This is a short post to make a change from my previous wordy epistles.
The Waltz was a contentious dance objected to by many on moral grounds due to the intimacy of the position and it was anti-social. You only dance with the one person the whole time, unlike the Quadrille or the German.
This couple demonstrates the correct position for the waltz:
“Gentlemen should hold their partners in a position that will admit of a free execution of their steps, and both lady and gentlemen should look in contrary directions from their partners.”
–C. H. Rivers, A Full Description of Modern Dance
Perhaps avoiding eye contact prevented unseemly displays of affection or embarrassment.
If you are concerned about your reputation it is best to avoid the Waltz all together, as Lord Lyttelton advised his daughters to do.
Or you may choose only to dance with your fiancee or husband. Who could object to a husband having his wife in his arms?
Interesting to note Regency and Victorian society were not the only ones to take issue with the Waltz. After the introduction of “couples dancing”, like the waltz, into China after the Cultural Revolution divorce rates among the mature and middle aged increased greatly.
The moral of the story is to waltz at your own risks