Encyclopedia of Dance: Foxtrot


Foxtrot is a wonderful couple romantic dance, characterized by lightness and elegance, softness and freedom of movement, smoothness and maneuverability.

Born at the beginning of the twentieth century, the foxtrot developed in two directions: slow and fast. Having had a significant impact on the development of ballroom dancing, the foxtrot could not help but enter the Standard Program of European Dances, according to which competitions and competitions are held all over the world. Any couple can master the simple and graceful movements of the dance, but the opportunity to comprehend the depth of this dance, its elegant refinement appears only in constant practice.

History of occurrence dance

The exact origin of the name foxtrot is not known. But the most popular and often cited version associates the name of the dance with the name of Harry Fox, a participant in various shows and vaudeville at the beginning of the 20th century. When the theater in New York was converted into a movie house, a large dance floor was built on its roof, where the Jardin Danse was performed. Harry Fox performed there with his American Beauties dance group and danced to ragtime music. Particular attention of the audience was attracted by the original steps of the dancer, similar to the movement of a trot (trot), which was named «Fox’s Trot» in honor of its creator.

Initially, the foxtrot was a rather temperamental dance, including jumping and swinging legs. But, having spread in Europe after the First World War, it has changed a lot. The rhythm changed, instead of the «lynx» there were smooth «walking» steps (saunter). The revolutionary replacement of the position of the feet is also associated with the foxtrot — instead of the eversion position, a parallel staging appeared.

Famous dancers of those times made a great contribution to the development of the foxtrot. Thanks to the American Morgan, the “open spin turn” appeared, Anderson and Josephine Bradley came up with the “change of direction” and “feather step”, and Frank Ford — the “heeled turn”, etc.

What is a foxtrot?

The foxtrot is characterized by a variety of rhythmic patterns and a combination of slow and fast rhythms. This dance is included in the European Ballroom Dance Program (Standard).

The musical size of the foxtrot is 4/4, and the tempo depends on the type of dance — a slow foxtrot is 28-30 beats per minute, while a fast foxtrot (quickstep) is 50-52 beats per minute.


Types of foxtrot and their features

During the development of the foxtrot, slow and fast versions of it appeared. The slow foxtrot is called slowfox, and the fast one is called quickstep. There is also a «folk» variety of foxtrot — social.

Quickstep (fast foxtrot)

The development of quickstep was influenced by jazz rhythms, as well as dance such as the Charleston. It was from him that the original chains of moves, alternating with jumps on the spot and in advance, got into the quickstep.

The rhythm of modern quickstep is 200 beats per minute, characteristic movements: progressive steps and turns, chasse and other typical foxtrot movements.

Slowfox (slow foxtrot)

Slowfox is a slow foxtrot standardized by the English Ballroom Dancing Council in the 1920s. The slow foxtrot is called the king of the European program and a dance classic. It is based on smooth, smooth sliding movements. The couple has a pronounced stretching of the sides with a tilt of the body, which is possible in conditions of coherence and grace of the dancers. Unique smoothness, long lines, weightless steps that give the impression of hovering over the parquet — all this is typical for a slow foxtrot. To achieve this effect, the dancers require constant control of movements, coordination and good balance.

«People’s» Foxtrot (Social)

Foxtrot developed mainly as a professional dance, and it was quite difficult for ordinary dance lovers to master it. Moreover, the ballrooms for mass dances were not suitable for his performance (the foxtrot required a lot of space). In this regard, a variant of the foxtrot appeared — social, for the performance of which neither special skills nor large space were required, since it was performed on the spot. This dance, which appeared on the basis of the foxtrot, has lost its main feature — promotion.

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