This page contains a brief, illustrated history of the development of the waltz's partners in the mid-19th century ballroom. During the first half of the century the waltz migrated from being something regarded as obscene to something that could be danced at court. Even so, Queen Victoria wrote just before her 1840 marriage that she was looking forward to dancing the waltz at last as it was unthinkable for a man to put his hand round the waist of an unmarried lady of quality. So, if you couldn't waltz what could you dance?
By the 1820's the Viennese dance programmes had the galop (variously spelled), the ecossaise, the cotillons and the contredanse , apart from the landler and the waltz. There was also a plethora of rustic dances. Only the galop, waltz and landler survived much beyond 1835 to any significant extent.
All of the "facts" on this page have been culled in about five minutes from internet sources by me. I am not an historian or a musicologist (... or a musician ... or a writer ... or a web designer) so everything here should be taken with a very large pinch of salt. Do not base your thesis on this!
The received internet wisdom is that while on tour in Paris in 1839, Johann Strauss sat in with the orchestra of Philippe Musard, the father of the quadrille, to study how to write one, and then subsequently brought the form back to Vienna. However, the Viennese quadrille in its final form has six movements – Pantalon, Été, Poule, Trénis, Pastourelle and Finale. The French version only has five. This set of contredanses and a subsequent set by Strauss, both written well before 1839, are Viennese quadrilles in all but name, having the six named movements described above. Lanner also wrote quadrilles and called them that before 1839, although they do not conform exactly to either the strict Viennese or French forms.
The variously spelled galop continued to be popular in Vienna. Publishers often issued books with dozens of galops by different composers. Here is one of Lanner's later efforts.
The speed of the dance and the increasing weight of fashionable ladies' clothes led to the dance being banned in Vienna as a health risk.
Health and Safety gone mad!
As stated above, while on tour in Paris in 1839, Johann Strauss sat in with the orchestra of Philippe Musard, the father of the quadrille, ostensibly to study how to write one, and then subsequently brought the form back to Vienna.
For the reasons given above, I doubt this very much. Strauss is a much better composer than Musard and had no need of lessons. It would be good publicity for the visiting composer to sit in with the most famous dance band in Paris, however. I expect that is all it was.
Here is a Musard quadrille dating from 1839.
In the mid 1830's dance composers produced increasing numbers of marches. These were designed not only for military use but also as processional dances, to allow the fashionable crowd to play at soldiers.
This one was written for a Viennese regiment, but it's definitely more ballroom than parade ground.
By the mid-1840's the Viennese quadrille had more or less assumed its final form. The quadrille Johann Strauss II wrote for his debut concert would not have caused too many dancers to lose their feet had it been played 50 years later.
Strauss wrote a surprisingly high proportion of quadrilles in his early years. They must have been popular with the public but perhaps not so popular with publishers as few have surviving orchestral parts.
Marches remained popular and by the mid 1850's had established a format that would remain the same throughout the rest of the century.
The Viennese march tempo is slightly slower than that common in the rest of Europe and the USA.
The Austrian army also marched to polkas, presumably the slower varieties!