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The Difference Between Slow Waltz And Viennese Waltz

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Waltz is usually associated with music composed by Austrian composer Johann Strauss II, who was very much responsible for the popularity of the dance during the 19th century Austria.

The Viennese Waltz is a classic, original form of Waltz. It is a quick rotating dance done to fast 3/4 time waltz music.

Did you know: The Viennese Waltz is the oldest of the ballroom dances still practiced today.

The main difference between Slow Waltz and Viennese Waltz is speed. Footwork and patterns are also different, but the main difference is speed. Viennese Waltz can be up to four times faster than the slow version. A true Viennese waltz consists only of turns - that is why it is also known as the Rotary Waltz.

A note about the names: The Slow Waltz is commonly referred to as the American Waltz, English Waltz or simply just Waltz. Slow Waltz is very commonly danced at weddings and other social occasions. It is romantic, elegant, and much easier than the Viennese version. Viennese Waltz is considerably more demanding and can be so fast that it can cause motion sickness.

Because pictures speak a thousand words, and video a million, here are two videos so that you can compare the two Waltz versions. They are danced by the same dancers. Take a look and see the difference:

Slow Waltz:


Viennese Waltz:


If you are a beginner and want to learn waltz, you should definitely start with a slow, beginner friendlier version.
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