Viennese Waltz

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Viennese Waltz is the name of a ballroom dance. At least three different meanings are recognized. In the historically first sense, the name may refer to several versions of the waltz, including the earliest waltzes done in ballroom dancing, dances to the music of Viennese Waltz.

As the Waltz evolved, some of the versions that were done at about the original fast tempo of ballroom waltzes came to be called specifically "Viennese Waltz" to distinguish them from the slower waltzes. In the modern ballroom dance, two versions of Viennese Waltz are recognized: International Style and American Style.

Today the Viennesse Waltz is a ballroom and partner dance that is part of the International Standard division of contemporary ballroom dance.



The Viennese Waltz, called so to distinguish it from the Waltz and the French Waltz, is the oldest of all ballroom dances. It emerged in the second half of the 18th century from the German dance and the Lndler in Austria and in the beginning was disapproved-of on account of its "lasciviousness", e.g. because the ladies' ankles were visible. Later it gained official acceptance and even popularity due to the Congress of Vienna at the beginning of the 19th century and the famous compositions by Josef Lanner, Johann Strauss I and his son, Johann Strau II.

In the 1920s in Germany the Viennesse Waltz became outdated as more modern and dynamical dances emerged. In England the Viennese Waltz acclimatized, there Boston and later Waltz were preferred.

At the beginning of the 1930s the Viennese Waltz had its comeback as a folk dance in Germany and Austria. The former military officer Karl von Mirkowitsch made it acceptable both for society and ballroom, since 1932 the Viennese Waltz has been present on ballroom dance floors. In 1951 Paul Krebs, a dance teacher from Nrnberg, combined the traditional Austrian Waltz with the English style of waltzing and had great success at the dance festival in Blackpool in the same year. Since then the Viennese Waltz is considered a full privilege member of the International Standard ballroom dances; in 1963 it was added to the Welttanzprogramm which is the fundament of European dancing schools.

The Viennese Waltz has always been symbol of political and public sentiments. It was called the "Marseillaise of the heart" (Eduard Hanslick, a critic from Vienna in the past century) and was supposed to "have saved Vienna the revolution" (sentence of a biographer of the composer Johann Strau), while Johann Strau himself was called the "Napoleon Autrichien" (Heinrich Laube, poet from the north of Germany).

Technique and styles

As opposed to typical waltzes which can be between 60-80 beats per minute, Viennese Waltz music (such as the well-known "On the Beautiful Blue Danube" by Johann Strauss Junior) is typically in the range of 120-180 bpm.

International Style Viennese Waltz

International Style Viennese Waltz is danced in closed position. The syllabus is limited to Natural and Reverse Turns, Fleckerls, Contra Check, Left Whisk, and canter-time Pivots.

American Style Viennese Waltz

American Style Viennese Waltz has much more freedom, both in dance positions and syllabus.

The Slovenian Waltz

This folk dance version of The Viennese has made a quiet comeback for the last 2 generations in Cleveland Ohio U.S.A as detailed on pg. 12 of the March 24, 2005 weekly Slovenian newspaper AMERICAN HOME (AMERISKA DOMOVINA), 6117 St Clair Ave., Cleveland, OH 44103-1692 ph 216-431-0628 - fax 216-361-4088 James Debevec - Editor. Local professional ballroom dance instructor Mitzie Waring of Ed & Mitzie Waring Dance company of North Olmsted Ohio, as referenced to in the newspaper article as giving credence to the existence of this version. It is possible there is more Slovenian Folk Dancing, aka the Viennese to Ethnic Bands, going on in Cleveland Ohio than anywhere else in the world. Reason is in THE CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER's 6-5-04 article "Strengthening Pride of Cleveland Slovenes..." by writer Robert Smith where he explains the greatest number of Slovenes (60,000-80,000) immigrated to the Cleveland area (and brought the Slovenian Waltz with them,preserved it and dance it many times a week to this day).de:Wiener Walzer nl:Weense wals ja:ウィンナワルツ pl:Walc wiedeński zh:維也納華爾茲 es:Vals fr:Valse nl:Weense wals pt:Valsa ru:Венский вальс


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