Waltzing away in waltz lessons


Teaching junior Julia Feldhaus the Viennese waltz, senior Jonathan Daniel guides her around the DaVinci commons.

Ananya Yarlagadda and Saloni Shah

Students twirl around, whisking their partners around with them. Some stumble, while others move gracefully with the beat. On Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, 21 students met in DaVinci commons to learn the Viennese waltz. They are preparing for the Viennese ball that is taking place later that night at 7 p.m. 

The students who attend the ball will be taught how to do the American waltz, a less complicated version of the Viennese waltz.

“It [the American waltz] is effectively a box step dance, where you just step in the box, the Viennese waltz has steps that are more complicated, you have to move much farther and faster,” senior Jonathan Daniel, one of the student instructors at the ball, said.

The Viennese ball takes place annually, serving as a fundraiser for the Jefferson orchestra. Clubs like the Ballroom Dancing Club help students attending the ball prepare for the dance. However, students can also attend the club simply because they are interested in learning the waltz. 

“A lot of students don’t come to the club because they think they’re supposed to know how to dance before they come, and that is the opposite of what we want, we are there to help people learn to dance, particularly to dance with a partner, which it a little bit unique but is a wonderful thing to be able to do as an adult,” Senora Gendive, one of the sponsors of the club, said.

Although the club has various outlooks by the student body, the students in the Ballroom Dancing club share one very similar viewpoint. Many of them joined the club freshman year, and were so fascinated by the skills the club had to offer, they come back year after year to expand their knowledge and skills of ballroom dance.

“Though honestly the Viennese waltz is one of the most fun to perform … because I think that it’s very locomotive. That’s a strange word to use, I know, but you’re travelling really far across the room and you’re turning a lot, and I think this one involves a lot of elegance,” senior Madelyn Khoury said.