A Description Of Foxtrot Dancing
The Foxtrot is truly an American dance, credited to Harry Fox and dating back to 1914 when he was reportedly doing rapid trotting steps with his partner to Ragtime music (the original form of Jazz), and it was originally referred to as “Fox’s Trot”. Since those early vaudeville days both the music and the dance have changed into the more smooth and sauntering dance that we see today. Foxtrot is the classic social Ballroom dance- In most old movies when you see a large crowd dancing close with their partners to a big band, they are doing Foxtrot.
Foxtrot is danced to jazz or Big Band music, the same style of music that you would dance swing to. Speed is usually the deciding factor that makes a song better for Foxtrot (danced with a 4/4 rhythm and 110-150 beats/minute tempo) or for Swing (danced to 120-250 beats per minute), but you can usually dance a slow swing to any Foxtrot tune. In fact it is fun and not too difficult to go back and forth between Swing and Foxtrot in the same dance.
Foxtrot is danced in a closed position (facing your partner and holding them close). The walking steps are taken as “slows” (2 beats per step) or “quicks” (1 beat per step), with the most common Foxtrot rhythms being SQQ, SQQ or SSQQ, but ultimately the dancers may use whatever rhythm that they choose, which allows them to change their dance to fit the music.
Many people mistakenly think that Foxtrot is a difficult dance to learn , but this is usually because they are thinking of more complicated styles of Foxtrot such as International Style and American Silver and Gold Styles, that are used mainly in performances and competitions. Basic social Foxtrot (sometimes referred to as American Bronze Style) is fun and simple to learn, an excellent dance for beginners.