There are several types of German dances, including the waltz, ballet and modern dance. The different styles of dance have surfaced during different time periods in German history. The waltz is one of the oldest types of German dances and dates back to the 18th century.
In addition to arriving at different times in history, the German dances vary in popularity among different segments of society. The waltz is one of the most formal types of German dance, and was created as a couples’ dance in ballrooms. The waltz arose from local dances practiced in the southern region of Germany and parts of Austria, including the Dreher, Deutscher and Landler. The waltz was practiced by many Germans. The German waltz spread through the country and into surrounding nations as it gained popularity, and held symbolic meaning for Germans too. For Germans, the waltz symbolized facets of the Romantic period, such as the concepts of character, passion, emotions, expression and freedom. The ballet style of dance gained traction in the 20th century, and initially accompanied opera performances. Modern dance followed suit and became most popular among younger Germans. Notable modern German dancers include Kurt Jooss, Hanya Holm and Mary Wigman, whose influence spread overseas to the United States.