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Waltzing in Vienna

Listed under Going Out in Vienna, Austria.

  • Photo of Waltzing in Vienna
  • Photo of Waltzing in Vienna
  • Photo of Waltzing in Vienna
Photo of Waltzing in Vienna
Photo by Sherry Ott
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From the moment I arrived in Vienna I was intrigued with the famous Austrian Ball Culture. I of course looked up the schedule and found that there were no balls going on while I was visiting (which is probably ok since I had nothing to wear, nor knew how to dance), but I learned that the ballroom practice goes on all year. I was able to contact the director, Rudolf Peschke, at Elmayer School and request an interview with him and a viewing of the dance classes.

I was overly excited about this opportunity and wished that I had more time in Vienna as not only does the school teach ballroom dance, ball preparation, and etiquette classes – but they also offer private classes for people like myself. Unfortunately I wouldn’t get to live my dream of learning how to do the Viennese Waltz on this trip, but at least I would get to see what this ball culture was all about.

I was most curious about how it had remained so popular – especially among the young teenagers, in this world of ever-changing fads and pop culture. I mean really – what boy wants to wear white gloves and learn etiquette when you can hang out on Youtube and watch Lady Gaga videos? Apparently the kids of Vienna like the tradition of the balls in addition to MTV and Facebook. Present day balls begin at 10PM and end at 4AM, but are formal in nature with men dressed in tuxes and women in gowns. I was pleasantly surprised to hear that the ball culture has changed a bit over time to accommodate the changing times. Over the years the balls have added more entertainment such as singers and special varieties of dance rooms such as disco in the 70’s.

More information:
Elmayer website –

Read more on Sherry's blog.

Written by  Sherry Ott.

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