Waltz (Cross Step Waltz)

NEW: Videos of cross-step waltz variations can be found at: libraryofdance.org/dances/cross-step-waltz

A collection of contemporary cross step waltz variations.

Stationary Cross Step Waltz

  • Basic
  • Follower’s Solo (With Both Hands, or One Hand, and Regular Footwork, or Sweeps, or Cross Touches, or Cross Kick-Backs)
  • Counter Crosses
  • Basic Turning Slightly (Usually CW)
  • Toss Across (a.k.a. Flip Flops)
  • Grapevine Underarm Turn
  • Grapevine Free Spin
  • Grapevine Rollaway
  • Shadow Cradle and Unwind

Basic Traveling Cross Step Waltz

  • Zig Zag
  • Cross Swivels (Cross, Step, Cross, Step, Cross, Step)
  • Cross Cha Cha Cha
  • Waltz Walk (Optional Underarm Turn on 4-5-6)
  • Traveling Toss Across
  • Turning Basic
  • Gypsy (No Hands)
  • Orbits
  • Dancing Blind

He Goes She Goes

  • Lead’s Underarm Turn (He Goes, Close Up)
  • He Goes She Goes
    • Inside Turn on Inside Lane, Close Up
    • Inside Turn to Outside Lane, Cross Back LOD
    • Free Spin, Close Up
    • Rollaway, Close Up
    • Pivaloop and Free Spin
    • Pivaloop and Rollaway
    • Pivaloop and Outside Turn
    • Pivaloop Around the World*
    • Pivaloop Around the World (Repeated)*
    • to Shadow Position (No Turns)
    • to Shadow Position (Turn First)
    • Make Stuff Up!
  • Orbits Around the World*
  • Orbits Around the World (Free Spin Version)*

Back Door Figures

Grapevine Figures

  • Grapevine
  • Grapevine Turn
    • Grapevine Outside Turn
    • Grapevine Free Spin
    • Grapevine Rollaway
    • Grapevine Parallel Free Spins
  • Double Grapevine Double Underarm Turn
    • or Choose Two of the Three Turns
    • or Double Parallel Turns
    • or She Turns, then He Does*
    • or Grapevine Rueda
  • Grapevine Inside Turn (“Wrong Hand”)
  • Double Grapevine Double Inside Turn (“Wrong Hand”)
  • Waterfall Grapevine (4) to Inside Turn (1) to Close (4)
  • Waterfall Grapevine (4) to Inside Turn (1) to Tuck Turn (4)

Basic Cradle Figures (In On Count 2)

  • Cradle In on 2, Waltz Walk for 6n, Single Turn Exit on Count 4
  • Cradle In on 2, Waltz Walk for 3+6n, Double Turn Exit on Count 1
  • Chained Inside and Outside Turns (Leading Forward)
  • Magic Wand (Chained Inside and Outside with Left Hand Only)
  • Cradle Wheel (Lead Backing)
  • Cradle Lunge on 4 (Up on 1, Outside Turn Exit on 4)
  • Follow’s Cradle to Lead’s Cradle
  • Cradle Role Reversal*

Other Cradle Figures

  • Inside Turn Wrap into Cradle (1/2 Basic, Lead Around Back)
  • Swing Out to Cradle at Left*
  • Experiment with All Four Ways In (?)

Inside Turns (On Count 2)

  • Inside Turn to Grapevine (see above)
  • Double Inside to Double Outside Turns
  • Backwards Free Spin (Two Hands)
  • Backwards Rollaway (Two Hands)

Traveling Swing Out Figures

  • Swing Out Follower’s Solo (One Handed Follower’s Solo)
  • Traveling Swing Out (With Immediate Close)
  • Traveling Swing Out Zig Zag
  • Traveling Swing Out with Inside Turn (Cross Body Inside Turn)
  • Traveling Swing Out (without Inside Turn) to Any of the Above
  • Traveling Swing Out to Tuck Turn on Outside Lane
    • Follow’s Outside Turn
    • Follow’s Free Spin
    • Rollaway
    • Follow’s Free Spin to Two Pivots Together to Outside Turn

Two Handed Figures

Pivot Figures

  • Single Pivot to Shift Beat (Delays Cross by One Count)
  • Single Pivot with a Turn
    • Cross Pivot Pivot Outside Turn
    • Cross Pivot Pivot Free Spin
    • Cross Pivot Pivot Rollaway
  • Chained Single Pivot Figures
    • Cross Pivot Pivot Outside Turn, Repeat
    • Cross Pivot Pivot Free Spin, Repeat
    • Cross Pivot Pivot Rollaway, Repeat
  • Tripled Single Pivots
  • Tripled Single Pivots with an Extra Pivot Figure at the End
  • Double Pivot (Cross Pivot Pivot Pivot Pivot Step)

Shadow Figures

Role Reversal

Reverse Cross Step Waltz

Cross Step Troika

  • Cross-Step Troika (with Three People)
  • Triangle Trade (Stealing the Lead to Be Your Follow)

Related Dances

  • Cross-Step One-Step (Three Q Steps Against Four)
  • Cross-Step Foxtrot (SQQ Steps in Four)

Creativity Exercises

  • Unique Hold Waltzing
  • Jedi Waltzing
  • Role Reversal/The Mirror
  • Reverse Cross-Step Waltz with Figures

More cross step waltz variations coming soon.


  • Cross Step to Box Step: Firm Up Frame and Box on 4
  • Box Step to Cross Step: Loosen Frame and Cross on 4
  • Cross Step to Swing Waltz: Double Cross In Front on 1 and 3
  • Swing Waltz to Cross Step: Double Cross In Front on 2 and 4
  • Box Step to Cross Step: Loosen Frame and Cross on 4
  • Cross Step to CW Rotary: (1) Walk, Walk, Walk, Rotary, or (2) Cross, Pivot, Pivot, Rotary (3) He Goes on 1, Open Waltz Walk 4, Close Up on 1, Rotary on 4*
  • CW Rotary to Cross Step: (1) Pivot, Pivot, Aim, Cross, (2) He Goes on 1, Open Waltz Walk 4, Close Up on 1, Cross Step on 4*
  • Cross Step to CCW Rotary: Inside Turn in Front on 1, Waltz on 4
  • CCW Rotary to Cross Step: Open Up on 4 and Pivaloop on 1
  • Cross Step to Shadow Position: He Goes on 1 (Turn or No Turn), Outside Turn on 1, Swing Out to Shadow
  • Shadow Position to Cross Step: Outside Turn on 4, Free Spin on 4

For more detailed descriptions of these cross-step waltz variations, see Cross Step Waltz Details, and the Waltz Class Archives.


For cross step waltz music, see Dancing Tunes – Cross Step Waltz.


Most variations learned from Richard Powers and Joan Walton. Others made up by Nick and Danielle.

Want More?

For more detailed instruction in social waltzing, check out Waltzing: A Manual for Dancing and Living by Richard Powers and Nick Enge.