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The Traxlers
Herbert & Carol Traxler

Fledermaus Quadrilles
Viennese Ball Opening Ceremonies

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Viennese Ball Opening Comittee
Herbert & Carol Traxler, Tanzmeister

Cotillion 2012 Lessons

Cotillion 2011 Lessons

Cotillion 2010 Lessons

Cotillion 2009 Lessons

Photos (1998 - 2006)

A Viennese Ball Opening Committee, in Austria an Eroeffnungskomitee, in the United States occasionally referred to as a Cotillion, is a group of young ladies and gentlemen who learn the Viennese waltz and special choreography that is used to open a Viennese ball. Herbert and Carol Traxler have trained several groups who have performed at the balls at Meridian House (December 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007) and for various other balls in the Washington, DC area. The Traxlers worked with a choreographer from the Vienna Opera Ball (Austria) in training for the openings of the Viennese Opera Ball in Washington in 1997 and 1998. Since 1997 the Traxlers have taught the Viennese waltz to several thousand people in locations including the Austrian Embassy, the White House, the Smithsonian, Meridian House, and the National Museum for Women in the Arts. Traxlers were honored by the Republic of Austria with the Decoration of Merit in Gold (Goldenes Verdienstzeichen) for their efforts in promoting Austrian culture, especially the Viennese waltz and Austrian folk dance.

The members of a Viennese Ball Opening Committee typically are young (typically age 18 to 30) people who are able to commit to a series of four to six intensive dance lessons, obtaining the proper attire, and performing at the opening of a ball for which they are specifically trained. The young dancers are paired for this performance, taking into account individual preferences when possible, so that the performance has the desired overall appearance and quality. The young ladies wear white gowns with full skirts, long white gloves, white shoes, a tiara (may be provided); they carry a Biedermeierstrauss (nosegay, or small bouquet of flowers). The young gentlemen wear white tie (black tailcoat and pants, white shirt, tie, and vest), and black shoes.

Each time a Viennese Ball Opening Committee is formed and a call goes out to the email group shown above, the dates for the lessons and ball(s) will be known, so that those who are interested in joining will be able to check whether they can commit to be available for all of the dates.

At times members of an Opening Committee are invited to participate in other balls, such as the Russian New Year's Ball or other special events, some with additional training (e.g., DC Karneval Dancers).

Viennese waltz lessons and Opening Committee training are also listed at

Information at the following links may be of interest: [these articles are being moved to the new webserver in October 2009]

bullet "Goldenes Verdienstzeichen Österreichs an Carol und Herbert Traxler verliehen"
bullet "Carol and Herbert Traxler receive the Austrian Decoration of Merit in Gold"
bullet "Botschafter des Wiener Walzers in Washington DC: Österreichs inoffizielle Botschafter in der Hauptstadt heißen Herbert und Carol Traxler - Pflege von Kultur und Tradition ist ihre Mission" in, 2001
bullet "The Splendor and Spirit of Vienna: The Music of Johann Strauss" (Smithsonian Asociates)
bullet "Practical advice for a dreamy time" by Jack Williams,, April 11, 2000"
bullet "In the Spirit of Vienna: Learn to Dance the Viennese Waltz" (Smithsonian Associates: October - December 2000)

Herbert & Carol Traxler, 5817 Runford Drive, New Carrollton, MD 20784, 301-577-3503,

Link to 1997 Ball Photo

Viennese Waltz FAQ | Washington Area Cultural Events | |

Author: Carol Traxler (
Last update: October 2012