In 1913, Harry Fox, a vaudeville comedian, introduced a trot to a ragtime song in the 1913 Ziegfeld Follies that pushed other trots into the background. It became America’s most popular dance and remains so to this day as the standard of social dances.

Foxtrot music is written in 2/4 or 4/4 time. The first and third beats are accented in 4/4 time. The range of Foxtrot tempos makes it possible to consider Foxtrot as though it were three dances: Slow Foxtrot, Medium Foxtrot and Fast Foxtrot (also called Society Tempo). Foxtrot has two major teaching rhythms: Magic Rhythm – Slow, Slow, Quick, Quick (SSQQ) and Box Rhythm – Slow, Quick, Quick (SQQ).

The basic components of Foxtrot are walking steps and side steps. Crowded dance floors or night club conditions require that all three tempos be expressed with short steps. In larger ballrooms the slow Foxtrot is characterized by longer smooth, gliding steps, demanding ease of movement and control in order to give this dance an unhurried appearance.

Foxtrot songs and artists include:

  • “New York, New York” – Frank Sinatra
  • “My Baby Only Cares For Me” – The Brian Setzer Orchestra
  • “It Had To Be You” – Harry Connick Jr.