The Slow Foxtrot – The Most Famous Ballroom Dance in History

The Foxtrot is a famous ballroom dance that has been around for decades. For those familiar with ballroom dancing stars, the dancer Fred Astaire is a well-known name. Fred Astaire with his partner Ginger Rogers is said to be the best at the Foxtrot. The dance is meant to compliment Astaire’s smooth dancing ability. When audiences saw his performances, other dancers adapted to the famous ballroom style. The dance is commonly referred to as the Rolls Royce of hops, as it is the smoothest and most romantic of dances. The quicker version of the Foxtrot is more widely known as the quickstep. The Quickstep is a light-hearted dance compared to the foxtrot.

Characteristics of The Foxtrot

The Foxtrot is like the usual ballroom dances that you usually see in movies. Like the Waltz, the Foxtrot is a smooth, romantic and very powerful dance. The movements are not jerky like dances like the salsa.  The dance consists of steps, which occupy one beat of the music, and slow steps, which take up two beats. The dance is designed to be extremely hard for the participator as it follows a specific rhythm and demands switches between pace and “smoothness.” The footwork timing follows the pattern ‘slow, quick, quick’ or the alternative; ‘slow, slow, quick, quick.’ One of the essential components of this dance is the timing. Therefore, if you want to try the Foxtrot, it is advised that you master the Quickstep and Waltz, beforehand.

The History of Foxtrot

The Foxtrot was created in America in the 1920s and had been developed mainly in the African American clubs. The dance is named after an entertainer named Harry Fox. It is rumored to be the hardest dance to learn, as it is incredibly complex. The varying speeds in the dance steps, create more flexibility and dancing pleasure for the dancer. Many different types of dances have been born from the slow Foxtrot-like the Peabody and the Hustle.

Steps to The Foxtrot

The focus of this dance is to make sure that no matter what happens the timing of the actions is maintained. Therefore, the foxtrot is one of the most complex dances to learn in a short course. To keep the “Trot” of this romantic dance, the dancer must shorten their steps when the tempo increases and lengthen their strides when the pace slows. The Foxtrot moves a dancer and his/her partner across the room in a counter-clockwise direction by moving in zigzagging steps. Two steps are incredibly distinctive to the Foxtrot they are; the Feather and the Weave.

The Feather is a sequence of 3-4 long and graceful steps from both partners, from one side of the room to another. Once the course is completed, the man steps away from his partner while still holding her hand and turns her the around to proceed in the other direction. The Weave is the dance step that you usually witness in Disney movies where the prince sweeps the mysterious girl across the room. It is a dance that supposedly causes its dancers to move around gracefully, with a variety of twists and influential movements in a widely coiled spiral.