Used by Permission and adapted from the Dance Vision International Dance Association - American Style Smooth Bronze Manual (MASB01) 2006.

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Ballroom Dance Info

Dance Goals

Ballroom and Social Dance



Foxtrot began in the early 1900’s, in contrast to the Waltz. Jazz musicians like Scott Joplin began to produce syncopated ragtime music.  A whole group of one-step dances with animal names arose.  They were the Turkey Trot, the Monkey Dance, the Grizzly Bear, the Bunny Hug, and others.


Harry Fox, a vaudeville entertainer, created his version of a jerky, trotting dance for his stage act around 1914 and it swept New York.  As the dance later appeared in England, the jumps and jinks were removed and replaced with smooth elegance (with a little bounce to some Foxtrot-style music).  At this point, some of the Waltz figures were adapted to the Foxtrot.


Dance Characteristics:


This dance has smooth, gliding steps with heel leads and with an easy look and controlled movements.  It is very versatile and can be danced to many styles of music.  There is a small amount of rise and fall (less than in Waltz) which is more apparent on the side steps.  The side steps also have a touch of sway.  There is a brushing action of the feet on the first quick step before the foot goes to the side.


Musical Information:


Time Signature: 4/4

Tempo: 32 – 34 mpm (128 – 136 bpm)

Count: SSQQ or SQQ

Beat Value: 2-2-1-1, and 2-1-1

Alternate Teaching Counts: 12-23-5-6 and 12-3-4  



SSQQ Figures (Basic Rhythm)
Starting Forward:Heel, Heel Toe, Toe Heel, Toe Heel
Starting Backward: Toe Heel, Toe Heel Toe, Toe Heel, Toe Heel 

SQQ Figures (Box Rhythm)
Starting Forward:Heel Toe, Toe, Toe Heel
Starting Backward: Toe Heel, Toe, Toe Heel

Technical Tips:

Foxtrot makes use of slight rise and fall which should be smooth and gradual.  There is slight sway on Box Rhythm figures.  A slight bounce action may be used on the Side Close of Basic Rhythm figures.  Foot action rolls through the whole foot, which never loses contact with the floor.

Some of My Favorite Foxtrot Songs:

1.  "A Wink and a Smile" by Harry Connick Jr. on the Sleepless in Seattle Soundtrack
2.  "Come Dance with Me" by Frank Sinantra on Come Dance with Me
3.  "Moon Dance" by Van Morrison on Moondance
4.  "Maddest Kind of Love" by Big Bad Voo Doo Daddy on BBVD


Bronze Syllabus Figures:


1.   Basic

2.   Promenade

3a. Rock Turn Left

3b. Rock Turn Right

4.   Sway Step

5a. Promenade Underarm Turn (turn on the Slows)

5b. Sway UAT (turn on the Quicks)

6a. Zigzags In Line

6b. Zigzags Outside Partner

7. Box Step (Square or Turning)

8. Twinkle

9. Fall-away Twinkles

10. Promenade Twinkles

11. Turning Twinkles

12. Grapevine

13. Promenade Twist (Walk-around Turn)

14. Promenade Pivot

15a. Running Steps in Basic Rhythm

15b. Running Steps in Box Rhythm


Steps 1 – 6, 13, 14 and 15a  are in Basic Rhythm


Steps 7 – 10, and 15b are in Box Rhythm (SQQ)


Step 11 is a combo of 3 SQQs and 1 SSQQ


Step 12 is S - S - Q - Q - S - Q - Q - Q - Q - Q - Q - S - S - Q - Q   (Basic)   (Box)   (+  4 more Qs)    (Basic)


Variations for Social Dancing:

Many smooth figures can be danced in multiple dances by changing the count. Sometimes the entrance into or exit from the figure needs to be modified.

From Waltz:

Box with Underarm Turn,  Progressive, Right Turning Box, Two-Way Underarm Turn, Face to Face-Back to Back, Reverse and Natural Turns, Progressive and  Turning Twinkles, Grapevine, Promenade Chasse, Fall-away and Box, Twinkle and Weave.

From Viennese Waltz:
Left Turn, Crossbody Lead (CBL), and CBL with Underarm Turn.