Dance Styles- Foxtrot

internet source: Harry Fox
The foxtrot is an American dance that was introduced in 1913 or 1914. It has many variations. The foxtrot got its name from Harry Fox, a musical comedy star who performed a fast, trotting step to ragtime music in a Ziegfeld musical. As the result of a publicity stunt, Oscar Duryea, who was a star nightclub performer, was hired to teach this step to the public. However, as Harry Fox's trotting dance became the most popular dance of the 1920s, bands started to play the music faster, making it hard for all but the most skilful couples to keep up with them. Harry Fox's version, was then evolved into today’s Quickstep, and the normal people alternated four walking steps with eight quick running steps.

internet source: Quickstep
Later, Vernon and Irene Castle and other professional dancers helped shape the foxtrot into a smooth, graceful dance. An erect posture and stationary torso and arm movements lend elegance as the partners move around the floor counterclockwise. Imagine Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers fluidly dancing in many of the early 20th century musical films. They were doing the foxtrot.

internet source: Foxtrot
Famous dance instructor Arthur Murray created another variation of the foxtrot, called the magic step. Mr. Murray and his wife, Katherine used a six-count combination of slow and quick beats (the magic step) in several surprising ways. The magic step is one of two popular dance rhythms used in foxtrot today, which is slow, slow, quick, quick six-count rhythmic step pattern.

A second popular dance rhythm used in the foxtrot is a slow, quick, quick four-count rhythmic step pattern, which is typically used in a box step, thus it is called box rhythm. The 4/4 time foxtrot music is the type of music played most frequently during an evening of ballroom social dancing. Primarily, the foxtrot is danced in a closed position, which was scandalous at one time because of the leader’s right hand touching the follower’s back. However, the popularity of the foxtrot and its engaging music has helped it to become a favourite smooth dance style for dancers of all ages.

internet source
Foxtrot music accents counts 2 and 4 as does swing music. Thus, the foxtrot has a jazzy quality that is reflected when one foot briefly closes beside the other foot on counts 2 and 4. The box rhythm provides many stationary variations that are useful for beginner-level dancers. The basic rhythm provides many progressive variations that are useful for travelling in the LOD, especially when other couples are blocking your path!

On the other hand, today's Quickstep, with its myraid syncopated steps, hops, skips and spins, takes the couple speeding around the floor in a mixture of classic gliding movements, Charleston kicks and hops. It has become a dynamic dance of seemingly endless possibilities.

Learn more about the other dance styles? Check here.