The Waltz started as a turning dance of couples and was especially popular in south Germany and Austria, where it was known under such different names as Dreher, Ländler, and Deutscher. More than any other dance it appeared to represent some of the abstract values of the new era; the ideals of freedom, character, passion, and expressiveness. This may explain somewhat its eruption into the limelight of international popularity.

This popularity was scaled in 1787 when it was brought to operatic stage. Vienna became the city of the Waltz, for there it surpassed everything in wild fury. It swept over national frontiers, and in 1804 the French were reported to be passionately in love with this light, gliding dance. “A waltz, another waltz” was the common cry from the ballroom floor, for the French could not get enough of the dance. It did not arrive in the United Kingdom until 1812 where, again, it became very popular. (Encyclopedia Britannica)

Listen to an example of a Waltz:

Audio file

In Scotland it is more associated with Old Time dances like The St. Bernard’s Waltz, The Valetta, The Pride of Erin Waltz, etc. Many of these dances have links or origins with European versions of the dance.

The RSCDS has published only one waltz – The Waltz Country Dance. This dance is derived from a longer dance called The Guaracha, or Spanish Waltz. However, that title has never been applied to the RSCDS dance. 

Listen below to The Waltz Country Dance – a 40 bar dance. The named tune here is Come O’er The Stream Charlie.

Audio file

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