Elegance in Motion: The Waltz

The waltz is filled with sophistication and style as one of the most historic forms of ballroom dancing. 

What is the Waltz?

According to Vocabulary.com, the waltz is “a dance in which two dancers move in triple time as they turn together in circles.” In practice, it is the perfect display of partnership, creative expression, synchronization, and artistic beauty. The music written for the waltz is also called “waltz” music and is played in triple time. The waltz (as a dance) is one of the most important to master in ballroom dancing, as it is considered fundamental. With its beautiful circular movement in absolute precision, the waltz is beautifully structured. 

The Origins of the Waltz

To understand the history of the waltz is to understand what was happening in Europe at the time of its creation. It may be hard to believe, but it was developed as a popular dance beginning around the 13th century and developed over the next 500 years. It was essentially the same thing as if you were to go to a dance club today. At its peak, the waltz completely transformed the culture of dancing. It was developed in the Germany and Austria areas of Europe. It made its way all over Europe and eventually all over the world as one of the most popular styles of dance in human history. It was in the late 16th century that Vienna made the waltz what it is today. 

Learning to Waltz

There are number of ways to learn the waltz. Fortunately, the basic form of the waltz is relatively easy to get started. Not everyone wants to be a competitive dancer. For those that just want to learn the waltz so they can enjoy the dance, learning isn’t too difficult. For example, Joe Baker posted an introductory video on YouTube showing how to begin learning the waltz from the most basic fundamentals. There are a number of videos posted online where you can get instruction on how to start waltzing. Those that prefer a more hands-on level of instruction may want to take a class. Online resources like Thumbtack can help you find private and group dance instructors. If you live in a larger city, you may look into community education programs. Programs like this frequently offer ballroom dance instruction. Colleges and universities are also great sources for finding private and group instructors for the waltz and other different ballroom dance styles. 

Professional Waltzing

The television series Dancing With The Stars has brought a lot more attention back into the world of ballroom dancing in recent years. There are professional ballroom dancers that work on cruise ships, resorts, and other entertainment venues. Typically, you can’t make a living just waltzing, but the waltz is, of course, one of the fundamental dances in ballroom dancing. The site Career Trend estimated the average salary for professional ballroom dancers was approximately $30,000 in 2013. While that’s not exactly a gold mine, when you consider that they are getting paid to do something they absolutely love, it’s not too shabby.

Watching the Best

When you watch experts perfectly executing the waltz, it is an absolute thing of beauty. At the 2013 Stanford Viennese Ball, this YouTube video of the Opening Committee Waltz shows just how artistic and beautiful the Viennese waltz can be to watch. Competitive solo waltzing like in this video from the 2018 Russian Championship highlight how much the wardrobe contributes to the whole experience, depicting the flowing movement and grace of the waltz. It is truly a work of art watching the waltz at its finest. Over the last 800 years, it has risen to a level of sophistication and artistic perfection that is second to none.