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You don’t have to be all dressed up, ready for a formal Cotillion, to enjoy this fun entry to the Viennese Waltz.

The Viennese Waltz dates back to the very start of ballroom dancing. At that time, couples would not remain in closed position for the entire dance, but enjoyed a very social style of interaction not unlike that of folk dances popular at the time. The man would invite the lady to dance with a bit of formality in his invitation, even bowing to her as she curtsied to accept the invitation.

Eventually the Viennese Waltz (originally just called Waltz) got a bad reputation because of some of the scandalous qualities. You see, the ladies would lift their dresses and hold them high like cloaks, bringing both bodies under one cover. This action, combined with the fast rotational nature of the dance, also required the dancers’ bodies to be very close together. Despite the public outcry against such indecency, it became very popular in Vienna. Large dance halls in the early 1800s would be filled with thousands of dancers.

In general, the Viennese Waltz has very few figures, but looks best when numerous couples are on the floor at the same time. To add interest, many couples like to employ additional touches like a fancy invitation at the start of the dance, much like those used in the earliest days of this beautiful dance.

In this short 4-minute video, we show you one option you can employ to make your Viennese Waltz even more fun and interesting. As you do so, imagine yourself at the Apollo in 1808, the gentleman wearing white gloves and a tailsuit, and the lady wearing her ballgown with the formal elbow-length white gloves.

George Pytlik

Author George Pytlik

Before turning pro, George achieved impressive results as an amateur competitor, holding the Senior (30+) Latin championship in BC, Canada for 7 consecutive years with his wife Wendy. The couple twice achieved a top-3 Canadian ranking in Senior Latin as well as a 3rd place Canadian ranking in 30+ Ten Dance. Today, George and Wendy are professional teachers with a vision of growing a strong dance community in Delta near Vancouver, BC.

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