Ballroom Dances - European Family



Viennese waltz is the oldest of the dances we teach.  It emerged in an early form in the late 1700s.  The music and dance became enormously popular throughout Europe and remained the predominant social dance style right up until the advent of the ragtime era in the early 1900s.

If you form a fantasty picture of the classic image of ballroom dancing - a woman in a beautiful long floating gown, a gentleman in white tie and tails, whirling together from one end of the floor to the other - Viennese waltz is the dance that fulfils that image.  It's a brisk, elegant dance, characterised by constant fluid twirling around the floor.  While it's not an especially difficult dance, it is undeniably fast, so we generally wait until you're feeling confident with foxtrot and waltz before introducing Viennese waltz.

Viennese waltz music is typically scored in 6/8 timing, although it can be danced to a fast 3/4 rhythm as well.  The most famous of the waltz composers is Johann Strauss, and Tchaikovsky wrote plenty of them for ballets as well.  The rhythm is common in Celtic and European folk music.  We hear it in many of the tunes famous from the early days of British settlement in Australia, echoing the Irish roots in particular of many settlers.  It's also a rhythm that is frequently used by rock and pop artists for ballads and love songs.

Johann Strauss II The Blue Danube
Tchaikovsky Waltz of the Flowers
The Corrs Erin Shore
John Williams Hedwig's Theme (from Harry Potter)
Nick Cave Kylie Minogue Where The Wild Roses Grow
Chad Kroeger Hero

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