The Slow Foxtrot is the most challenging of the Ballroom dances...
Particularly because of the "Slow" beat...
Learning how to dance the slow beat in Slow Foxtrot will make all the difference to the way you feel, look and achieve this unique and beautiful dance.
Here are five tips to help you master the slow beat.....
Understand musically that in Ballroom dancing a 'slow' is two beats, and it is not possible (except in slow motion video) to actually take a step over two beats of music. It only takes one beat - or a fraction of that beat - to transfer your weight onto your foot.
Using the fact you have two beats to use up when dancing the slow in Slow Foxtrot, you have to decide what to do on the other beat. Your choices are
- Take the step on the first beat and then stop and wait for the music on the second
- Wait on the first beat and then take the step on the second
Slow Foxtrot music is slow and continuous and does not encourage the dancer to stop movement, therefore we will dismiss option 1 above, and choose two. "Wait on the first beat and then take the step on the second"
Ballroom Slow Foxtrot is also characterised by long steps and smooth movement across the dance floor, therefore we will want to use our body, legs and momentum to allow for free, continuous movement. Rather than just wait on beat one and step on beat two, flex into your knees on beat one of the slow and use your standing leg to assist movement of your body across the floor and onto your moving foot. Therefore beat one becomes, "Lower" and beat 2 becomes "Step".
- To continue the smoothness of movement once you transfer your weight onto your foot, again flex into your knees and repeat the process
In summary, when dancing a 'slow' beat in slow foxtrot, repeat to yourself "Lower, Step" and allow soft flexion of your knees to facilitate for the beautiful smooth movement and dance requires.
Monica Fincham is a National Dancesport champion, former competitive dancer and the owner of Dancesport Kingdom in Lilydale, Melbourne, Australia.
"Mastering the Slow Foxtrot is something every serious dancer aspires to. It's confusing at first, but oh so beautiful to dance at full expression"