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Jenny and Toby

Viennese Waltz

American Style Smooth

The beginnings of the Viennese Waltz can be found in the 12th and 13th centuries in the "Nachtanz". Or perhaps the Viennese Waltz comes from Bavaria and was called the "German". However, other people question these origins of the Viennese Waltz. An article which appeared in the Paris magazine "La Patrie" (The Fatherland) on 17 January, 1882 claimed that the waltz was first danced in Paris in 1178, not under the name waltz but as the Volta from the Provence. Presumably this is a dance in 3/4 rhythm, which the French regard as the forerunner of the Viennese Waltz.

The first waltz-melodies date from 1770. The dance was introduced in Paris in 1775, but it took some time before it was danced everywhere. In 1813 Mr. Byron condemned the Waltz as being unchaste. In 1816 the Waltz was accepted in England, but that the struggle against it was not over was shown in 1833, when a book about good behavior was published by Miss Celbart. According to her it was allowed for married ladies to perform this the Waltz, but she called it "a dance of too loose character for maidens to perform."

During the 1960's there was a lot of discussion between Germany and the U.K. concerning the number of Viennese Waltz variations allowed in Competitions. In 1983 the I. C. B. D. took the final decision: Natural and Reverse Turns, Natural and Reverse Fleckerls, The Contra Check Change from Reverse Fleckerl to Natural Fleckerl danced over one bar of music.

The Viennese Wlatz is danced to a tempo of 54 mpm and uses less rise and fall and sway than Slow Waltz.

Dance histories supplied by Diane Jarmolow of the Ballroom Dance Teachers College and reprinted with permission.