Have just received an email from a colleague in Vienna. I judged the WDSF Wortd Championships in Vienna a couple of years ago and also had the pleasure of judging the Austrian Open Dancesport Championship which was run in conjuction with the Youth Championship. And thinking of Vienna always reminds me of the beautiful Viennese Waltz.
Whilst this dance has been around since the 18th century it became more popular in the 1930’s . There are slightly varying records of exactly how and when the changes were made from the 1790’s to todays Viennese Waltz.The first performances were met with mixed reactions : some critisising the dance as immoral whilst others enjoyed the new style of dance.
Prior to the Viennese Waltz most dances were danced in sequence form with the pattern being set in advance or what we might call today “folk dance style” Dancers danced on their own or when they held hands they faced into the circle or to the outside. Hence when couples danced closer together and did not move in a sequence it was a major change to society. I believe it was first introduced as the German Waltz and in the early 19th century it was made more popular by the introduction of the beautiful music by composers Johann Strauss I, Johann Strauss II and Josef Lanner.
Today’s Viennese Waltz is a ballrom dance that is one of the International Standard Championship dances. It is a dance that mainly rotates to the right ( Natural Turn ) and to the left ( Reverse Turn ) and with Changes and Fleckerals it is a very graceful and exciting dance , both to do and to watch. It is faster than the Modern Waltz (English waltz approx 30 bars per minute ) and at approx 60 bars per minute you have to be fit. The time signature for both Waltzes ,as the titles suggest , is 3/4.
At the Austrian Open Championship they had an Adult Open Viennese Waltz Championship which attracted 450 entries. and it was amazing to see …………. and a few hours to judge… but I won’t write about judging …that’s for another time. !
Many years ago Bridal Couples did dance the Viennese Waltz or Old Time Waltz as it is sometimes called in Australia .Nowadays it is more popular to use the couples favourite tune which is usually 4/4 : but occasionally we do have a couple who do want to learn the Viennese Waltz and it is ” just bewtiful ”
I had a wonderful time dancing the “Wiener Waltzer ” at the Vienna Ball with Ernst and on that note I will dance off to 123, 123, 123. 123.