Waltz dance (or Viennese Waltz), also known as the “Queen of the Ballroom,” is a graceful and elegant dance style that has been captivating audiences for centuries. This ‘ballroom’ dance is said to have originated from in Austria during the 16th century. It is basically performed in the ¾ time signature. This dance form became extremely popular in Vienna, Austria during the late 17th century. Furthermore, the waltz was used as a template to create several other ballroom forms of dancing. With its flowing movements and sweeping turns, the waltz exudes a sense of romance and sophistication, transporting dancers and onlookers alike to a world of beauty and grace. Whether you are a seasoned dancer or just starting out, the waltz is a dance form that is sure to leave a lasting impression and a feeling of enchantment that will stay with you long after the music has ended.
History and origin of the Waltz Dance:
The Waltz was apparently first seen by a French philosopher called Montaigne in 1580 in a city called Augsburg located in Bavaria, Germany. However, it was during the late 17th century that this dance gained popularity in Austria especially in Vienna. It was during this period that ladies residing in Vienna were said to be “waltzing” on a regular basis. Furthermore, once this dance gained popularity in Austria it then gradually spread to several other countries around the world. According to singer Michael Kelly, this dance style is supposed to have arrived on the shores of England in the year 1791. In addition, the growing popularity of this dance around the world has led to the development of several other ballroom dance styles around the world.
In Vienna, “the people were dancing madly.” “The ladies of Vienna celebrated grace and movements of waltzing of which they never tired.” In the 1786 opera Una Cosa Rara, there is a waltz in the second act finale. Soler’s waltz was marked “at a walking pace with motion,” but the flow of dance was sped up in Vienna, leading to the Geschwindwalzer, and the Galloppwalzer.
During the 19th century, the word primarily indicated the dance was turning; one would “waltz” in the polka to indicate rotating without returning.
The waltz, which surprised many when it was first introduced, became popular in Vienna in the 1780s and spread to many other countries in the years that followed. According to contemporary singer Michael Kelly, it reached England in 1791. During the Napoleonic Wars, soldiers introduced the dance to the people of Bexhill, Sussex, in 1804.
The waltz, in particular, became the inspiration for many other ballroom dances. Subsequently, new types of styles have been developed, including many folk and ballroom dances.
Costumes used in the Waltz Dance:
The costume used in the waltz varies according to gender. They are as follows:
The attire worn includes a formal shirt, trousers, and a pair of formal shoes.
The attire worn includes a ballroom gown and a pair of high heel shoes.
Music involved in the Waltz Dance:
The main musical instruments used in this dance include the piano, the violin and the bass.
Training availability and dance technique involved in the Waltz Dance:
In terms of technique, this dance involves the performers i.e. male and female performing to the rhythm of the music in close proximity to one another. In addition, the male performer usually places his hand on the buttocks of the female performer while dancing. As for training centers/schools, there are many available around the world for all those interested in learning this extremely popular “ballroom” style of dancing.
How to dance the Viennese Waltz (Waltz dancing Basic tutorial video for beginners):
The following 3 videos show the basic steps of the Viennese Waltz dance explaining how to do the waltz dance. All these YouTube channels provide extensive tutorials covering the basics of waltz dancing for beginners.
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