Foxtrot
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<< Learning Center Intro

Free foxtrot lessons & introduction!

For a newcomer to ballroom dancing, the easiest way to get started with the foxtrot is to dance a simple American style basic step. This will get you onto the floor, participating in this dance in just 5 minutes. To dance the international style will require that you learn at least four or five figures.
The Dance Store does not currently offer a video on the Foxtrot.


Free Video Instruction
The Basic Step of American Style Foxtrot

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Foxtrot Learning Area

 

The Moves

Foxtrot music is often suitable for swing dancing as well as for foxtrot dancing. Foxtrot uses a combination of slow steps, which use two beats of music, and quick steps, which use one beat of music. The footwork timing is usually called out as slow, quick, quick or slow, slow, quick, quick.

The foxtrot and the waltz are similar in many ways and they share many figures. They are both smooth dances that travel along a line of dance in a counterclockwise fashion around the ballroom floor. The long walking movements of the foxtrot involve a subtle rise and fall action.
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The Music

The foxtrot is typically danced to big band swing-style music written in 4/4 time. The music tempo is 120 to 136 beats per minute. Foxtrot music is often suitable for swing dancing as well as for foxtrot dancing.

Click on the link below for helpful examples of both Foxtrot songs and CD's which feature great Foxtrot music.

Foxtrot Music Examples >>
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History

Named after its inventor, entertainer Harry Fox, the foxtrot was first developed in the United States in the 1920’s. The foxtrot is often associated with the style of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Behind the waltz, the foxtrot would become the second most popular ballroom dance in history. The Foxtrot was refined and further developed by the British to yield the version we dance today.
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Tips & Info

Here are some "universal tips" for learning how to dance a partner dance such as foxtrot, swing, or waltz.

  • First, acquire a few audio CD's of the music and play the music over and over in your home or automoble. Next, count the step timing in time to the music. This you can do sitting down, perhaps while driving. For example, for waltz, call out the 1,2,3 1,2,3 step timing in time to the music. For foxtrot, call out the step timing using slows and quicks. For cha cha and rumba, it's important to recognize the first beat of each measure. Otherwise you may dance on the incorrect beat. If necessary, have your instructor assist you in learning to count the step in time to the music. Dancing in correct time to the music is absolutely essential. Continue this "sitting down and listening" exercise for as long as necessary until you can easily and automatically count the step in time to the music. The Ultimate Ballroom Practice CD sold by The Dance Store might be a helpful
    tool.
     
  • Next, practice the basic step, including the step timing, until the step is automatic - like tying a shoe. Using east coast swing as an example, practice the triple step, triple step, rock step basic until it's automatic. Next, practice this basic to music until it becomes automatic. Many basic steps can be practiced without a partner.

At this point, your brain is "freed up" to allow learning steps and patterns because you no longer have to concentrate on timing and step counting.

Many folks get frustrated if they can't dance competently immediately. Certainly individuals vary in dance aptitude, but all dancers must go through the awkward stages before they get to the polished stage.
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