Varsovienne Waltz dance how to for Cinderella,

Varsovienne Waltz Dance How To for Cinderella,

A historically Accurate Princess dance

Don’t you love the story of Cinderella? A scullery maid who waltzes off to become a princess. As a little girl growing up I dreamed of dancing like Cinderella at the ball. But what is the name of the historically accurate Cinderella Waltz? The Varsovienne Waltz!

Disney films set both their animated Cinderella and their live action Cinderella in France in the middle of the Victorian era around 1860. With that knowledge, I looked at popular French waltzes around 1860. The Varsovienne jumped out at me as wildly popular Viennese Waltz in France in the middle of the Victorian era.


Varsovienne Waltz History

A shoe in for Cinderella, the Varsovienne was one of the most popular dances of its time. This waltz originated in 1850’s Warsaw in honor of Mt. Vesuvius. Three years later in 1853, a young dance instructor named Desire then took the Varsovienne to France and America. The Varsovienne was known as one of the most graceful dances of its day.

Essence of Varsovienne Waltz


The essential Varsovienne concept (point, draw back) is applied to the Victorian Viennese Waltz. One measure waltz, one Varsovienne, One measure waltz, one Varsovienne, then 4 measures waltz. We added hesitations with underarm turn based on the French hesitation waltz and natural roll under arm turns on the waltz basics based on its predecessor the Landler.

Varsovienne Waltz resources

For my tutorial I looked at the writings of Thomas Wilson 1816 ,C Blasis 1828, and Edward Ferrero 1859 found in “From the Ballroom to hell.” By Elizabeth Aldrich. In my Landler I did a German version of the Waltz by Thomas Wilson. For Cinderella I will use the French version also by Wilson.

Prince charming and Cinderella ready to dance

How to dance the Varsovienne Waltz:

Description of the Basic Waltz movement

Gentlemen: Rotating to the right 180 every 3 steps. The footwork is danced on a demi point with straight knees described by Wilson.

First Half of the Victorian Waltz

1-Left foot side (inviting the lady to step forward between feet)
2 – right foot 5th position behind left foot (Lady forward left foot toe turned in) twist to right ending on left foot with right foot behind (Lady forward toe turned out)
3- Man turns on toes to end with Left foot closed to right foot. (the German version has the gentleman stepping side in 4th position with a flat foot)

Ladies (based on the man’s part) footwork on toes or toward the ball of the foot
1- Right foot forward between gentleman’s feet, turning Right
2- Left Foot forward outside man’s feet, continue turning Right
3- Right Foot forward. Complete right turn

Second half of the Victorian Waltz

4- Right foot forward between Ladies feet, turning Right
5- Left Foot forward outside Ladies feet, continue turning Right
6- Right Foot forward. Complete right turn

Ladies: Rotating to the right 180 every 3 steps.
1-Left foot side
2 – right foot 5th position behind left foot
3- Turn on toes to end with Left foot closed to right foot. (the German version ends left foot stepping side in 4th position with a flat foot)

Varsovienne Action in the Victorian Waltz:

Lady Tremain varsovienne dance kick

The Varsovienne action is point draw back. It is danced in a cantor rhythm, 1, hold 2, 3. Point on 1, position held on 2, draw back on 3.

Varsovienne Waltz Sequence for Cinderella:

  1. Curtsey and bow
  2. Side hesitations with Under arm turn
    note- a hesitation is one step or weight transfer held for 3 beats. M.B. Gilbert 1890 notes this as a step in the Minuet Waltz. The underarm turn is commenced on the gentleman’s left foot raising his joined left and right hand, as the Lady dances a spot turn for 3 steps, forward, forward turning, forward to rejoin with the gentleman as he prepares to step right.
  3. The first 3 steps of the waltz to right. (see above)
  4. Varsovienne point Gentleman right foot, Lady Left foot
  5. Second 3 steps of the waltz basic (see above)
  6. Varsovienne point Gentleman Left foot, Lady Right foot
  7. Waltz for four measures
  8. Repeat The first 3 steps of the waltz to right.
  9. Varsovienne point Gentleman right foot, Lady Left foot
  10. Second 3 steps of the waltz basic
  11. Varsovienne point Gentleman Left foot, Lady Right foot
  12. Waltz for four measures turning the lady clockwise under the joined left and right hands on the first and third measures.
  13. Repeat sequence from step 2
  14. At the end curtsey and bow, refraining from running away from your partner 😊

Victorian Ball Custom


One additional custom to note. During the Victorian era the guests of honor would do a solo dance to kick off the dancing. We see this custom honored today at weddings where the bride and groom have the first dance of the night. It was scandalous for Cinderella, and unknown lady of no standing to dance the first dance with the prince at the ball.

There is nothing like a magic glass slipper to win the attention of a handsome prince at the ball. Cinderella slipped out of her shoe and into the heart of an adoring prince. Then with the Varsovienne waltz, Prince Charming swept Cinderella off her feet. May you dance happily ever after.

About our film Location, The Colorado Springs School Trianon:

the Colorado Springs School Trianon

The Colorado Spring School is a private college preparatory school nestled at the foot of the Broadmoor hotel. In the middle of their picturesque campus stands the Trianon. The Trianon was built as a replica of the grand Trianon in Versailles. In 1907 Charles and Virginia Baldwin commissioned Thomas MacLaren to design the scaled down replica of this French palace. Details included the wrought iron window grilles and the library railing displays the entwined initials “C” and “V”, for Charles and Virginia. The Trianon’s one of the few remaining terra-cotta buildings in the nation. It’s edifice is steel and concrete with an overlay of white enamel terra-cotta.

Lady Treamiane wrought iron window grilles

Just like Cinderella, Virginia Baldwin found her prince. After her husband Charles died in 1934 Virginia married a Russian prince and moved back to California, selling the Trianon in 1949. After changing hands a few times, the Colorado Springs School for girls bought the Trianon. Since 1967 it has remained the Colorado Springs School.

charming talks to Cinderella by th fountain


“So this is love” instrumental by David Pack.


Cinderella Robyn Collins
Prince Charming William Hooker
Lady Tremaine Holly Tomazin
Lord Craig Tomazin

Holly Collins
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charming chasing cinderella

cinderella tries to escape

Cinderella cast photo