The Viennese Waltz is a genre of Ballroom Dance. It is actually the original form of the Waltz. It’s the oldest of all Ballroom dances, emerging in the second half of the 18th century influenced by German and Austrian dance styles.
The Viennese Waltz was quite the scandalous dance style when it first emerged. Not only were ankles visible from the ladies, but both men and women were in dance hold for the first time! However, it later gained acceptance and even popularity amongst the upper class. This dance style differs from the Waltz mainly in its speed. The Viennese Waltz has about 180 beats to the minute, whereas the Waltz has only about 90.
From when the dance was first introduced until today, the Viennese Waltz has not really changed much at all. Despite being fairly simple, the footwork, lines, and movement have to be precise to sell the dance’s beauty.
The Viennese Waltz is a rotary dance where the dancers are constantly turning toward the leader’s right (a natural turn) or toward the leader’s left (a reverse turn), interspersed with non-rotating change steps to switch between the direction of rotation. A true Viennese waltz consists only of turns and change steps. Therefore, there are three key elements to this dance.
Furthermore, in a properly danced Viennese Waltz, couples do not pass but turn continuously left and right while traveling counterclockwise around the floor following each other.