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Herbert and Carol Traxler

Herbert and Carol Traxler have taught the Viennese waltz to hundreds in the Washington, DC, area -- at the Meridian House, the Smithsonian, the Kennedy Center, the White House, and the Austrian Embassy. Their Viennese waltz lessons include the Viennese waltz (Linkswalzer, Rechtswalzer, hesitation step), posture, dance etiquette, and the Handkuss (hand kiss), as well as an introduction to the Viennese balls and to the Viennese waltz music of the Strauss dynasty. Other dances enjoyed at Viennese balls are also introduced.

Herbert and Carol Traxler have taught the Viennese waltz to the Opening Committee (cotillion) of young ladies and gentlemen who performed in the Opening Ceremonies of the two Viennese Opera Balls in Washington, as well as to hundreds of interested Washingtonians who attended their waltz lessons at the Austrian Embassy in 1997 and 1998. They also were invited to give lessons to Chelsea Clinton and her friends and young staffers at the White House. In December 1999 they participated in the Smithsonian Associates program "The Splendor and Spirit of Vienna: The Music of Johann Strauss." This led to the series of lessons offered in cooperation with the Smithsonian Associates and eventually to the many series of lessons held at Meridian House. In Fall 2000, the Traxlers taught a series of eight lessons in cooperation with the Smithsonian Associates, held in the Victorian Rotunda of the Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building (In the Spirit of Vienna: Learn to Dance the Viennese Waltz). For several years beginning in 2001 they taught a lesson series in Viennese waltz and in Polka and Schottisch, and in December 2002 they taught a four-lesson series in Viennese Waltz, Polka, and Mazurka at Meridian House. Early each February (2002 - 2007) the Traxlers teach an intensive Viennese Waltz review session in conjunction with and preparation for the elegant Ball of the Committee for Western Civilization ("OAS Ball"). They also occasionally teach the Viennese waltz at the National Museum of Women in the Arts Ballroom, or in preparation for Viennese waltz balls sponsored by the International Club of DC (ICDC).

During their regular visits to Austria beginning in 1996, the Traxlers attend many Viennese balls (Herbert Traxler served on many Opening Committees for Viennese balls, including the Ball of the Vienna Philharmonic, during his university days in Vienna). In September 1996 the Traxlers were asked to teach the Viennese waltz to participants in a charity event at the Austrian Embassy, which was attended by Ambassador and Mme. Tuerk; this led to their demonstrating and teaching the Viennese waltz to dancers in the greater Washington area at the Embassy of Austria and many other locations, including the White House, the Willard Hotel, the Smithsonian, Meridian House, the National Building Museum, and the Kennedy Center.
The Traxlers share interests in music and folk dance as well as in the waltz. They met while singing with the Washington Saengerbund, and they married in 1988. They founded the Alpine Dancers as a performing group in 1991. The Alpine Dancers perform Austrian and German folk dances throughout the greater Washington area, and from Pennsylvania to North Carolina. The Traxlers continually expand the dance repertoire of the Alpine Dancers by selecting and teaching dances from materials brought back from regular trips to Austria and from dance festivals and workshops in Austria and the United States. Among some in Austria were the 2004-2010 Volkstanzfest der Alpenverein Wien, various other Volkstanzfests, and the Austrian folk dance spring courses in Moedling every year since they began in 1996. In the US, they were instrumentally involved in and dance instructors for German-Austrian Folk Dance Association Tanz Treffen for several years. They were invited to be the instructors for the 2011 Annual Workshop of the North American Federation of German Folk Dance Groups, with a focus on Austrian Folk Dance. In 1998, the Traxlers were honored by the Republic of Austria with the Decoration of Merit in Gold (Goldenes Verdienstzeichen).