Wednesday, January 2, 2013

How do you do a Foxtrot?

Foxtrot is a casually elegant dance invented sometime between 1910-1914 by  Harry Foxvaudeville dancer and comedian. For social dance purposes, the Foxtrot, as it is currently done, is a travelling dance... that is, a dance which moves around the dance floor -- as opposed to a "Spot" dance, a dance which stay in one place.

1. The Leader takes a step Forward: (walk forward with the left foot);
2. Then steps Forward with the right foot
3. Place your left foot to the Side with a small step
4. Close your right foot to left, transferring weight to right foot.
The Follower takes the same steps, moving backwards, starting with the Right foot.

You often dance the Foxtrot to standards such as The Way You Look Tonight, Fly Me to the Moon, etc, but you also use it in contemporary songs.

(We can talk about the Rhythm pattern - 4 steps in 6 beats of music, and various styling a little more later, but that's it, basically.)

It isn't complicated:  just walk two steps, take a small step to the side, and close your feet together with the 4th step! (Animation of the above step.)

(Compared with today's standards, the original Foxtrot was moderately fast, simple and unrefined. It was the rise to fame of  Vernon and Irene Castle's exhibition dances that led the elite of the dance world to try to capture the fox-trot's unusual style of movement, but it wasn't until the early 30's that Foxtrot began to take on the smoother and more flowing quality we recognize in today's dance.)

Peter Jones
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