I've heard people call Waltz (music) either 华尔兹 or 圆舞曲, but I've only heard people call Waltz (dance) 华尔兹, never 圆舞.

According to Baidu, 圆舞 does have a meaning of Waltz (dance). It has another meaning of some country/ceremonial dance, seems to suggest this word had been existed before Waltz was imported.

I see this word used as 亦舒's book title, but having not read that book, I don't know if the usage is captured from real life experience or rather fictitious.

Since I've never heard this word used in my daily life, not even from the elders, I am wondering if this word is still used at all. If yes, in which Chinese-speaking region is it used and which meaning of the two does it refer to? If no, was this word ever a common word (when?) and which meaning was it used for?

  • Looking through some examples of it, it looks like it's a generic term for (as the name implies) a round dance. The Waltz could be called a kind of 圆舞, and it's danced to "round dancing music" (圆舞曲), but it doesn't look like it refers to any specific dance or is commonly used at all. Jul 11, 2013 at 16:25
  • I am not familiar with Waltz. It seems the American style mixed Viennese Waltz in 亦舒's novel (couples who wanted to participate were told to change partners about five times during a waltz): 傅于琛拉着我,教我舞步,大家跟着围成一个大环,我与他跳两下,转个圈,随即有别人接过我的手,与我舞到另一个角落去。这是我第一次被当作大人看待,很是投入,舞步十分简单,一学即晓,当我又转到傅于琛身边。大家边笑边跳,舒畅异常。我问他:“可否一直同你跳?” “不,一定要转舞伴。” “为什么?” “这只舞的跳法如此。” “是吗?” “它叫圆舞,无论转到哪一方,只要跳下去,你终归会得遇见我。” “哦,是这样的。” 他呼吸急促,每个人都挥着汗,喘着气,“嗨,跳不动了!” 大家一起停下来,大笑,宽衣,找饮料解渴。这真是一个有趣的游戏,我会牢记在心。它叫圆舞。
    – Stan
    Jul 12, 2013 at 2:47
  • I seldom hear someone would call Waltz (dance) 圆舞. Google search results also suggest that.
    – Stan
    Jul 12, 2013 at 2:49

1 Answer 1


My guess, and I think this is a reasonable good guess is that 华尔兹 = "waltz" and 圆舞 = "round dance" and in English a waltz is a type of round dance.

So you don't hear people calling "华尔兹" "圆舞" because "华尔兹" is a type of "圆舞" but 圆舞曲 can be used for any kind of "圆舞" not just for waltzes.

If you use Google to search for the definition of round dance you get the following:

round dance


  1. A folk dance in which the dancers form one large circle.
  2. A ballroom dance such as a waltz or polka in which couples move in circles around the ballroom.

Also from the wikipedia article on Round dance:

Modern social round dancing is choreographed and cued ballroom dancing that progresses in a circular pattern, counter-clockwise around the dance floor. The two major categories of ballroom rhythm found in round dancing are the smooth or international rhythms, such as foxtrot and waltz, and the Latin rhythms, such as cha-cha and rumba.

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