Viennese Waltz

From Strauss Waltzes and Tchaikovsky ballets to music by contemporary artists, Viennese waltz music has inspired people to dance for generations.


The Waltz developed in Central Europe from the Austrian Dance known as the Landler.  The fast whirling of partners held as if in an embrace shocked polite society.  The music of Johann Strauss and the famous ballrooms of Vienna popularized the faster version known as the Viennese Waltz.


Viennese waltz is basically waltz music played a much quicker tempo.  While slow waltz is played at 20 to 36 measures per minute (MPM) Viennese waltz is played at 50 – 60 MPM.  It is usually played in 3/4 time, but some Viennese Waltzes are written in 6/8 time.


Sweeping turns that gracefully move around the floor characterize this dance.  The Viennese Waltz is known for its rotational movement, which is simple and elegant.

Teaching elements

  • Footwork                           Develop the concept of crossing actions
  • Timing                               Learn to use different timings while dancing figures
  • Rise and fall                     Develop use of legs and feet
  • Turns                                 Learn to change directions quickly and comfortably
  • Compare/contrast          Waltz, Foxtrot

Viennese waltz songs and artists include:

Blue Danube – Johan Strauss

Kiss from a Rose – Seal

Have you ever really loved a woman? – Bryan Adams

That’s Amore – Dean Martin