Dancesport - Slow Foxtrot|
The Slow Foxtrot is often seen and positioned as the "Cornerstone" of the Ballroom Dances,
some people say if you can dance the Slow Foxtrot well you have a mature foundation to Dance
the other dances also well!!..... I agree with this statement for the "Swing and Flow" dances,
not for the Tango and Quickstep!
Unlike the other dances the Slow Foxtrot did not change very much since its early developments.
The construction of the dance consists of basic steps and variations are limited.
In competitions many times great diversity is given to the dance which in my opinion
is killing the true Slow Foxtrot character which is based on factors as Style, Elegance
Grace, Balance, Movement and Rhythm.
You don't win the Slow Foxtrot with an exiting Choreography, you will win by showing the judges
a high "quality" of movement over the Competition floor. Words I associate with the Slow Foxtrot
are: Quality, Technical Skills, Harmony, Pure, ....... Think about it!!
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The Foxtrot was introduced in Europe just before World War 1, from its origin the Foxtrot
was a passional dance with slow and quick movements, they say the name comes from a musical
dancer Harry Fox. The European dance teachers were not enthusiastic about the "wild" character
of the Foxtrot and started to polish it more. Between 1922 and 1929 Frank Ford, with whom Josephine Bradley used to give demonstrations, developed the basic movements of the Slow Foxtrot. With his
interpretation he won the 1927 "Star Championships" with partner Molly Spain. Many of the figures
they danced are still used by today's competitors.
Strict tempo music was not yet invented in those days. The Foxtrot could be played at anything from
40 to 50 Bars/min, and it is easy to guess how styles had to be rapidly altered according to who was
conducting the band! But once "Victor Silvestor's band began recording the problem was solved.
- Character: Pure and Gracefull
- Movement: Continuously, Progressive and Spatial, Straight well Aligned patterns
- Timing: 4/4
- Bars/min: 30 according the IDSF Rules
- Accent: On beat 1 and 3
- Competition: 1,5 - 2 minutes
- Rise and Fall: Rise e/o 1, Up on 2, Up/Lower e/o 3
- Dynamics: Flow and Spatial motions
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The Slow Foxtrot is a dance with many continuously forward or backward moving patterns which are
straight and well aligned on the competition floor. Due to the continuous and flowing character
of the Slow Foxtrot its is difficult to produce a smoothly Rise and Fall. As a result of that,
when dancing the Slow Foxtrot you should have a constant desire to use the muscles in a pliable manner so that the footwork and
weight change is never spasmodic. When lowering, the rule that the Knee will absorb the body
weight, by flexing, before the foot absorbs and lowers is essential to do.
The footwork should support the Body Swing ( Body firsts !) by "Pushing" from the supporting leg
and "Pulling" when arriving on the moving leg. Some coaches explain that you should use your
feet as "wheels" a fully agree with that but I prefer to explain the action (work)
of those "wheels" as well. Champions are able to melt the pushing and pulling actions in the footwork
seamless to each other, as a result they show....... a beautiful Slow Foxtrot movement.
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I have found my personal favourites and if you see the list than you see twice the
name of "Loraine Barry", now the question is who produces the "Foxtrot quality"
Loraine? or the Boys she is dancing with???
- Andrew Sinkinson, when dancing with Loraine Barry
- Marcus and Karin Hilton
- Luca Barricchi and Loraine Barry
The CD's that flow into my mind when writing this page are the following:
- "Witchcraft" Frank Sinatra.
- "More" Nat King Cole.
- "Cold Cold Heart" Nat King Cole