Viennese Waltz
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Free Viennese waltz lessons & introduction!

Viennese waltz is a fast-moving, challenging, and exciting dance. Like the polka, this dance requires stamina. Many folks cannot sustain the dance through more than two minutes. Because the dance moves fast, do not attempt to dance the Viennese waltz until you learn the footwork.

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An Introduction to the Viennese Waltz

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Viennese Waltz
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The Moves

Viennese waltz contains very few patterns. The basic International style Viennese waltz contains a natural turn (a turn to the right), a reverse turn (a turn to the left), and two "change steps" - one to link between the reverse turn and the natural turn, the other to link between the natural turn and the reverse turn. Though the figures are few, you will not get bored since the movement is fast and challenging.
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The Music

Like the slow waltz, the Viennese waltz uses ¾ time music, but the tempo is much faster.

Viennese Waltz Music Examples >>
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The Viennese waltz was born in the suburbs of Vienna and in the alpine region of Austria in the 1700’s. The waltz was originally a folk dance, danced by peasants in Austria and Bavaria. Many of the familiar waltz tunes can be traced back to simple peasant yodeling melodies. The word, waltz comes from the old German word “walzen” which means to roll, turn, or to glide.
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Tips & Info

As stated above, because the dance moves fast, do not attempt to dance the Viennese waltz until you learn the footwork. (The footwork details are beyond the scope of this discussion.)

Here are some "universal tips" for learning how to dance a partner dance such as polka.

  • First, acquire a few audio CD's of the music and play the music over and over in your home or automoble. Next, count the step timing in time to the music. This you can do sitting down, perhaps while driving. For example, for waltz, call out the 1,2,3 1,2,3 step timing in time to the music. For foxtrot, call out the step timing using slows and quicks. For cha cha and rumba, it's important to recognize the first beat of each measure. Otherwise you may dance on the incorrect beat. If necessary, have your instructor assist you in learning to count the step in time to the music. Dancing in correct time to the music is absolutely essential. Continue this "sitting down and listening" exercise for as long as necessary until you can easily and automatically count the step in time to the music. The Ultimate Ballroom Practice CD sold by The Dance Store might be a helpful
  • Next, practice the basic step, including the step timing, until the step is automatic - like tying a shoe. Using east coast swing as an example, practice the triple step, triple step, rock step basic until it's automatic. Next, practice this basic to music until it becomes automatic. Many basic steps can be practiced without a partner.

At this point, your brain is "freed up" to allow learning steps and patterns because you no longer have to concentrate on timing and step counting.

Many folks get frustrated if they can't dance competently immediately. Certainly individuals vary in dance aptitude, but all dancers must go through the awkward stages before they get to the polished stage.
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