The Viennese Waltz, as its known today, was first danced by European royalty during the era of the Austrian composers, Johann Strauss I and Johann Strauss II (1800’s). Its hallmark charisma and social grace is typical of that period of history. The Viennese Waltz became the only dance of that era which is still performed by the American public.
Waltz music expresses eloquently, the carefree gaiety of those bygone days that are so closely linked to Vienna, The Blue Danube and Strauss. The most startling innovation of the dance was the close proximity of the partners; so daring, it only became socially acceptable in Great Britain after it was danced publicly by Queen Victoria. It is a dance that requires a great deal of control and stamina, due mainly to the tempo of the music.
The Viennese Waltz is a progressive and turning dance and features some figures that are danced in place. Rise and fall is used in the dance but differently than in the other smooth dances. In Waltz and Foxtrot, a dancer will often rise above their normal standing height but in the Viennese Waltz that’s not done. Rise is created through the knees and body.