Until the 18th century, dance was strictly divided between courtly and country forms. In the courts, dances like the Minuet were refined affairs with an elaborate language of bows and curtsies. There was little physical contact between dancers and proper form, like turned out feet was considered essential. Everything changed with the Waltz.
The name Waltz came from the Italian word “volver”, meaning to turn or revolve. It evolved from a German and Austrian peasant dance called the Landler and was the first widely popular dance to feature a closed position. Because of this close hold, Waltz was denounced as scandalous and immoral.
The Waltz was ultimately standardized with the Box pattern and the dance held we know today. The Waltz dominated much fo the European and American dance scene until the First World War when the Tango and Foxtrot enraptured a whole new generation.
Waltz is characterized by rise and fall and sway. The feet stay in contact with the floor, creating a smooth gliding look. Waltz has an elegant gracefulness with a romantic and sometimes sad feel.