Dance History Month: Foxtrot Dance Style
The foxtrot dance style is from the Ballroom dance genre and started in the 1914s. The Foxtrot is a smooth, progressive dance characterized by long, continuous flowing movements across the dance floor. It is danced to big band music. The dance is similar in its look to waltz, although the rhythm is in a time signature instead of.
Danced to big band music, the foxtrot resembles the waltz but is danced to a 4/4 time signature. It reached its peak of popularity in the 1930s, but continues to be danced today. Large, elegant, and graceful movements are typical. The female partner usually wears a floor-length costume to emphasize the flow of the technique.
Three distinct styles of slow foxtrot are in everyday use among ballroom dancers today: the American Social Style, the American Continuity Style, and the International Style. All three are partner dances in which the dancers progress around the dance floor in a counter-clockwise direction and are danced to much the same music. However, they differ significantly in technique, positions, and figures.
- American Social Foxtrot
- The American Social Style was, and to some extent still is, widely employed in the United States as a social and party dance. It is particularly well suited to dancing in a crowded room, by partners who may or may not know each other well, and who may or may not have had much formal training in dance.
- American Continuity Style
- The American Continuity is widely employed in the United States as a competitive dance and as a base for formation dance and the performing arts. It is the style generally seen in American musical theater productions and in film. It differs from the social style in that the dancers pass their feet at the end of each figure, rather than closing them.
- International Style
- The International (British) Style is widely employed in Europe and Great Britain as a social and competitive dance. Its defining characteristic is that partners must maintain body contact at all times. Consequently, the variety of possible figures and positions is much more limited than in the American style.
Want to learn more about the history of the Fox Trot? Click here