Professor Thomas Schäfer-Elmayer is a celebrity dance instructor, etiquette expert, author and director of Tanzschule Elmayer, a renowned Viennese dance establishment founded a century ago by his grandfather, Willy Elmayer von Vestenbruggin. Prior to taking over the family business, Schäfer-Elmayer completed his master’s in economics at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland and spent a decade on industrial management across Europe and in South Africa.
In 1987, he returned to Vienna to helm the Elmayer school and dedicated himself to the Viennese traditions of etiquette, dance and ball ceremonies. While the Tanzschule Elmayer participates in over 50 opening ceremonies during ball season, Schäfer-Elmayer has managed the opening ceremony of the Vienna Opera Ball—Austria’s state ball televised to more than 2.5 million spectators—for over a decade. As an expert, he has written numerous books on manners and given hundreds of presentations on business etiquette in German and English.