The Fox Trot is undoubtedly America’s favorite dance, a staple at any jazz club on Friday night. The dance form is written in 4/4 and can be danced to both slow and fast music. For the most part, the Fox Trot is a traveling dance that hit the streets of New York in the 1920s. The youth, including the flapper girls went wild over the dance form which was popularized by a vaudeville comedian, Harry Fox, who introduced a bouncy, trotting step. The Fox Trot turned out to be just what teenagers of the era were looking for. The Fox Trot is spread rapidly as the only truly American ballroom dance. Its smooth, elegant and graceful movements make it a wonderful style to dance, and watch as well.
The Fox Trot is undoubtedly America’s best loved dance form. It is a smooth progressive dance characterized by continuous flowing movements. The original Harry Fox versions, which is a combination of walks and chasses is the Bronze level Fox Trot. The Silver American Fox Trot adds continuity while the Gold level features open, apart, and side by side movements, which were the made famous by the invincible dancing duo of Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly.
The original style was simple, unrefined and moderately fast. It is the first dance from to introduce the ‘Slow’ count. It took on a smoother flow in the early 1930s. The English introduced a modified version called the Slow Foxtrot, which is the technical basis of the current version. The long, smooth and continuous movements of the dance form did not go down well in the nightclub scene. However, the urge to compete harder finally did have the Americans adopt the style of movement as the technical basis for their syllabus. The American version is not limited to closed-position dancing and takes on a theatrical quality.
A basic understanding of the Fox Trot’s rhythm makes it easier to pick up other dance steps. The first and third beats are accented more than the second and fourth. The dance features a combination of slow and quick steps with the most popular being slow-quick-quick and slow-slow-quick-quick. Every slow step counts for 2 beats and each quick step for one. The Slow step is long and graceful while the Quick steps are short and lively. The posture for the dance is upright. In order to maintain a lively trot and balance with your partner, you need to shorten your steps as the tempo of the music increases. It is always prudent to practice individually and then move into Closed Position.
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