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A Dance in Triple Time

There are three kinds of waltz, the Old Time, Viennese and Modern Ballroom, and variants like Cajun. All are in triple meter, usually 3/4 time. The dance derives from Austrian peasant dances which had a characteristic turning motion. It was one of the first closed position dances for couples which became the pattern for many other dance forms.

Old Time

Characterised by rotary and progressive turning steps. Men and women dance both steps but at opposite times. Many other moves such as balances, rondés, changes of place etc. make up sequences such as the Lilac Waltz and Fylde Waltz.

Viennese Waltz

Characterised by just three steps. Natural turn, reverse turn and change of direction. Fleckerls are a modern addition.


The modern ballroom dance is the classic 1-2-3 waltz. Slower than the Viennese / Old Time which are danced very close, the Ballroom waltz is more open with many interesting moves such as spin turns, impetus turns, telemark, whisks, wings, weaves, slow locks and syncopated steps