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The waltz originated as a peasant dance in Seventeenth Century Austria and is the oldest ballroom dance still regularly performed today. The close hold required in the waltz was considerd too scandalous for the French Court – King Louis XIII had the dance banned. Like most attempts to legislate morality, the ban failed and the dance thrived.
The dance halls in Vienna sped up the tempo in the late Eighteenth Century and gave the world the whirling Viennese Waltz. Indeed composers such as Johann Strauss Jr. became famous for the music they composed specifically for this dance.