I have often heard of people referring the Foxtrot dance as the smoothest ballroom dance there is. When performed right, it is a beautiful and dreamy dance that never fails to captivate the audience. It’s probably one of the most challenging forms of ballroom dancing so if you are able to pull this off, you know you’re a real ballroom dancer.
Where Did the Foxtrot Dance Get Its Name?
Before seeing how the Foxtrot was danced, I used to think that it was a fast and silly type of jig. Why? Well, because I thought the dance was a tweaked reference to how the fox animal would look or “trot”. I know— silly right? As it turns out, the Foxtrot was named after its creator, Harry Fox.
Harry Fox was a Vaudeville performer who knew how to entertain. His charm and style inevitably brought him to notoriety in the 1920s in New York. As part of his performance, he would dance to the tune of ragtime music. The audience found his dancing exciting and original and thus, the Fox’s trot was born.
Waltz or Foxtrot Dance?
The Foxtrot today is very much like the Waltz. It’s slow, smooth and romantic. Foxtrot can be danced “on the spot”, but you will probably recognize it more in its traveling form. The elegant rise and fall of the dancer’s movement, the long and graceful striding steps and the interesting slow and fast beats in the music and movement have made it one of the most compelling pieces to watch.
Footwork in the Foxtrot dance is oftentimes in a “slow, quick, quick” or “slow, slow, quick, quick” beat. Dancers find this dance a little challenging to master because this requires only the smoothest transition, no jerky and choppy movements. The timing and choreography should be perfect otherwise it will not look as good as it should be.
Mastering the Foxtrot Dance
If you want to try this, it is very important that you practice a lot with your partner. This is not just to master the steps and choreography— you need to practice often so that you will be so familiar with each other that you are able to anticipate each other’s moves very well. When you are relaxed and in step with each other, the audience will see it and both of you will make beautiful music together.
Originally, the Foxtrot is danced to the big band swing music. Over the years though, people have “foxtrotted” to other music types and this was received well. You only have to watch reality dance shows to see and appreciate the evolution of the Foxtrot in music, dance steps and music. As long as the beat is in sync with the dancers’ moves (usually 4/4 rhythm is used), then you can be creative and find ways to express your heart with the Foxtrot.
So are you ready to give the Foxtrot dance a shot? It might not be as easy as some of the other dances you might have learned but definitely, the time and effort you spend on learning the Foxtrot dance will be worth it when you see the end result.