How to Do the Waltz Box Step

Learn how to do the waltz box step from dance instructors Aaron Mitchum and Kristina Reese in this ballroom dance tutorial from Howcast.

Aaron: Hi guys, it’s Aaron.

Kristina: And I’m Kristina.

Aaron: And we are professional dance instructors here in New York City, and today we’re going to bringing you a series based on the waltz.

Kristina: So the first step we’re going to do is the box step which is like the most common foundational step for everything you’re going to learn in the waltz. So just a couple of things really quickly. The waltz is a smooth dance, which means it travels around the room in a counter-clockwise direction, so if you’re ever anywhere where there are people dancing, just kind of take note of the direction that they’re going and make sure you join in and go that same direction.

So we’re going to start this pattern side by side. We’re both going to begin with our left foot going forward. The girls just note that generally you will generally be starting this on your right foot going backward. So we’re going to take our left foot. We have one step forward, one. Step to the side with your right foot, two. Close your left foot to your right foot, three. And then go ahead and take a step back on the right, side left, close right foot to left foot. So we have one, two, three, one two, three.

And so a note for this, if you’ve ever seen waltz dancing, there is a rise and fall to this dance, so the downbeat is on one so we’re going to call it, in its most basic terms, going forward, down, up, up, down, up, up. And that’s just a really basic way to kind of get you familiar with the rise and fall of the waltz. You can kind of try to add that in. So let’s dance this with a partner.

So we’re going to take our traditional dance hold, palm to palm, and then girls you’re going to take your right hand and place it just below the shoulder. Gentlemen your left hand will be in her palm, right hand will be on her shoulder blade. So, another important note. When you set up, be slightly offset. So girls think about stepping slightly to the left. Guys, think about having her slightly to her right. That way you won’t hit feet when you try to dance. So we have one, two, three, one, two, three, one, two, three. We can also take this basic step and we can rotate it to the left a little bit, so we’ll show you that right now. And one, two, three, one, two, three, one, two, three, one, two, three. Now let’s try that to some music.