March 2014.


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