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Do you want to learn how to dance? Foxtrot is a great dance to learn because it is very versatile and can be danced to a variety of music. Keep reading to learn more in this beginner’s guide on how to dance Foxtrot

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How to Dance Foxtrot

Foxtrot is a elegant dance that can be danced to a variety of music. Traditionally it is danced to big Swing band music, but it also can be danced to country or more contemporary modern music, which makes it a great dance to learn.

Timing: Foxtrot is 4/4 timing and is counted 1, 2, 3, 4 or in terms of slows and quicks. Slows get 2 beats and quicks get 1 beat.

There are two types of timing:

  1. Rhythm Timing: slow, slow, quick, quick (count 1-2, 3-4, 5, 6)
  2. Box Timing: slow, quick, quick (count 1-2, 3, 4)

Characteristic: Foxtrot is a fun, elegant dance that has some spunk to it. It easily flows around the dance floor. Foxtrot’s notable characteristic is swing and sway of the body, which helps to give shape through the movements.

American vs International Foxtrot

 

In Ballroom dance there are two different major styles: American and International.

The international Foxtrot is often called the Slow Foxtrot because it is danced at a slower tempo than the American version.

For this guide we will be talking about the American Foxtrot. One notable difference between American and International dance is that as a partnership in the International sytle they always stay in a closed hold whereas with the American style you can open up out of a closed frame.

Basic Steps of Foxtrot

Forward Basic with Rhythm Timing

The first Foxtrot step you should learn is the Forward Basic that uses Rhythm Timing (slow, slow, quick, quick). 

Leader’s Footwork:

  • Forward Basic: Left foot foward, Right foot forward, Left foot to the side, Right foot closes to the left foot and changes weight. (slow, slow, quick, quick)

Follower’s Footwork:

  • Forward Basic going backwards: Right foot back, Left foot back, Right foot to the side, Left foot closes to the right foot and changes weight. (slow, slow, quick, quick)

Check out the video below to learn how to dance the forward basic step in American Foxtrot.

Foxtrot Left Turn or Corner step with Rhythm Timing

The next step to learn in Foxtrot is the Left Turn with Rhythm Timing. For a new dancer this is an important step because it helps you maneuver around the dance floor. This step can be used at any time, but is especially helpful in corners.

Leader’s Footwork:

  • Left turn with Rhythm Timing: Left foot foward, Right foot back, Open your body to the left and take a step to the side on your left foot. Right foot closes to left foot and changes weight. (Timing: Slow, Slow, Quick, Quick)

Follower’s Footwork:

  • Left turn with Rhythm Timing in the backing position: Right foot back, Left foot forward, Body turns to the left while taking right foot side, Left foot closes to right foot and changes weight. (Timing: Slow, Slow, Quick, Quick)

Check out the video below to learn how to dance a left turn in Foxtrot using Rhythm timing.

Foxtrot Basic Promenade Step

Like our left turn or corner step the Foxtrot Promenade step is another step that you can use to change direction and helps you move around the dance floor.

Leader’s Footwork:

  • Basic Forward Step (Timing: Slow, Slow, Quick, Quick)
  • Promenade Basic: Instead of progressing forward you will open up to the left in what is called the promenade position. From the promenade position step forward left and forward right in this new direction. Turning your body back to closed position take a side step with your Left foot then close Right foot to Left foot and change weight. (Timing: Slow, Slow, Quick, Quick)

Follower’s Footwork:

  • Basic Forward Step Going Backwards (Timing: Slow, Slow, Quick, Quick)
  • Promenade Basic: You will be lead to open up in promenade position to your right. From this position step forward right and forward left in this new direction. On the next step you will turn back to closed position and with your Right foot take a step to the side. Close your left foot to your right foot and change weight. (Timing: Slow, Slow, Quick, Quick)

Check out the video below to learn how to dance the promenade basic in Foxtrot.

Foxtrot Music

Foxtrot is versatile dance which can be danced to different styles of music. 

Check out this spotify playlist for Foxtrot music.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What types of shoes should I wear to dance Foxtrot in?

Typically Ballroom dance shoes have a leather bottom that allow you to slide around the dance floor. For ladies the smooth dances like waltz and foxtrot it is ideal to wear closed toe shoes.

What is the best dance to learn first?

The best smooth dances to learn first are Foxtrot and Waltz. The best Rhythm dances are Swing and Rumba.

Is the Foxtrot hard to learn?

With every dance there is varying levels of technique. At a basic level for beginner dancers Foxtrot is a great dance to learn. It offers a lot of versatility when going social dancing because it can be danced to a variety of music. Don’t let the fear of thinking this dance is “too hard”. Once you start dancing it and with practice it will be a great dance to have in your repertoire.

Check out these other dance styles:

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