From Strauss Waltzes and Tchaikovsky ballets to music by today’s artists, Viennese Waltz music has inspired people to move throughout history. The magnificence of the Waltz is exemplified in the elegant and graceful Viennese Waltz — the gliding, turning movements suggest the dancer is skating. It offers visions of chandeliers and elegant women in flowing gowns dancing to the melodic sounds of Strauss Waltzes. The Viennese Waltz, deemed to distinguish it from the Waltz, is the oldest of today’s ballroom dances. Choreographer and dancer Belinda Quirey (1912-1996) said, "The advent of the Waltz in polite society was quite simply the greatest change in dance form and dancing manners that has happened in our history.”
The Waltz today is very different from its original form. Initially, dancers did not move in the closed position like they do today. Illustrations and descriptions from the past prove that couples danced with arm positions similar to that of precursor dances the Landler and the Allemande. The hold was at times semi-closed and at times side by side. It’s a rotating dance in which participants are constantly turning either toward the leader's right (natural) or toward the leader's left (reverse), peppered with non-rotating change steps to switch between the direction of rotation.
Today, the Viennese Waltz is still considered one of the most elegant, but also the hardest, ballroom dance to learn because of its fast tempos and traveling movement while in closed position. It’s been featured several times on the hit reality show Dancing With the Stars.
Whether it's for competitive purposes or because it's an exhilarating dance, students have come to Arthur Murray Dance Centers for over 100 years to learn this style of dance.