Waltz Dance History

in Ballroom Dance - Waltz

Ballroom Waltz dance pictureThe unknown waltz dance history poses several setbacks to the promotion of the dance among most people. In the past, there have been several allusions to a gliding and sliding dance (the waltz) dating as far back as the 16th century. In the 16th century, H S. Beheim, a printer made representations about this dance. Another French philosopher, Montaigne wrote about a dance that he has witnessed in Augsburg in the year 1580. This dance had the partners so close that the faces could touch. Kunz Haas was also of the opinion that the dance was now the godless, spinner or Weller.

In the world of ballroom dances, the waltz dance history is the oldest of these dances dating far back to the mid eighteenth century. The predecessor of the waltz is believed to be a German folk dance, the “Lander”. Throughout this period of time, the “Walzer” dance developed. The origin of the word “Walzer” is traced to the Latin word “Volvere” which means a rotating movement. The waltz was spread to Paris from Germany by napoleons soldiers during the war and later spread across the English Channel to England before spreading to the United States.

Reviewing back to the history of the waltz dance, in the formative years of the nineteenth century, the introduction of the Waltz dance into ballrooms across the world was received with infuriated indignation. This is due to the fact that this dance was the first to have couples dance in a bespoke closed pose- with the gentleman’s arm around the waistline of the lady.

From the year 1830, two Austrian composers Strauss and Lanner gave the waltz dance a remarkable boost. Through this, the Viennese Waltz dance standards were set; this was a very swift version that played at approximately 55- 60 measures for each minute. The swift tempo posed some problems. As time went by, the music lost the pleasurable aspect since the dancers were straining continuously trying to carry on with the music.

Despite the fact that it is not exactly established as to when the waltz dance was introduced in the United States, it is believed to have been introduced in Philadelphia and New York simultaneously. By the mid Nineteenth Century, this dance was resolutely established through out the United States civilization. Since then, more has been recorded about the waltz dance history.

In the latter years of the Nineteenth Century, the waltz dances were being composed to a gradual tempo as opposed to the conventional Viennese rhythm. In the United States, two adjustments were made to the waltz dance at the end of the Nineteenth Century. “Boston” was the first modification which was a dawdling waltz with elongated gliding strides and few and slower turns. This dance also had additional forward and backward movement than the Viennese waltz dance. This adaptation, in the long run, inspired the development of the International and English style that are seen today. The American Waltz style has similarities to the International Style. However, the difference between the two is that the dance positions in the American style are open and the legs of the dancers pass as an alternative of close. “Hesitation Waltz” was the second modification; which engages making one stride to three counts of the measure. Even though the “Hesitation Waltz” is not danced to anymore, a number of its step patterns are
still practiced today.

The clamor about the Unknown Waltz Dance History is long past. At present, the Strauss family’s popularized fast Viennese Waltz. The international style and the slower American dance are particularly popular among dancers from all the age groups. The waltz dance history has been recorded over years although some recordings are not clearly established.

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