The History of the Waltz

One, two, three … and one, two, three … Now you’re doing the Waltz! Elegant, classical, yet seemingly simple, the three-four-timed dance has a rich and unique history. From being considered the root of all evil to becoming one of the most popular ballroom dances, the origin of the Waltz is captivating. Join us as we take you through its wondrous journey from a country dance to a dance of refinement and sophistication.

How It All Started

Dating back to the 13th century, in what’s now known as Germany and Austria, where the first record of waltzes was discovered, the Waltz was first thought to be a dance rooted in evil. It was even once called the “Forbidden Dance” due to its close-hold between partners. Before its creation, most people danced with little to no contact, mainly dancing around each other. The Waltz was mainly danced among peasants and was fairly easy to learn, which led to it being highly criticized by professional dancers in high society. It was so frowned upon that those who engaged in dancing the Waltz were threatened with the penalty of death.

Moving on Up

Fast forward to the 17th century, and the Waltz has made its way into the realm of nobles, with dance halls being commissioned to accommodate its growing popularity. It soon became the standard dance for noble events in Vienna, where it remains one of the most popular dance styles filled with captivating twirls. Toward the 18th century, the Waltz reached England and the United States, where it again established itself as a high-society dance and was split into two distinct modifications — the Boston Waltz and the Viennese Waltz. Soon, there were even more modifications, including the Hesitation Waltz, the International Style Waltz, and the American Style Waltz.

Learn the Waltz at Fred Astaire Dance Studios

From a dance of evil to a dance of class and refinement, the Waltz certainly has an interesting history. What was once seen as a lowly peasant country dance soon became one of the most well-known ball dances in Europe and the U.S. — now enjoyed by everyone from all walks of life.

If you’d like to learn this timeless dance, reach out to Fred Astaire Dance Studios! Our professional teaching methods will result in faster learning rates, higher levels of achievement, and more FUN!

Experience passion, love, and excitement by joining the magical world of dance at Fred Astaire Dance Studios. To learn more about our dancing lessons, call us at 317-660-9356 or schedule your first lesson online today!