About us

History and Philosophy

The Dancing School ELMAYER was founded by the former cavalery officer of the Austrian Imperial Army Willy Elmayer von Vestenbrugg in 1919. Since 1987 it is led in third generation of the family by the present owner Thomas Schäfer-Elmayer – his grandson.
Ever since its foundation the dancing school ELMAYER was situated in the rooms of the former horse stables in the Pallavicini Palace next to the stables of the Spanish Riding School – home of the famous white stallions – in the very old centre of Vienna.

During the „Golden Twenties“ ELMAYER rapidly convinced the Viennese of the outstanding quality and cultural value of his unique program that today remains the basis of the success of this extraordinary institution. Unperturbed by short lived trends and fashions ELMAYER is combining tuition in manners and dancing based on the traditional Austrian imperial system.

ELMAYER is synonymous with typical sophisticated Viennese lifestyle and education. As such the “ELMAYER philosophy” is unique even in Vienna and in the world today.

Tuition for Vienna’s Youth

Stich: HandkussFor the youth in and around Vienna ELMAYER offers at least three years of tuition.
The program of this first year for Vienna’s youth not only contains tuition in all the social dances of the international world dance program but also role play and other schooling in manners.


  • Ladies: Dress or skirt – no trousers.
  • Gentlemen: Tie and jacket, white gloves.

In addition to these courses interested students are offered special trainings in various fields from historical dances to dance formations and various seminars in modern and international manners.


Every student of Tanzschule Elmayer receives the Austrian bestseller on manners „DER große ELMAYER” published in 2018. This is the 9th book on manners that was written by the grand-son of the founder of the dancing school Thomas Schäfer-Elmayer. Similar books had been published by Willy Elmayer in 1956 and by the parents of Thomas Schäfer-Elmayer (Nora and Diether Schäfer-Elmayer) in 1969.