Which type of ballroom dance is in triple meter, with a feel of one-two-three one-two-three?

And the answer: Waltz.      

Written in 3/4 time, with three beats to each measure, the music for waltzes was originally intended for dancing in a large room. The word "waltz" comes from the German word walzen, which means "to revolve." Famous composers of waltzes include Frédéric Chopin and Johann Strauss.

The waltz is one of the most iconic forms of Western dance. Interestingly, though, the dance was controversial when it first began. Older generations of the aristocracy and religious leaders saw the waltz as an obscene and immoral dance, due to the proximity of the dancers. However, they surely soon realized the glitz and beauty of the dance form, as public dance halls in Europe began to open in abundance. By the late 18th and early 19th centuries, waltzing and dancing were everywhere.

Despite these reservations, the waltz gained the approval of perhaps the most important figure: the Queen. Britain's Queen Victoria even took to the new style herself, often waltzing with her husband Prince Albert.

Following the American civil war of the mid-1800s, the waltz became a prominent fixture of the party scene, where American proponents of the dance developed their own styles. The most well-known of these is the Boston Waltz, a slower version of its (rapid) Venetian cousin, with elongated, gliding steps.

Learn more about the history of the waltz here.



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