Mayfair Quickstep - The Dance with the most Variance!
Mayfair Quickstep is one of the most well-known New Vogue dances as well as one of the most popular dances at DK’s Friday night social. It is a beginner level dance, so it’s not too hard to learn, it’s fun, it's energetic, and usually gets the whole studio up and dancing. However, it may surprise you just how much the dance has evolved since its beginnings.
As suggested by the name, Mayfair Quickstep is a “Quickstep” rhythm dance, originally choreographed in 1954 by Frank Short and traditionally danced to old-style quickstep music. The tempo was 48bpm, a bit slower than regular quickstep; and the general sensation of the dance was akin to a casual stroll. In fact, some studios STILL dance it in this way, which can seem bizarrely unfamiliar compared to the more upbeat version we are accustomed to.
These days, we dance Mayfair Quickstep to popular “march” music with a strong 4/4 beat and a tempo as fast as we can handle (the quicker the better!). On occasion, I’ve even seen it danced to samba music! We now love to jump, skip, or outright run the steps, while incorporating complex clap actions before rushing into hold. Most of us aren’t even aware the dance is supposed to end with two “step, tap” actions and simply forge through with additional rotary chasses or, if we are being fancy, ending with a lady’s underarm turn.
The step taps at the start of the dance are danced either facing LOD or facing your partner depending on which version of the script you are using or (more accurately) if are trying to add another clap with your partner. In fact, there are so many variations that even the teachers struggle to demonstrate the correct version of the dance sometimes! All I can say is that Mayfair Quickstep is a great dance to play with, and is always a lot of fun, however you wish to dance it.