In 1913, Harry Fox, a vaudeville comedian, introduced a trot to a ragtime song that pushed other trots to the background.
It became America’s most popular dance, and remains so to this day as the standard of social dances. Most recognize the foxtrot as the playful yet elegant trot made famous by Fred & Ginger. Initially it was danced at 48 bars per minute tempo. The tempo issue led to the breakaway of Quickstep at about 50 to 52 bars per minute and the continued slowing down of pure Foxtrot to 32 bars per minute by the end of the twenties. At the end of World War I the slow-foxtrot consisted of: walks, three-steps, a slow walk and a sort of a spinturn. In 1920 Mr. G.K. Anderson introduced the feather step and the change of direction, figures you can not imagine today's foxtrot without. Thirties had become the golden age for this dance. The great fascination of Foxtrot is the amazing variety of interpretations there can be of what is basically such a simple dance. Elegantly beautiful, suavely sophisticated and simply superb, the graceful Slow Foxtrot is the dance to which all Ballroom dancers aspire. It finds its roots in the Tin Pan Ally of the Twenties and now, as then, it can be enjoyed to the best of popular chart and easy listening music. Considered by many to be one of the most difficult of all the dances to master, with its flowing and continuous movement, the Foxtrot offers challenges to all dancers In 1914 Vernon and Irene Castle refined and popularised the foxtrot in their Broadway show “Watch Your Step” (1914-1916). Originally danced to ragtime style music, it later became attributed to the big band swing style of music, which stuck. All the way from its inception up to the 1940s the Foxtrot was one of the most popular dance style and this is reflected in the music of the time. The Waltz and Tango, which were also popular dances of the time, couldn’t come close to the popularity of this ‘new’ dance. In fact, during the 1950s Rock ‘n’ Roll emergence the songs were often released as “Fox Trots”. Rock Around The Clock by Bill Haley and the Comets is potentially the biggest selling foxtrot of all time. The turbulent history of the dance takes nothing away from the elegance and grace of this dance. The ‘social foxtrot’ which is a basic version of the dance, introduces the dancer to timing and music of the dance. The foxtrot is sometimes referred to as the “slow” foxtrot or slowfox. The “quick” foxtrot, of course, is referred to as the Quickstep. To us dancers it is the “Dancers Dance”…. If you love jazz music then Foxtrot and Quickstep are the dances for you.