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Viennese Waltz

By Arthur Murray

From Strauss Waltzes and Tchaikovsy 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 knows 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 popularize the faster version known as the Viennese Waltz.



Viennese Waltz is basically Waltz music played at a much quicker tempo. While slow Waltz is played at 26-36 measures per minute (MPM), Viennese Waltz is played at 50-60 MPM. It is usually played in ¾ time, but some Viennese Walt’s 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 & Fall                    Develop use of legs and feet
  • Turns                             Learn to change directions quickly and comfortably
  • Compare/Contrast     Waltz, Fox Trot


Viennese Waltz songs and artists include:

Blue Danube – Johann Strauss

Kiss From A Rose – Seal

Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman? – Bryan Adams

That’s Amore – Dean Martin