Ballroom Waltz

Was this the start of the interest in the Ballroom Waltz  In 1580 French philosopher Montaigne wrote of a dance that he saw in Augsburg. The dancers held each other so closely that their faces touched. 

The peasants of Bulgaria, Tyrol and Styria were dancing what was called Walzer, a dance for couples around 1750. The upper classes were dancing the minuet, whereby the bored noblemen of the time, slipped along to the balls of their servants.       

         Waltzing people were dancing mad

Don Curzo wrote around 1780. People were dancing mad, in particular the Viennese waltzing  ladies, were noted for their grace and movements of their waltzing, where their dancing was sped up into what was known as Geschwindwalzer and Galloppwalzer. It shocked many people when it was first introduced.

It spread to many other countries in the following years. According to contemporary singer Michael Kelly it reached England in 1791. 

Infantry soldiers of the Kings German Legion, during the Napoleonic wars, taught the dance to the people of Bexhill, Sussex in 1804. 

         Influential Waltz Dance Master

Having becoming fashionable during the Regency period, and being made respectable by Dorothy Lieven wife of the Russian Ambassador. 

Diarist Thomas Raikes recounted that “No event ever produced so great a sensation in English society as the introduction of the waltz in 1813”

Influential dance master and an auther of  instructional manuals, Thomas Wilson published, “A description of the Correct Method of Waltzing in 1816”

Almack’s Londons most exclusive club, permitted the waltz.

The Oxford English Dictionary says it was considered  to be riotous and indecent as late as 1825

The ballroom waltz, especially in its closed position, became the example for the creation of many other ballroom dances. New types of waltz have developed, including many folk and several ballroom dances. 

             Progressive Waltz Style

The Country and Western Waltz is a progressive style, with moves in an anti clockwise direction.

The posture and frame are relaxed, with no exaggerated hand and arm gestures.

As well as Country and Western, there is Spanish waltz and a more modern style late 1930’s to early 1950’s the Persuit waltz. 

It was considered ill treatment for a man to make the woman walk backwards, in some locations. 

          American Waltz Musicals & Films

American style waltz, which is part of the American smooth ballroom dance syllabus and is in contrast to the International Standard waltz. In some figures, require the couple to break contact entirely.

It may include a free spin for both partners.

During the 20th century the Irish found a distinctive playing style for the waltzes, in the hands of the Ceilidh musicians at many dances 

Open rolls are another example of an open dance figure, whereby the follower is switched from one side of the leads to the other, and is lead only by the one arm or the other alternately.

Waltzes were a main stay of many American musicals and films, including “waltz in Swing Time”

Sung by Fred Astaire.

In contemporary ballroom dance. Viennese waltz is used for the faster versions of ballroom waltz.

Grab me, Kiss me, Waltz me, Love me, I adore thee, cherish thee, and absolutely love thee.  Come lets take up the floor,"Neath a chandelier of stars from above, and dance me slowly to the very edge of love"                                                         ~Michelle Geaney~ 

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