Waltz (International)

International Style dance category; previously referred to as slow or English waltz

The Waltz is one of the five international ballroom dances in the Modern or Standard style. It is danced socially, and in ballroom competitions. Like its older brother, the Viennese waltz, this dance originated in Vienna, but was greatly modified by English dance teachers in the 1920s. That is why it is sometimes called the English waltz. Other names are the diagonal waltz, the international waltz, and the slow waltz.[1][2]

Music for the waltz should be in 3/4 time, and played at 29 to 34 bars per minute.[3]p62 The accent is on the first beat of each bar. For beginners it is a simple dance compared to some others. At competitive level it is much more demanding. It features whisks, chassés, spins, hesitations, drags, and split-beat steps, many of which have been copied in other dances. The first 'advanced' figure to be invented was the double reverse spin, by Maxwell Stewart in the 1924 World Championship.[3]p42 Nowadays it is taught at the silver medal stage.[4]


  1. Franks A.H. 1963. Social dance: a short history. Routledge & Kegan Paul, London. Chapter 7. The twentieth century: Jazz and after.
  2. Richardson P.J.S. 1948. The history of English ballroom dancing (1900–1945). Jenkins, London.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Silvester, Victor 1982. Modern ballroom dancing: history and practice. Paul, London.
  4. Dance Resources Waltz Syllabus

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