History of foxtrot
Foxtrot: American, International, Social, and Quickstep
American and International; Foxtrot and Waltz
My partner and I took a "beginning" ballroom dance class last fall and a "continuing" class early this year. Because the "continuing" class was ending, we enrolled in another group class through a different recreation department. In the first two classes the instructor (same person for both) taught foxtrot as S,Q,Q beat. In this new class we learned foxtrot as S,S,Q,Q, and that S,Q,Q is really a Quick Step. Is the Quick Step so closely related to the Foxtrot that some instructors teach it as a "foxtrot"? [Jerry D.]
You can thank Arthur Murray (the man, not the franchise) for that. He went to England and learned International QS, which always started with a left foot prep step before commencing the quarter-turn and progressive chasse. Hence, the way he timed it was SSQQ -SSQQ, which left a left foot free after every figure. Slowing down the tempo, taking out all ballroom hold, and technique, he introduced the social Fox Trot with "magic steps" that always left the man's left foot free. Back several decades ago, fox trots were much faster, and quickstep was sometimes referred to as "fast fox trot!" [michael champion]
American Fox on the social level is considered to be one of the easiest, which is why it's taught to newcomers as a first dance by so many studios. Competitive American Fox is different. In terms of the patterns recognized to be 'basic figures', it is alot more like Quickstep than it is like Int'l Slowfox. True, it may be slower than Quickstep. But this doesn't necessarily make it any less difficult. After all, students tend to have a harder time with 'slow' than with 'fast'. (Which is one of the main reasons slowfox is considered so difficult!). [Jonathan Atkinson]
American Style foxtrot is often mistaken for 'social foxtrot'. Although social foxtrot is included under the broader category of American Style, there is a lot more to American Style dancing as a whole than only social. Social foxtrot is similar to the 'rhythm step' used by many International Style instructors to introduce dancing to a beginner. Many of the technical aspects involved in ballroom dancing as a whole can be introduced at this stage.
Just as you would not expect to see a high level competitive dance couple in International Style doing 'rhythm step' out on the floor, you would not expect to see a high level competitive dance couple in American Style doing social foxtrot out on the floor either. Of course there are bronze level competitions in American Style that do include social foxtrot material.
American Style foxtrot includes for examples feather, feather finish, weaves, hover telemark etc etc, often just under different names. [Brent Smith]
Bronze level American Foxtrot
Contents of the r.a.d. FAQ
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Last modified on: 2000, Saturday December 23.