Waltz or Viennese Waltz

Waltz or Viennese Waltz

New students at the school often say they want to learn the Waltz. When we ask which one, they have no idea that there are actually two.

First of all, both the Waltz and Viennese waltz have certain things in common. As they are both from the Waltz family, they have 3 beats in a bar. This means that they are counted in the same way: 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3 etc etc

They are also both Ballroom dances so they move around the floor in an anti clockwise direction. Being Ballroom dances also mean that they won't release hold, so the dancers will stay in closed hold throughout the dance.


The main difference between the two Waltz's is the speed. A Waltz, known sometimes as a slow Waltz or English Waltz is a slower dance. At a BPM of 30, it is the slowest of all the Ballroom dances.

A Viennese Waltz is double the speed of its slow counterpart. At 60-61BPM, this is a very fast dance. 


Due to the speed of the Viennese Waltz, the choreography is limited in comparison to the slow Waltz. Its high speed also means that the dance constantly rotates which gives it its characteristic look. The steps are limited to turns to the right, turns to the left, steps to change between the turns (forward and backward) and Fleckles.

Fleckles are fast turning steps, danced on the spot either to the left or to the right, which are danced in the middle of the floor.

A Slow Waltz has far more steps and variations to choose from due to the slower speed. The figures can also turn from step to step as the lower momentum and speed make quick changes of direction far easier.

Where Danced

Both version of Waltz are danced in competitive Ballroom dancing but traditionally the Viennese Waltz is danced at the famous Balls and events in Vienna. Because of this, it is often requested by those looking for wedding dance lessons.

Whilst it is possible to do for those wanting to learn for their wedding, the high speed of the dance often mean that either more lessons would need to be taken or a simplified version would need to be undertaken. 

Contact Us

The London Academy of Dance offer a variety of different dance classes and styles. Have a look around our site for more information or if you're interested in our dance teacher training courses, just click on the link to have a look at the professional qualification training we offer.

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