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.
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.
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)
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:
Bronze Syllabus Figures:
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)
9. Fall-away Twinkles
10. Promenade Twinkles
11. Turning Twinkles
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:
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.