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Let’s Dance! waltz workshop with Bob and Cindy Long

National champions Bob and Cindy Long will teach an Intermediate Waltz Workshop in Pagosa on Saturday March 6.

A dinner and dance follows the three-hour workshop. Cost is $20 per person for the workshop, and includes additional Sunday afternoon practice sessions in March.

So what is waltz?

Waltz: from the old German word walzen to roll, turn, or to glide.

Where are the origins of “Waltz”?

Waltz: a dance born in the suburbs of Vienna and in the alpine region of Austria.  As early as the 17th century, waltzes were played in the ballrooms of the Hapsburg court.  The “weller,” or turning dances, were danced by peasants in Austria and Bavaria even before that time.  Many of the familiar waltz tunes can be traced back to simple peasant yodeling melodies.

Reportedly, the first time the waltz was danced in the United States was in Boston in 1834.  Lorenzo Papanti, a Boston dancing master, gave an exhibition in Mrs. Otis’ Beacon Hill mansion.  Social leaders were aghast at what they called “an indecorous exhibition.”  By the middle of the 19th century, the waltz was firmly established in United States society.

  Around the close of the 19th century, two modifications of the waltz were developed.  The first was the Boston, a slower waltz with long gliding steps.  Although the Boston disappeared with the First World War, it did stimulate development of the English or International style which continues today.  The second was the hesitation, which involves taking one step to three beats of the measure.  Hesitation steps are still widely used in today’s waltz.

Fortunately, the violent opposition faded out and the waltz weathered an exciting and varied career, emerging today in three accepted forms, all reflecting the main characteristics of the dance.  They are known as the American and International styles or Slow Waltz, and the quick Viennese Waltz.

Join us on March 6.. Bob and Cindy are exceptional instructors and exquisite dancers.

To participate in this workshop and to have the chance to see Bob and Cindy perform is an opportunity you will not want to miss. This event is hosted by In Step Dance Associates and Let’s Dance! Club. A partner is not necessary to attend. Registration starts at 2:45 p.m. and class begins promptly at 3. March workshop and practice sessions are located at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse, 230 Port Ave. For more details call Deb at 731-3338.