The Ballroom and Latin Dances


The real origin of the Waltz is rather obscure, but a dance of turns and glides, appeared in various parts of Europe at the end of the 17th and beginning of the 18th century. In Italy it was the Volta, France had the Volte. Germany the Weller and Austria had the Landler. These were round dances but at the end of the dance there was short period where the circle would break into couples who would turn round and round.

In the Landler the hopping gave way more to the gliding motion that is why it is sometimes considered the forerunner of the Waltz. Although the Waltz can be traced back as far as 400 years, it regained its real popularity in the 20th century with the Hesitation Waltz in 1913.

Until the development of the Hesitation, couples had waltzed in one direction until dizzy and then had to reverse. The Waltz had almost degenerated into an endurance contest. The Hesitation resulted in the Waltz as it is today. The slow Waltz is also known as the English Waltz, and the faster as the Viennese.

The waltz is one of the most standard dances and when danced correctly, is extremely graceful and elegant. Basic steps can be mastered fairly quickly by beginners although some of the developments are better suited to intermediate and advanced dancers.