What's That Dance
By Katharine Harris | Published November 03, 2010
Photo by junmark via Flickr (cc)
The Foxtrot, one of the most popular ballroom dances, dates back to the early 20th century. Most believe that the creator of the dance was one Harry Fox, a vaudevillian actor, who danced with a lot of trotting steps. He called this dance the Foxtrot, and taught it to Irene and Vernon Castle, who polished it by giving it grace and a smooth style.
In 1914, the American Society of Professors of Dancing issued a book with guidelines and descriptions of dances within it, and this was when the Foxtrot was formalized. The authors of the book removed the trotting aspect of the dance, fearing it required too much energy from its practitioners, and instead added in the gliding aspect still present today. The resulting Foxtrot became instantly popular.
The foxtrot is danced to a 4/4 rhythm, and has a regular step pattern of slow-slow-quick-quick. The dancers move in a square rather than circular motion, which means they can stay relatively stationary while dancing. This makes it easy for many dancers to dance the Foxtrot in one place. From the early 1920s through until the 1940s, the Foxtrot was the most popular of ‘social dances’, and could be danced to any music from ragtime to swing through to early 1950s rock and roll, like “Rock Around the Clock”.
One of the reasons behind the Foxtrot’s appeal is its room for variations and flexibility. Over time, two distinct versions of the Foxtrot began to develop, the ‘slow’ and ‘quick’ versions. Today, the ‘slow’ version is known simply as the foxtrot while the ‘quick’ version has become the Quick Step.
1) Dancing with the Stars
Season 10 winners Nicole Scherzinger and Derek Hough perform
2) So You Think You Can Dance'sTravis and Martha from Season 2 dance a number by Canada's own Jean Marc Genereaux.
1) NELSON WONG DANCE
in Nanaimo, BC
2) SHALL WE DANCE STUDIO
in Toronto, ON