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Swing Waltz - A Fun Figure Skating Social Ice Dance


Ice Skating Show Legend Richard Dwyer Skated the Swing Waltz

Ice Skating Show Legend Richard Dwyer Skated the Swing Waltz

Photo Courtesy of Ice Follies and The Ice Theatre of New York City
Definition: One of the dances done by social ice dancers is the Swing Waltz. The steps to the Swing Waltz are very similar to the Fourteen Step, and partners skate in the waltz position during the dance. The lady skates backward for much of the dance while the man skates forward, except during the end pattern portion of the dance.
Many ice dancers enjoy doing the Swing Waltz more than the Fourteen Step since the steps are done at a slower pace.

Steps and Timing:

The man skates forward and the lady skates backward on the "straight away" (the length of an ice surface) for most of the steps on the dance. During social ice dance sessions and during ice dance weekends, the dance is usually done as a full pattern which means that three progressives and two swing rolls are done on the "straight away." The difference in the timing is that the skaters skate to a waltz rhythm and although the end pattern (the section at the end of the rink that covers the width of the arena) has the same steps as the Fourteen Step, the ice dancers hold each step for three beats while extending their free legs and the dancers also swing their free legs at the end of the dance.

When the free legs swing at the end of the dance, the lady sometimes bends her free knee to create a beautiful waltz effect.

Ice Show Standard:

Every Shipstads and Johnson Ice Follies show included a Swing Waltz ice dance number. The Swing Waltz was also done in many amateur ice shows including the Broadmoor Ice Revue. The dance is still done in many figure skating club ice shows. Single skaters that don't do ice dancing enjoy learning and doing the Swing Waltz and some skaters consider doing more ice dancing after doing the Swing Waltz in rink and club ice shows.

Ice skating show legend, Richard Dwyer skated the Swing Waltz in every Ice Follies show. "I skated the Swing Waltz with my sister Dolores for one year," said Dwyer. "Dolores toured with me in the show for two and a half years. I believe we skated the Swing Waltz together in 1952."

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