The waltz revolution
December 28, 2021

Elizabeth Claire on the dangers of waltz

The MIT Press Reader published what is actually a funny essay about the first reactions to waltz when it came to Germany and France at the beginning of the 18th century: "The German poet Ernst Moritz Arndt described the French 'nationalization of this German dance' in moralizing terms: The closed-couple hold, he said, allowed the male dancers to squeeze “the lady dancers as close as possible against themselves” while placing their hands “firmly on the breasts” of their partners... Partners experimented with a vertigo whose centrifugal force and intoxication 'exhausted' their bodies and 'heated' their imaginations. Through touch, the exchange of perspiration, and a rapidity that solicited the imaginations of the dancers embracing one another, the dazzling intimacy of the waltz was said to produce a ravishment that — according to the doctors who described it — menaced the health of an entire generation of youth" - 🙂 .