International Standard Ballroom Viennese Waltz-Popular dances for Social and Wedding Dance

International Standard Ballroom Viennese Waltz-Popular dances for Social and Wedding Dance 

Elegant castles and romantic balls come to mind when you mention The Viennese Waltz. It is the danced many of the early Disney princesses with their prince princes (Cinderella, Snow White, sleeping beauty, and Beauty and the beast). It has been a popular wedding dance since the early 1900’s, and is still popular today. It is characterized by dizzying turns sweeping rapidly around the ballroom with Top hat and tails. The Viennese waltz began as a truly scandalous dance. It was the first dance in which a man held a lady in his arms. Many an engagement was called off when their betrothed was caught waltzing in the park.


The Viennese Waltz is the oldest of the ballroom dances. It was first recorded in 1559 Provence France a peasant dance called the Volta (or to turn) and it was thought to have come to France from Italy. Legend has it that Queen Elizabeth 1 was known to Volta (see the movie sword and the rose). Due to its immoral close embrace, King Louis the X111 (1601-1643)banned it from his court. By 1754 the actual Waltzen (also means to turn) appeared in Germany as the Landler. It debuted as a stage production Vincente Martin’s Opera “Una Cosa Rara” (a rare thing) produced in Vienna. It had its first public performance at the Vienna Burgtheater on 17th November 1786. This Viennese waltz was mainly a smooth, fast paced, turning dance. This speed apparently was the response to smooth wooden floors in the newer ballrooms of Vienna and better shoes for dancing (relegation of heavy Hobnailed shoes for lighter shoes). In 1812 the Viennese waltz was introduced as the German waltz (from Austria) in England. Queen Victoria had a special love of the Viennese waltz and was an expert at it.

The Viennese Waltz almost disappeared during WW1 and WW2 due to the disdain for the Austrian orchestras. In 1951 the traditional Austrian waltz and the English waltz were combined into the modern Viennese waltz and added to the standard competition dances at Blackpool.

International Viennese Waltz Overview:

  1. It is an elegant and stately dance
  2. Dancers are constantly turning right and left
  3. Danced in closed position
  4. The Rhythm is 123,123
  5. 168-174 – 180 beats per minute
  6. Danced to classical to contemporary ¾ time music


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