One of my favorite guilty pleasures is tuning in for Dancing with the Stars when it is on! I am not ashamed to say! Jack and I actually may be weirdly into it. For our annual Christmas ornament exchange, he got me an ornament of two people ballroom dancing with “Mirror Ball Champions 2015” written on it. I am not sure if I should be admitting this but I love it all in the same. So yes, weirdly obsessed. Now you will understand why I was so excited to be learning the Viennese Waltz. I can critique the dancers/dances on TV all I want, but can I do it?
Thankfully I have a supportive family as when I told them I did get comments many comments but one in particular that stands out is “For some reason, all I can picture is Kramer”. Thanks Mom! Yes, she does mean Kramer from Seinfeld. I didn’t know what to expect but with those comments, my confidence was really high and I was ready for action! So I channeled my inner Witney, Sharna, and Peeta (DWTS pros) and went for it!
We were greeted at the Waltz in Vienna by two professional dancers who were there to teach us. We were greeted with champagne, of course. That certainly helps the nerves of someone that is definitely not a natural born dancer. I was with a small group of seven people. It was a mix of Americans and Aussies! They aren’t lying when they tell you show much Aussies are! I got paired with an Aussie man and we just had so much fun!
We learned the history behind the Viennese Waltz, the proper etiquette, posture, and, of course, the steps! The Viennese Waltz has been around for 200 years. It was the first dance to have a close hold, and therefore, people were unsure of it to begin. It is always danced at the Viennese balls to music composed by Johann Strauss, Jr.
I think one of my favorite parts of the whole lesson was learning about the proper etiquette. The etiquette from what to wear to how to ask and accept (or decline) a dance. If you attend a ball with a group of people, which supposedly you typically do, all the men will dance with all the women of the table. They ask by approaching and “kissing” the woman’s hand. They actually do not touch the hand with their lips – it is like an air kiss and it is important to not make noise either. The woman accepts by curtsying, too! You can simply decline a dance by a turn of the hand when the man grabs it. It is highly recommended not to decline a dance, however.
The steps are so much easier than I thought! It is to a three count and, I learned the female steps, so it is a step back, step to the side, step together. Then step up, step to the side, step together. That is really the foundation and then add in the hold and turns and you’re there! It sounds way easier than it is though! I only danced in a small square and to a pretty slow song and cannot imagine dancing to a full song or quick music. The posture is so important to be standing very straight up, no slouching, too! Remembering all this and still getting the footwork down is a good workout for the brain and the body!
I can now definitely say I know how to dance the Viennese Waltz in a very basic fashion! I even received an official certificate! I find myself wanting to take more dance lessons, too!
Want to learn, too? Check it out!
Maybe DWTS is next for me?
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