History of Dances

American Style Viennese Waltz

When the Waltz was first introduced into the ballroom in the early 19th century, is was met with outraged indignation, because it was the first dance where the couple danced in a modified closed position, with the man's hand around the lady's waist.

The Waltz dates back to the country folk dances of Bavaria, but it was not introduced into society until 1812, when it made its appearance in the English Ballrooms. By 1840 it had become one of the most popular dances in the United States, and later proved its mettle by being the only dance to survive the "Ragtime Revolution".

The later part of the 19th Century found composers writing Waltzes to a much slower tempo than the origional Viennese Waltz style. "After the Ball" and "The Band Played On" are two of the characteristic music styles of those years. The Waltz turns typical of the American Waltz, was in evidence and being taught in the U.S.A. in the 1880's. An even slower tempo came into prominence in the early 1920's, with the result that today we have three distinctive tempi with varied accent beats and dance styles; i.e. the fast or "Viennese"style the medium tempo used for the bronze Waltz and the slower temmpo used for silver,Gold and Supreme Gold Waltz.

The Viennese (fast)) Waltz music is written in 3/4 time and can be anywhere from about 48 measures per minute to about 60 measures per minute

The Viennese Waltz is danced in and even 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3 etc.and is a progressive and turning dance along the line of dance (counter-clockwise) around the floor. The dance is highlighted by smooth rapid movement as it moves along the floor. Because of the speed of the dance and the difficulty of properly performing the left cross turn (one of the basics of the V. Waltz), the Viennese Waltz is only taught starting in the Silver level.