The Landler Waltz (from the Sound of Music)
Cathleen Myers & Alex Lerman
With Transit of Earth

Saturday, June 21, 2014, 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Dance 3 - South (Girls) Gym

The landler is a slow, waltz-like folk dance from the Landl region of Austria which was popular in Austria, south Germany and German Switzerland in the 18th century and still danced in 19th century Viennese ballrooms. The beautiful slow opening waltz in Johann Strauss Jr.'s "Tales from the Vienna Woods" Waltz is a landler. The most famous landler in pop culture, however, is the one danced by Captain Von Trapp (Christopher Plummer) and Maria (Julie Andrews) in "The Sound of Music" - surely one of the most romantic dance scenes in movie history!

In this workshop we'll teach a slightly simplified version of this beautiful landler choreography. While both the music (by Richard Rogers) and the choreography are modern (1959), the steps and arm movements are authentic and can be fun variations for ballroom waltzers. Most of the choreography is done in "open" waltz position and is easy and pleasant to dance.

For a preview of the Landler choreography, check out this romantic Youtube video.

Age Suitability: Adults and Teens. No partners needed. We'll have "ringers" in the class and will change partners frequently.

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 more information about PEERS and its upcoming balls and dance classes, see her website at A dancer since childhood, Cathleen has researched and taught historical dance in the Bay Area since 1987. With her husband James Eric Myers and frequent teaching partner Alex Lerman, she has dance-mastered at a wide variety of Bay Area period balls, charity balls, and science fiction/fantasy conventions and teaches a weekly vintage ballroom dance class on Sunday afternoons at the Alameda Elks Lodge. An experienced historical dance choreographer, she also performs occasionally with the Alameda Vintage Dancers and with her own group, the PEERS Flying CirCUS, a historical music, dance and theater performing ensemble, most notorious for their recurring Peerless Music Hall and Theater of the Vampires. For more information about the annual Dickens Christmas Fair, particularly our all-day Fezziwig's Victorian dance party, please see

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.

The gifted and accomplished musicians of Transit of Earth include William Allen, keyboard & band organizer; Stanley Kramer, violin; Susan Kramer, woodwinds and vocals; Mary Tabor, violin and mandolin; Robert Powell, recorder; Daniel Soussan, various instruments; Paul Kostka, accordion and various instruments; Nancy Solomon, violin; and Robert Shultheis, string bass; 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. As their name suggests, Transit of Earth is also known for playing for dances at science fiction conventions, including the annual BayCon. Best of all, they know how to play beautifully and effectively for both ballroom dancers and country dancers. Other members of Transit of Earth who play regularly at the San Francisco Free Folk Festival include David Strong, violin and viola; Craig Johnson, accordion and keyboards; and Craig Martin, accordion. David Strong, Stan & Susan Kramer, and Craig Johnson also play together as Bangers & Mash - one of the most admired and popular vintage dance and English Country Dance bands in Northern California.

Having played piano since childhood, William Allen branched out to Contra, Irish, and Old-Time music thanks to music jams organized by Darwyn Patz. In 1996, as sole musician for the Santa Cruz English Country Dance, led by Theresa Krull, he learned to accompany dancing. The next year he applied it to playing for the Palo Alto English Country Dance, led by Bob Fraley and others, and the Palo Alto Regency Dance, led by Alan Winston. He annually plays for Regency Dancing at the BayCon Science Fiction Convention and for dancing at the San Francisco Free Folk Festival. The ensembles "Fine Companions", "The Phoenix," and, of course, "Transit of Earth" count him as their pianist.