Everything you need to know about the Waltz from Strictly’s expert

Head of choreography Jason Gilkison's top tips for performing a wonderful Waltz

With the sparkle of Strictly Come Dancing dominating our weekend nights from here until Christmas, we decided it was time we learnt a little more about the dances this year’s celebrities will be performing.

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We caught up with Strictly’s director of choreography Jason Gilkison, who gave us the lowdown on technique, drama, atmosphere and the details the judges will be looking out for during the celebrities’ live performances… 


What is the Waltz?

A European partner dance performed primarily in hold. 

What is the mood? 

“There are two types of Waltz really,” Gilkison tells us. “There is an emotional Waltz and that’s usually the one that people play at their wedding – their first Waltz. When a Waltz is beautiful it can bring you to tears even though it’s so simplistic in its form. But there is also a very sweet Waltz.”

How important is getting the costume right? 

“This is our celebrities’ first taste of ballroom. If that skirt is moving beautifully while you’re whisking around the floor, I think the skirt, that can make you feel like you’re doing the dance.” 

What’s the hardest part? 

“You’ve got two people moving as one. This is the most difficult thing to do. It’s like one body with eight limbs really.” 

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What will the judges be looking out for?

“Control. Waltz is the slowest of all the ballroom dances so they’ve got to control their feet, their rise and fall. It can’t be clunky, it can’t be bumpy, it’s just got to feel like it’s almost hovering above the floor.”

What does it look like? 


Strictly Come Dancing week one: song and dance list revealed

More Strictly news and interviews with all this year’s celebrity contestants… 


Robin Windsor, Alex Jones and Sir Bruce Forsyth will be at the Radio Times Festival this weekend. Tickets are available here.

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