The History of Dance : Viennese Waltz

Monday 17 December 2012, 12:05

BBC Strictly Gemma BBC Strictly Gemma Online team

The Viennese Waltz as we know it today is actually the original form of the Waltz!

It's the oldest of all ballroom dances emerging in the second half of the 18th Century influenced by German and Austrian dance styles.

Here's Ian and Karen doing what they do best... teaching us about dance (and chack out Karen's wig height!).

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As you heard, the Viennese Waltz was quite the scandalous dance style when it first emerged. Not only were ankles visible from the ladies but both men and women were in hold! Gasp!

However it later gained acceptance and even popularity amongst the upper class. 

This dance style differs from the Waltz mainly in its speed. The Viennese Waltz has about 180 beats to the minute whereas the Waltz only have 90.


As Karen and Ian mentioned there are three key turns to a Viennese Waltz. They are:


  • Natural turns - to the right
  • Reverse turns - to the left
  • Change step - in-between the natural and reverse turns



In the Strictly Come Dancing history books the Viennese Waltz has had a few high flyers and low divers. Here are the best and worst:

Ali Bastian and Brian Fortuna - Series 7, week 8 - 40/40

Pamela Stephenson and James Jordan - Series 8, week 10 - 40/40

Scott Maslen and Natalie Lowe - Series 8, week 5 - 39/40

Kara Tointon and Artem Chigvintsev - Series 8, week 11 - 39/40

Harry Judd and Aliona Vilani - Series 9, week 11 - 39/40


Will Thorp and Hanna Haarala - Series 3, week 5 - 23/40

Jo Wood and Brendan Cole - Series 7, week 5 - 23/40

Andrew Castle and Ola Jordan - Series 6, week 6 - 24/40

Dan Lobb and Katya Virshilas - Series 9, week 3 - 24/40

Jan Reeves and Anton Du Beke - Series 4, week 5 - 25/40

Kenny Logan and Ola Jordan - Series 5, week 6 - 26/40

Felicity Kendall and Vincent Simone - Series 8, week 5 - 26/40


Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    Hear hear! How about booking people who have NEVER had any dancing training whatsoever and who therefore all start on an absolutely level playing-field.....and how's this for another novelty: Hire 4 judges who are totally impartial, watch the dances instead of writing their prompt notes to spout afterwards, find all the faults in everyone where there are any and give praise for footwork etc. executed properly. Not a hope, eh?

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    I want to know why the keep giving Louis a good score, but he makes some big mistakes too!!! Also where does Dani get her shoes from I really want them :o)

  • rate this

    Comment number 14.

    I forgot to add something. Louis is leading Flavia and the three ladies left have a big advantage being led by male pros. That isn't really ever mentioned by the judges, it is much more difficult for male celebs, give Louis some welly for that, judges.

  • rate this

    Comment number 15.

    I'd like to marry Ian Waite ☺☺

  • rate this

    Comment number 16.

    Stevie B DeMille: Everyone "hoped" Lisa would be out if she was in the dance off. I was not aware that Denise had been the subject of vitriol, and although I think she receives unfair marking and comment from the judges I would never comment on anything other than her previous dancing and acting experience. Even James gets away with back talking the judges something Brendan and Anton were ridiculed for. Considering Niki and Colin were put out much too early Lisa was kept in by the British public support for the underdog.


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