The oldest of the modern dances seems to have been born as a social dance in the suburbs of Vienna during the latter part of the sixteenth century. It most probably developed from the German dances such as the Landler. The name itself comes from the old German word ‘waltzen’ which means to wander or stroll.
During the 19th century the Waltz gradually gained in popularity mainly because of the music developed by Strauss being of a faster speed thus the Viennese or circular Waltz.
These circular dances lost favour around the first world war because of the abundance of marching music. The Boston, Lancers and Military Two Step were all the rage. Around the early 30s Irving Berlin took hold of the fast waltz timing and developed the slow or modern waltz music as we know it today.
Once again the circle had turned the wandering or strolling waltz of old German days was in the 20th century.