Let me introduce you to the Foxtrot, a dance that can suit everyone and never goes out of style.
It used to be that Frank Sinatra performed all Foxtrot music and now Michael Buble has refreshed and revitalized that trend.
When we think Foxtrot, we probably think of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, but where did the Foxtrot really come from?
The dance originated in the summer of 1914 with vaudeville actor Harry Fox. Earlier that year, Fox was appearing in various vaudeville shows in the New York area. The New York Theatre, one of the largest in the world, was being converted into a movie house and, as an extra attraction, the theater’s management decided to try vaudeville acts between the shows.
They selected Fox and his company of “American Beauties” to put on a dancing act. As part of his act, Fox performed some trotting steps to ragtime music, and people began to refer to his dance as “Fox’s Trot.”
As ballroom dance became increasingly popular, the Foxtrot was one of the dances that was easy to learn and easy to accomplish.
Foxtrot is a great first dance to learn because it teaches all the fundamentals – holding the frame, leading a partner, learning timing, and maneuvering on the dance floor.
Foxtrot is also an easy dance to learn in a group setting because it is not too fast and it allows beginners to lead and follow with different people.
The Foxtrot was the most significant development in all of ballroom dancing. Combing quick and slow steps allowed more flexibility. People enjoyed it more than the one-step and two-step, which it replaced.
There is more variety in the Foxtrot than in any other dance, and the complex rhythm of those varieties makes them among the hardest dances to learn.
Variations of the Foxtrot include the Peabody, the Quickstep and Roseland. Even dances such as the Lindy and the Hustle are derived to some extent from the Foxtrot.
In addition to Buble’s music, the Foxtrot is danced to some of the most popular big band music out there.
Sandro Virag is a partner and instructor at Fred Astaire Dance Studios of Hilton Head, located in Bluffton at Seaquins Ballroom. www.fredastairehiltonhead.com