It is one of the five dances in the Standard (or Modern) category of the International Style ballroom dances. It is danced to slow, preferably 28-30 bars per minute (84-90 beats per minute). Preferably, the 1st beat of a measure to be accented. Waltz music is in 3/4 time. Most of the basic figures have 1 step per 1 beat, i.e. 3 steps per measure. Advanced figures may have 4-6 steps per measure, and this, coupled with various turns, makes the dance very dynamic despite the relatively slow tempo. At the same time, advanced dancers often use slow steps and elegant poses to create contrast (sometimes referred to as “light and shade”). Waltz is usually the first dance in the Dancesport competitions in the “Standard” category. The dance is danced exclusively in the closed position, unlike its American Style counterpart. Like all dances of Standard category, it is a progressive dance. Waltz is characterized by the pendulum swing body action. Other general elements of ballroom technique important for Waltz are foot parallelism, rise and fall, contra body movement and sway. It is Danced competitively since: 1923-1924.
It originated from the dances of several different peoples in Europe but its main predecessors were the “Matenick” and a variation called the “Furiant” that were performed during rural festivals in the Czech Republic. The French dance, the “Walt”, and the Austrian “Lindler” are the most similar to the waltz among its predecessors. The king of dances acquired different national traits in different countries. Thus there appeared the English Waltz, the Hungarian Waltz, and the Waltz-Mazurka. The “Waltz” is derived from the old German word “walzen” meaning “to roll, turn”, or “to glide”.