In 1787, Waltz began to appear on the operatic stages of Vienna. As the popularity of Waltz increased in Vienna, so did its tempo. Sometime in the early 1800’s, Austrian composers such as Johann Strauss and Franz Lanner increased the number of measures per minute in their Waltzes. The faster music required dancers to have greater technique and endurance.
This new version of Waltz became known as Viennese Waltz. Like Waltz, many considered the dance to be immoral. In a book written about good manners by the English author Miss Celbart, she advised that while it was permissible to dance Viennese Waltz if a lady were married, it was “to loose of character for maidens to perform”. Despite such contentious, Viennese Waltz continued to be extremely popular in Europe and America until the First World War.
Viennese Waltz is characterized by its speed (approximately twice as fast as Waltz), as well as a rise and fall and sway (both significantly less than in Waltz). With its elegance and turns, Viennese Waltz has an air of magic about it.