Since our current dance of the month is the Quickstep, let’s take a minute to talk about it. We’ve had many people ask, what is the Quickstep? An easy, joking answer may be that Quickstep is the Foxtrot on speed but in truth, it is so much more than that.
The Quickstep is one of the five International Standard Ballroom Dances and does not exist in the American style of dancing. The movements are very quickly and powerfully executed with syncopations sprinkled throughout. The dance is sophisticated and glamorous with the dancers appearing light on their feet to the very energetic and up beat music.
The Quickstep originated around 1850 originally as a march, used to celebrate Presidents, the military, Exhibitions, etc. Basically, it was used for propaganda and to boost morale. It later developed during World War I in New York when it was danced by Caribbean and African dancers. Eventually it debuted on the stages of music halls and was an instant success in ballrooms. In the twenties, many bands played the slow Foxtrot too fast, which is how Foxtrot and Quickstep developed into two different dances.
Charleston fever started in 1925 and was a very big influence in the continuing development of the Quickstep. The English expanded Quickstep from the Charleston as a progressive dance, minus the kicks, and blended in the fast Foxtrot. This dance was called “the Quicktime Foxtrot and Charleston.” The Quickstep became standardized in 1927 at the Star Championships by an English couple Frank Ford and Molly Spain. They danced a version of the Quicktime Foxtrot and Charleston without the knee actions of the Charleston and made it for two people rather than a solo dance.
Besides the Foxtrot and Charleston, Quickstep also derived from dances such as the Chase G Chug, the Shag, Peabody, One Step, March and the Black Bottom to make it what it is today. Sounds like a fun and fascinating dance to try right?! Well come out to Ridgefield Fred Astaire Dance Studio during September on a Thursday night at 8:15pm to try out our current Dance of the Month: Quickstep.