The Viennese waltz

Viennese waltzThe Viennese waltz is one of the world wide favourite ballroom dances and belongs to London's 1963 World Dance Programme. Its history is an older one: the Viennese waltz and its forerunners can be traced back to the Middle Ages. The German name "Walzer" itself points to it: the word comes from "waltzen", an Old German word for "turning".

The big success of the waltz dates back to the French Revolution, when the waltz - a "dance of the people" - replaced the aristocratic minuet as the predominant dance. Because of close body contact between man and woman and because of the high spirits commonly associated to the waltz, this dance was long considered not socially acceptable. The waltz therefore remained forbidden until the 19th century (until 1918 in Berlin!). The authorities especially protested against the "swinging and whirling of the girl" because powerful turns would lift the lady's dress and let the public see a piece of indecently naked (ankle) skin.

Nowadays, this form of waltz is generally known as "Viennese waltz" because the waltz became the favourite dance during the Congress of Vienna - not only among the people, but also among the many diplomats, sovereigns and aristocrats attending the congress in Vienna. Starting from Vienna, the Viennese waltz dance then successfully spread all around the world, along with the music of Vienna's famous waltz composers.

During the interwar period, the interest for Viennese waltz temporary decreased. Yet the Viennese waltz was to experience another golden age in the 1930's - in great measure thanks to the Viennese dancing schools. Since 1932 the Viennese waltz has also been a competition ballroom dance, as one of the five Standard dances together with tango, quickstep, slow fox and slow waltz.

Where to learn the Viennese waltz in Vienna

waltz classConsidering Vienna's part in the Viennese waltz history and the many possibilities to dance the Viennese waltz in a dancing school or in a Viennese ball, as well as the singular interest of the Viennese youth for dancing, Vienna largely deserves its worldwide reputation as the "City of the waltz": this is why a trip to Austria cannot be fully complete if you do not seize one of Vienna's many opportunities for waltz concerts or attend a private waltz lesson - for individual travellers - or a private waltz class - for a larger tourist party.

A good way to learn the Viennese waltz's basic step is to take part in one of the dance classes offered by the many dancing schools in Vienna. Yet too often, there is only few or no specific waltz classes at all - and whoever wants to learn how to dance the Viennese waltz does not necessarily have the time to attend a complete dancing class for a whole season! This is why the WalzerkurseAT team gives you an opportunity to book private Viennese waltz classes - rather you are living in Vienna or just visiting Vienna - which you are free to plan on the day that fits you best. Gift cards for a waltz lesson are also available: you can order one as a surprise for a special occasion - or just as a special gift for the one you love.

If you are interested in booking private Viennese waltz instruction or a Viennese waltz class, or ordering a gift card so as to offer waltz lessons to a relative, please send us an email at . Our team is looking forward to your email and will be delighted to help you!