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Foxtrot Technique

See Also: Standard Technique page for general technique for International standard dances.

Foxtrot Movement

  • Foxtrot is very 'flat', does not have as much rise and fall, compared to Waltz. Head pretty much stays at the same height. 
    • All rise are in body and some legs. No foot rise. Rise are absorbed in knees. 
    • In Foxtrot, don't think about rise and fall, it's all built-in the footwork already. If you do rise, that probably means you are popping up and doing too much rise.
  • Foxtrot is a curvilinear and rotary dance.
    • The "straight" figures, such as Feather Step and Three Step, gently curve. On turning figures, either the man is the axis, or the lady.
    • Very often, frame rotating from one side to another, changing direction after a measure, like monkey swinging from vine to vine. Waltz is more like being on a children's swing "up and down".
  • Important to collect before the slow step. Slow is the driving, powerful step. Two quicks are coasting.
    • When counting "1 2 3 4" (where "S" is "1 2"): On "1" - it's lowering and collecting and delay stepping till "2". Or, one can think of it as "S&", lower on "S" and step on "&".
  • Head:
    • Head movement should be smooth. not too fast in Foxtrot. Smooth head movement goes with long stride.
    • Amount of head movement and body rotation is relative to movement size. If you don't step big, have bigger movement, you shouldn't do a lot head or rotation. Otherwise, its proportion looks wrong.
  • Lady is on high heel and often has smaller feet, so it's even more important to take the time to roll through the feet and not rush, as Man has bigger feet to roll through. Controlled rolling through feet, no wobbly feet.
  • Posture:
    • Elbow is not down, is a bit out, but not as much as Tango. The position is so that you feel the pressure in the hands.
  • Preparation step, 8 count
    • 1-2-3-4
      • Man: LF step to L side, hesitate
      • Lady: RF to R side
    • 5-6-7
      • Man: RF to R side, preparing to move forward
      • Lady': LF to L side, preparing to move back
    • 8:
      • Man: LF forward with slight CBM
      • Lady: RF back, with slight CBM
    • continue with Feather step
  • Going into Three Step, Natural Turn, Natural Weavepay attention to: 
    • The previous last step (RF back): completely settle, before moving "across" on LF stepping back. Otherwise, it appears to have "double lowering" problem. The lowering/settling need to be in sync with the Man. 
    • Keep left. It's very easy to lean into Man's space during Natural turning figures. So really make sure to stay left. 
  • Practice Feature Step and Three Step continuously: 
    • Other than step 3 of Feature Step which is CBMP, all other steps are straight back in straight tracks (leave room for Man). The CBMP step makes the movement veering toward mans' left (lady's right), but other than that, everything else should be straight. Don't make waves (either to left or to right). 
    • Feature Step connecting to Three Step (step 4, Lady RF back): make sure knee is top of right toe, straight, knee should not be turned out. 
  • On the difference between Natural Turn, Natural Weave, and Hover Cross 
    • Natural Turn: On second step, hips and frame are square to line of dance. 
    • Natural Weave: On second step, hips stay square, frame continues to turn to left side leading so lady can step OP on step 4 
    • Hover Cross: Between step 2 and 3, both hips and frame turn to face center. Then frame stays square to center, while hips turn to step OP wrongside position, and then back to normal OP.

Types of Feather

  1. Feather Step
  2. Feather Finish : first step taken back
    1. Feather Finish commenced with partner OP on L side
  3. Feather Ending: first step taken in PP
  4. Hover Feather
  5. Feather Step commenced OP
  6. Curved Feather
  7. Back Feather