The slow Foxtrot dance is smooth dance in which while dancing, the participants travel around the dance line. The dance features walking movements with long strides and a gentle rising and falling motion. This dance initially begun with quick and slow steps and thereafter progressed to include chasses and twinkles.
The slow foxtrot dance is favored by many ballroom dancing enthusiasts and conjures up the images of the suave dancing of Ginger and Fred. As a result of its smooth gliding nature, many refer to the dance as the Rolls Royce of other standard dances. Once you get to know this dance, you get the feeling of a great dancer. The faster foxtrot version became the Quickstep dance version.
Characteristics of the Foxtrot
The slow foxtrot dance is a lovely romantic dance that consists of relatively easy walking and side steps. The foxtrot blends slow steps using two music beats and fast steps using a single music beat. The motion of the feet is usually slow, fast, fast or slow, slow fast, fast. The dance should have very smooth movement without any jerking movement. Timing plays a great role when doing the foxtrot dance. Since this dance is more complicated than other dancing styles, it is advised that the Quickstep and Waltz be mastered first before attempting to perform the slow foxtrot dance.
The History of Foxtrot
The slow Foxtrot dance started in America in early 1920’s. It was named after the inventor of the dance, Harry Fox and it is ordinarily associated with gentle dancing styles such as that of Ginger Rodgers and Fred Alistair. This dance is currently among the most favored ballroom dances of all time.
The foxtrot has similar characteristics to waltzing. The two have very smooth movements that travel on the length of dance line and counterclockwise all round the floor. The rising and falling motion arises from the extended walking motion done by the participants. Fast steps are blended with slow steps thus offering the dancers greater agility when moving and great dancing pleasure.
Unique Foxtrot Steps
A unique feature of the slow foxtrot dance involves the dancers taking long steps on the shorter counts and smaller steps on the quicker counts. So as to sustain the ‘trot’, the dancer needs to shorten the steps with the increase of music tempo. Some steps make striking zigzag outlines. There are some steps that are exclusive to this dance including the feather and weave step.
Weave: involves six fast steps in one row. This is done using the toes. (Fast steps are usually done using the toes while slow steps done on the heels)
Feather step: when doing this step, the lead steps out of the follow. Its name came from the execution of the move which resembles ‘oar feathering’ during rowing.
Foxtrot Music and Rhythm
This dance is usually accompanied by swing style band music; however other music types could be also used. In the slow foxtrot dance, the 1st and 3rd beats tend to be accented more than the 2nd and 4th beats. The slow Foxtrot dance is usually danced to music with 4/4 time and a tempo of approximately 120-136 beats in a minute.