Foxtrot is an elegant dance that glides gracefully around the floor. It is a very smooth and controlled dance that feels like you are moving on ice skates. The long gliding and perfectly smooth steps give the Foxtrot that lazy, casual and unhurried appearance.
Foxtrot has no rise and fall motion above the hips. The feet and ankles act as shock absorbers to keep the body from moving up and down.
Foxtrot has the same dance frame as Waltz, Quickstep and Viennese Waltz. American Style Foxtrot starts with the left foot, contains open positions, and solo turns, while International Style starts with the right foot and stays in a closed dance frame position.
The challenge of dancing Slow Foxtrot is keeping the body moving at a constant rate while the legs are moving with slows and quicks. Some characteristics of Foxtrot are the brushing of the feet (one foot passing next to the supporting foot) and both knees being slightly relaxed at all times. Heel leads are taken on the slow forward steps and all quick steps are taken on the ball of the foot. The feet will brush on the second beat of every slow step.
There are two basic timings of Foxtrot - slow, slow, quick, quick (S,S,Q,Q) and slow, quick, quick (S,Q,Q). Slow Foxtrot is danced to 4/4 time at a standardized speed of 28 to 30 measures per minutes (mpm). The slow, slow, quick, quick (S,S,Q,Q) timing uses 6 beats (a measure and half of music) while the slow, quick, quick (S,Q,Q) timing uses 4 beats (one measure). It also has syncopation's such as slow, quick, and, quick (S,Q,&,Q), etc.
Among other great performers, Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra have recorded some great Slow Foxtrots.
The first two foot patterns the beginner should learn are the Foxtrot Basic and the Left Turn. Both have the S,S,Q,Q timing.
These two foot patterns will get you around the dance floor. The Basic will get you down the straight aways and the Left Turn will get you around the corners.