Morning Musically-Minded, Medically-Minded, Masticators!
(Today’s post is sponsored by the letter “M”)
Over the past 600+ episodes, The Simpsons has taken us on an amazing journey involving music, science, and food to name a few concepts.
And what better way to start your week, than by discussing some of these concepts Monday morning?
So let’s get started this week by talking about a classic ballroom dance, the waltz.
In the sixty seventh episode of The Simpsons, New Kid on the Block (Season 04, Episode 08), the Simpsons get new neighbours, the Powers. The Powers include mother Ruth and daughter Laura. When she scares Bart on their first meeting, Bart falls (both literally and figuratively).
He develops feelings for Laura and starts spending time with her. He ask Marge to have Laura babysit when Homer and Marge head to an all you can eat seafood restaurant. Bart even goes so far as to bathe for his babysitter.
When Laura comes over, she orders koftas and labda from the local Afghani restaurant. Then she teaches Maggie to dance the waltz. After which she proceeds to teach Bart how to waltz. Bart imagines him and Laura waltzing in a romantic ballroom all decked out in their formalwear.
Unfortunately for Bart, Laura gets a boyfriend who happens to be none other than Jimbo Jones. Bart is heartbroken.
But Bart gets his revenge when he crank calls Moe again, but this time tells Moe that the crank caller is Jimbo Jones and where to find Jimbo. Seeing Jimbo crying and grovelling to Moe, Laura ends up breaking up with him. She tells Bart she’d date him if he were older and could grow a moustache.
But have you ever wondered what the waltz is?
The waltz is a ballroom dance that dates back to the 16th century. The term waltz is derived from the German word ‘walzen’, which means ‘to revolve’.
It is a partners dance performed in closed position; a technique that employ either body contact or body support between partners facing each other. It is also performed in triple time; a musical metre characterized by a primary division of 3 beats to the bar. The 3 affiliated movements are typically step, slide, step.
Shocking many with it’s close contact between partners when it was first introduced, the waltz became fashionable in Vienna, Austria around the 1780’s. From there, it spread to many other countries in the years to follow. In July 1816, it made to the London high society, when His Royal Regent performed the waltz. This led to a scathing column in The Times of London:
In contemporary ballroom dance, the fast versions of the waltz are called Viennese Waltz, as opposed to the slow waltz. The slow waltz is sometimes referred to as the Boston waltz.
Composers of famous waltzes include Frédéric Chopin, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Johann Strauss, and Johann Strauss the Younger (who was known as ‘the Waltz King’).
Now that we’ve learned more about the waltz, be sure to come back next week when we continue our Monday morning musings with the next episode of The Simpsons.
Did you remember the episode? What’s your favourite Bart falls in love episode of The Simpsons? What about your favourite Simpsons neighbour? What’s your favourite dancing moment of The Simpsons? Were you familiar with the waltz? Have you ever waltzed? Sound off in the comments below. You know we love hearing from you.