International Style Slow Waltz is a dreamy, sexy, and graceful dance. Not only does it improve your balance, partnership, and rotation, but also your presentation and expression. At the same time, it’s a compelling dance that draws you and your partner closer together. Therefore, if you choose to learn to Waltz you’ll become a better ballroom dancer.
Before going further, you might want to read this Dance Safari post, “Types of Waltz in Ballroom Dancing”.
The following videos show professionals from the 1960s through today as they dance the Waltz.
To be sure, you’ll love the performances of these celebrated competitors and World Champions.
Peter Eggleton and Brenda Winslade were 3 times World Dance Council (WDC) World Champions beginning in 1966.
I couldn’t possibly leave this couple off my list of the best International Waltz videos. I was lucky to have trained with Peter Eggleton when he would come to New York City in the 1970s. Watching them now, I notice how smooth and elegant their performance is. Without a doubt, they were definitely ahead of their time.
The International Style dance dress during that time was to the knee and loaded with crinoline. And, I mean loaded. As a matter of fact, if you wore that type of dress to compete, as I did, only one couple at a time could fit in the hotel elevator to get to the competition.
Richard and Janet Gleave held the WDC World Championship 8 times, winning their first title in 1973.
With hard work and perseverance, Richard and Janet moved quickly through the ranks of top competitors. In addition, luck was on their side. According to Wikidancesport.com, “Richard and Janet won the Standard World Championship eight times, and the British Open eight times. They won their first British Open in 1973, which was very unexpected. Anthony Hurley and Fay Saxton were the reigning champions. They’d won it four years running. It was quite exciting to win for Richard and Janet.”
You’ll notice a change in the style of dance dress. Thank goodness most of the crinoline was replaced by feathers and stiff horsehair trim at the hem. Speaking of the hem, dresses were beginning to get longer. They became more like a Ginger Rogers dance gown.
Marcus and Karen Hilton
The year 1991 was the start of the dynasty of 9 times WDC World Champions, Marcus and Karen Hilton. With a single-minded determination, Marcus and Karen trained in both Ballroom and Latin dancing. After meeting as teens in 1978, they successfully competed as amateurs until turning professional in 1983. They traveled the world representing Great Britain with tremendous success.
As a couple, their charisma on the dance floor made it hard for the audience to take their eyes off them. Karen was as soft and chic as she could be, while Marcus showed much affection and pride to have such a lovely partner.
William Pino and Alessandra Bucciarelli
As a teenager in 1992, William Pino met Alessandra Bucciarelli. It was then that they began a lifelong partnership (she is now his wife). In an article from Dancesportlife in 2018, he wrote, “By 20, we were the only couple in the world that won all the major championships – Blackpool, International, German Open, etc. At 21, we were top 6 in the world, at 26 world champions, at 27 already professionals.” William and Alessandra retired at 31 to focus on teaching and coaching.
Painfully intense, William’s expression in this performance sometimes takes my breath away. On the other hand, Alessandra’s strength, flexibility, and beauty let you know who her partner is pining for. William and Alessandra are exquisite dancers and always entertaining.
Arunas Bizokas and Katusha Demidova
Arunas was born in Lithuania and Katusha in Russia. Each dabbled in other sports before settling on their true passion at the age of 7 – ballroom dancing. Additionally, Arunas and Katusha had long-term professional partnerships with others before coming together in 2007. They were immediately successful and won their first World Championship in 2009. They followed up by setting the current record of winning the championship 10 times before their retirement in 2019.
What I see in this performance is Arunas dancing with Katusha as if he were driving a very expensive sport car. Indeed, he puts her through her paces and she shines every step of the way. The pleasure they share as they perform matches the audience’s appreciation. Dancing with flair and joy seems to come easy to this couple.
We’re kind of lucky…
Although you can find plenty of reenactments of ballroom dancing in the early 20th century, you won’t see many pieces of film or video. Or, if you do find one, there’s a good chance the quality will be poor.
These five videos clearly show how the Slow Waltz has evolved since the 1960s. By adding passion and physicality (did you notice the backs of the female partners?), the dancers are able to fearlessly express themselves. And, isn’t that what its all about?