This most beautiful of all
couple dances is now called the Victorian Rotary Waltz, or simply
the Rotary Waltz, to distinguish
it from the modern Viennese Waltz, but (to add to the confusion) the
Victorian Rotary Waltz was the ORIGINAL Viennese Waltz. With origins
in an 18th century turning peasant dance from Styria, the waltz (or "Valse
dans Trois") was refined by French, German, Austrian and British
dance masters and gradually conquered the fashionable ballrooms of
Europe in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
The Rotary Waltz was
the waltz of young Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, of Johann Strauss
and son), of
the dashing students
of Heidelberg, and of the Merry Widow herself. Originally turning almost
exclusively to the right, the Rotary Waltz is a truly romantic dance.
Surprisingly, it was those adventurous Americans, not the Viennese,
who first popularized a left-turning waltz variation called the Boston
Waltz, or “Le Boston," in the 1870's, which took
over three decades to catch on in Europe. The Modern Viennese Waltz,
of course, turns both to the right and to the left.
Does the Rotary
Waltz make you dizzy? Perhaps at first but, after sufficient practice,
Our class will begin with footwork but will focus primarily on style,
elegance, posture and partnering along with some lovely open waltz
variations to keep you from getting dizzy. The ideal shoes for this
dance are leather or suede-soled low heels or flats that allow you
to glide gracefully over the floor.
Cathleen Myers is the Dance
Mistress of the San Francisco Dickens Fair and the Artistic Director
of PEERS (the Period Events & Entertainment
Re-Creation Society), which produces full-scale historical costume
balls and dance classes almost every First Saturday (for details
of PEERS' 2011-2012 Season, see her website at http://www.peers.org).
A dancer since childhood, Cathleen has researched and taught historical
dance in the Bay Area since 1987. In her copious spare time, she
also performs occasionally with the Alameda Vintage Dancers and
own group, the PEERS Flying CirCUS, a historical music, dance and
theater performing ensemble, most notorious for their recurring
Hall and Le Theatre des Vampires. For more information about the
Dickens Fair, particularly our all-day Fezziwig’s Victorian
dance party, please see http://www.dickensfair.com .
And, for the first time, Cathleen is the co-Dance Director at WorldCon
2011, the "Oscars" of Science Fiction/Fantasy.
Alex Lerman has studied, performed, and co-taught
vintage dance with Cathleen Myers since 2002. In 1992, before Alex
knew he liked to dance, he wandered into an Irish pub with the intent
of listening to music. He was unwittingly dragged into a dance lesson
despite protestations. He was soon hooked, and teaching Irish Ceili
dancing 18 months later. He's taught and performed various forms of
vintage dance ever since, in venues as diverse as pubs, studios, weddings,
formal balls, and the YMCA. Alex's fascination with improvisational
performing arts extends to improv acting, and he currently teaches
a popular series of improv acting classes in Berkeley. http://BerkeleyImprov.com
The gifted and accomplished musicians of the newly
named Transit of Earth are William Allen, Paul Kostka, Stanley Kramer
(and Susan Kramer when she's in town), Craig Martin, Robert Schultheis,
and Nancy Solomon. They are veterans of both the Bay Area Country Dance
Society and the San Francisco Free Folk Festival, and, can play everything
from Classical to English Regency to folk music and beyond. And they
know how to play beautifully and effectively for both ballroom dancers
and country dancers.