My favorite music used to be valses. I love the flow of the music, whether it is smooth and lyrical or bouncy and light. I love playing with the pickup beat, the downbeat, the ways that I can use the weaker beats to adorn or lengthen a movement. I love the ways that some of my favorite vals leaders express the music:
- One leader really like tiny little volcadas sprinkled throughout the dance. He will toss in back volcadas, multiple volcadas, and sometimes he will take me into a volcada and then reverse right back out of it. I love it. I’m really fond of circular adornos, which fit this leader’s style and valses very well.
- I have an unspoken agreement with a regular visiting leader that we will always try to catch a vals tanda when he is in town. He is a great height for me, which is somewhat rare, and his vals style is very flowing. Something about the very long line I have because of his height (and the long steps I can take!) along with his particular style makes me feel like I am floating. He doesn’t tend to do anything complicated, but it is always musical.
- I can’t think of any other leaders who I like particularly for their vals style, but I know that I also tend to enjoy leaders who really play with the vals rhythm and recognize it (and lead it) as different from other styles.
Interestingly, both of the leaders I thought of who are great for valses are leaders who I’m not as fond of for milongas. But the leaders who I love to dance milonga with can also be very nice for a vals. And all of my favorite leaders are good for tango. (Although, as I mentioned in my post about Pugliese, I’m started to differentiate a tiny bit between orchestras and who dancing best for each – not that I’ll turn my favorite leaders down as long as they invite me to music that moves me!) Valses are no longer my very favorite music – if pressed I’d probably pick candombes – but they are still gorgeous and lovely to dance to. I love anyone who can bring out the circular, flowing, romantic feelings in those kinds of valses.