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Useful Waltz Tunes for a Beginners' Dance Class

In presenting a waltz class, it's often difficult to know what to play. A waltz recording for a class, especially a beginners' class, needs a few basic attributes.

  • A clear, unambiguous beat -- especially a nice strong downbeat. Your beginners shouldn't have to search for the beat.
  • A stable tempo without a lot of changes. I am not a devotee of the ballroom dance "Strict tempo" mindset, but your beginner students really need something reliable.
  • A moderate tempo. With beginners, you don't want a crazy fast tempo.

So, here are some of my favorites. I invite those on Facebook to offer their own suggestions as comments. Alas, determined spammers forced me to turn the "comments" off for the web page.

Byerly's Waltz
, 2:32, Band: Spare Parts, Album: The Civil War Ballroom (Available only on CD) (Their website)
A nice, moderate tempo waltz with a clear beat.

Valser Dans L'ombre, 2:32, Artist: Lucienne Delyle Album: Lucienne Delyle - Nuages
Recorded in 1938. Available in iTunes and Amazon.
A very pretty waltz which is very easy to dance to. It is actually to the tune of "Auld Lang Syne".

The Sidewalks Of New York
, 3:17, Band: Nat Shilkret Orch W/ Lewis James Vocal, Album: Nat Shilkret: Dancing With Tears In My Eyes, 1928 Recording. On CD Only.
A very pretty, familiar and very danceable tune.

Waltzing With Bears, 4:31, Artist: Tommy Makem, Album: Rolling Home. Available on iTunes and Amazon.
This is a rather silly song, and is a particular favorite of mine, as it tells the tale of "Uncle Walter" and his ursine dance partners.

Dancing With Tears in My Eyes
, 3:25, Artist: Ben Selvin & His Orchestra
1930 Recording. Available on Amazon

Music Hall Waltz Medley, 4:06, Band: Ian Whitcomb, Album: Titanic: Music As Heard On The Fateful Voyage
Available on iTunes and Amazon

Kalia's Waltz By Jon Berger, 2:27, Band: Brassworks Band, Album: The Congress Of Vienna, CD Only. Their Website
Brassworks Band is a mainstay in the San Francisco Bay Area vintage dance community.