The Viennese Waltz was first danced by European royalty during the era of the Austrian composers Johann Strauss I and Johann Strauss II (1800’s). The dance style’s hallmark charisma and social grace is reflective 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 eloquently expresses the carefree gaiety of those bygone days of The Blue Danube that are so closely linked to Vienna. The most startling development 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. Due mainly to the tempo of the music, it is a style of dance that requires a great deal of control and stamina.
The Viennese Waltz is a progressive dance that features some figures that are danced in place. Rise and fall is used in the dance. These characteristics are used 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 is not done by the dancer. Rise is created through the knees and body.