Float and Flight and Fun . . . It's Foxtrot!
by Kristine and Bruce Nelson
successfully dance foxtrot, dancers must
have an understanding of (or they must learn): good balance and
dance frame, Contra Body Movement (CBM), footwork (use of heels and
and fall (much less than in waltz), sway and swing.
Movement/Rise and Fall:
For foxtrot, the body is
relaxed with soft knees and with weight on the forward part of the
foot, with minimum weight on the heel. Before taking step 1, the body
a softening or slight lowering action throughout the leg of the
to create a heel lead with the moving foot. This step is followed by
"floating" steps on the ball of the foot. Figures are danced with
"flight," taking long reaching or gliding steps keeping the body
constantly in motion. Each figure does not "end" but moves through or
connects to the next figure. Foxtrot's subtle rise and fall will happen
naturally with correct footwork and commitment to flight.
Turning to the left or right requires specific
technique. For natural (right) and reverse (left) turns, the man will
slight early body rise at the end of step 1 to lead the lady into a
For natural turns – the upper body commences turn before the step is
(EARLY TURN). For reverse turns – upper body turn (CBM) prepares the
her turn and the man turns at the end of the forward (first) step and
to turn through step 2 (LATE TURN).
Some Figure Notes --
The Three Step (and 4,5,6 of the Reverse
Wave) has a specific rise and fall pattern. It is danced with delayed
which occurs on the second weight change, causing two consecutive heel
for the forward-moving partner (heel, heel, toe).
Feather(s) and Feather
Finish: The Feather footwork
is heel, toe, toe, utilizing the rise on the second step to assist body
required for the various figures.
The "tele" figures are heel turns
for the lady and as such are danced with early rise for the man. This
blocks the lady's rise and causes her to turn on the heel of the
foot. As the man swings by the lady, he clears the block and allows her
rise. This late rise is characteristic for the one on the inside of any
turn. Natural turns danced from closed position use the same technique,
her heel turn.
If you would like to read other articles on dance position, technique, styling, and specific dance rhythms, you may visit the article TOC.
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Aditional articles and dance helps by
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Gert-Jan & Susie Rotscheid (see Notebook)
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