Why take Waltz lessons?
Waltz lessons are important because the waltz is one of the oldest and most popular ballroom dance styles in the world. The Waltz is the “trademark” dance for Ballroom dancers. With its effortless glides and rise and fall, it is the easiest to spot. Today, the waltz remains an intimate, elegant dance that’s easy to learn and master. Click to Start!
History of the Waltz
Contrary to what one might assume from its reputation as an elegant ballroom dance, the waltz began wrapped in scandal and controversy. In its early years in the 1700s, the waltz was largely a rural tradition among European peasantry, particularly in the Bavarian region. Proper society, however, looked askance upon this intimate, closed position, with the man holding the woman around the waist with his hand, and stuck with the classic minuet style dances.
Eventually, as with many trends that begin among the lower-classes, the waltz made its way into the formal halls and ballrooms of upper-crust Germany and, especially, Austria. Its boisterous, energetic moves were smoothed and polished to fit the more sedate atmosphere of the ballrooms of the day. It retained much of its “shock value” for many of the more conservative members of society.
Over time variations of the waltz made their way across the Continent and over the Channel to England. Then, on to America in the early to mid-19th century. Slower versions of the waltz took the New World by storm, and by the late 19th century it had become one of the most popular dances in the country. Today, the waltz remains one of the most recognizable dance styles in the world and continues to be a mainstay at weddings, formal events and dance competitions.
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Great Waltz Songs
“Moon River” – Henry Mancini Orchestra
“Fascination” – Nat King Cole
“Could I Have This Dance” – Anne Murray
“Around the World” – Nat King Cole
“The Blue Danube” – Johann Strauss
“The Sleeping Beauty, Op. 66” – Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Waltzing in the Movies
“Swing Time” (1936)
“An American in Paris” (1951)
“My Fair Lady” (1964)
“Shall We Dance” (2004)