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Viennese Waltz

This classy dance has fast foot actions to 1,2,3 timing, and is limited in figures to show off the spinning around the room.

Viennese Waltz is both the oldest and newest Ballroom dance, having originated in the Sixteenth Century, but not being added to the International Style Syllabus until the 1950s Viennese Waltz is the precursor to Waltz (see Waltz History") as they share a common ancestry.

In 1787, Waltz began to appear on the operatic stages of Vienna. As the popularity of Waltz increased in Vienna, so did its tempo. Sometime in the early 1800s. Austrian composers such as Johann Strauss and Franz Lanner, increased the number of measures per minute in their Waltzes. The faster music required dancers to have greater technique and endurance.

This new version of Waltz became known as Viennese Waltz Like Waltz, many considered the dance to be immoral In a book written about good manners by the English author Miss Celbart, she advised that while it was permissible to dance Viennese Waltz if a lady were married, it was loo loose of character for maidens to perform." Despite such contentions, Viennese Waltz continued to be extremely popular in Europe and America until the First World War. when it lost populanty and almost disappeared from the dance scene. Early in the 1930s, it began a comeback in Germany largely thanks to Paul Krebs and a retired military man. Karl von Mirkowitsch who danced it in society mixers and ballrooms In 1938, Mirkowitsch is credited with having it integrated in the International Ballroom dancing program.

In 1951, Paul Krebs successfully combined the Austrian Waltz tradition with the English style to become Viennese Waltz at the 1951 Blackpool Dance Festival in England. It was this merging - the traditional rotary nature of Viennese Waltz and the newer patterns in Waltz - that was included into the International Style Dances.

In America. Viennese Waltz got its greatest boost from Slovenian settlers in and around Cleveland. Ohio Frankie Yankovic. the Polka King, took it up enthusiastically and featured it around the world.

Differences between Ballroom (International Style) Viennese Waltz and Smooth (American Style) Viennese Waltz.

Ballroom Viennese Waltz contains only closed figures (where the feet close on count 3), and the couple remains in closed position throughout the dance.

Smooth (American) Viennese Waltz contains both closed and open figures (where the feet pass on count 3) and may be danced in closed positions, open positions (with single, double, or no hand holds), and shadow positions.