Viennese Waltz

Used by  Permission and adapted from the Dance Vision International Dance Association - American Style Smooth Bronze Manual (MASB01) 2006.

Return to Home

Ballroom Dance Info

Dance Goals

Ballroom & Social Dance

Twice the fun of standard waltz at twice the speed.


The earliest waltz to appear on the stage in Vienna was in 1787.  As waltz grew in popularity, Austrian composers like Strauss and Lanner increased the tempo.  The high speed required much greater technique and endurance of the dancers.  Like the original version of waltz, it was considered to be immoral for single ladies to dance.  It continue to grow in popularity in America and Europe until the First World War.

Dance Characteristics:

Viennese Waltz is characterized by its high speed and revolving turns done elegantly.  It still has rise and fall but to a significantly lesser degree.  It is pure magic to see a large crowd dancing it (as in the movies) or local "A Night In Vienna" formal dance ball.  Seattle's formal Viennese ball is in October each year.  Please contact me for details. 

Musical Information:

Time Signature: 3/4
Tempo: 54 mpm (162 bpm)
Count: 123, 123
Beat Value: 1-1-1
Alternate Teaching Count 123, 456
Counting in Beats and Bars: 123, 223, 323, 423, ect.



Left and Right Turns
Starting Forward: Heel Toe, Toe, Toe Heel
Starting Backward: Toe Heel, Toe, Foot Flat

Most Other Figures
Starting Forward:Heel Toe, Toe, Toe Heel
Starting Backward: Toe Heel, Toe, Toe Heel


Technical Tips:

Rise and Fall - You never rise above your standing height, as rise is created mostly by the flexing of a bent knee and ankle.
Sway -  Less than standard waltz, initiated from the hips while not breaking at the waist.
Turning - Is much easier in close body contact.
Good footwork technique is essential.  Understanding the skills of being inside or outside of the turn is required.
All figures start in Line of Dance.
Excellent posture, frame and balance are what create the appearance of elegance and ease. 

Some of My Favorite Viennese Waltz Songs:

1. "Kiss from A Rose" by Seal on Seal
2. "Chim Chim Cheree" by Tony Anderson String Orchestra on Strictly Dancing Waltz

3. "Que Sera" by Goldstar Ballroom Orchestra on GBO - VW

Bronze Syllabus Figures:
1. Balance Steps (Forward and Back, Left and Right)
2a. Fifth Position Breaks
2b. Fifth Position Breaks with Underarm Turn (UAT)
3. Left/Reverse Turn
4. Closed Twinkle
5a. Crossbody Lead
5b. Crossbody Lead with UAT
6. Hand-to-Hand
7a. Forward Progressive Changes
 7b. Backward Progressive Changes
8. Right/Natural Turn
9. Change of Place
10. Curtsy and Bow

Variations for Social Dancing:

Many smooth figures can be danced in multiple dances by changing the count.  Sometimes the entrance or exit needs to be modified.

From Waltz:
Balance and Box, Progressive Twinkles, Grapevine.

From Foxtrot:
Promenade (dance a side balance on the first measure),
Rock Turn to the Right (dance a back balance on the first measure), Promenade Pivot (dance a side balance on the first and third measures).