The Viennese Waltz is the oldest of the ballroom dances, with a rich and beautiful history. In North America, the dance is often left untaught until people reach the highest levels, perhaps because traditionally it was not included in the competition syllabus until the Championship level. Because of the faster pace of the dance, and the challenges of moving together at that speed, people are afraid of it, but it shouldn't be feared. A little technique can make the Viennese Waltz one of your favorite dances.
The basic Viennese Waltz movement consists of just three steps: Right Turns (called Natural Turns), Left Turns (called Reverse Turns) and Change Steps which change from one of those turns to the other. Both partners dance the same steps, taking turns doing the forward and backward movements.
Because the name of the dance includes "Waltz" and because it is danced in three-beat timing, people often associate the Viennese Waltz with the Modern, or Slow, Waltz, but that's a mistake. The two dances are different in almost every way imaginable, mostly because the speed of the music requires very different technique. The following technical information will help you improve your Viennese Waltz to avoid the most common problems that we see in this dance.
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