A Tale of Two Dances Part 2: Quickstep – by Cassie Tucker

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In today's instalment, DK Ballroom Instructor Cassie Tucker looks at the origins of one of Standard Ballroom's newer dances, the Quickstep...

 

A Tale of Two Dances Part 2: Quickstep

Quickstep has a very unique history of originally being a march. In the 1850’s Quickstep was a solo dance, common to parades and propaganda events. After the Foxtrot became popular during the 1910s, Quickstep started evolving, becoming a partnered dance instead of solo, and heavily based on the Foxtrot style of movement. The modern version of Quickstep was first danced by Caribbean and African dancers and was developed during the 1920’s.
 
Unlike Foxtrot, Quickstep was hugely influenced by the Charleston when it arrived in 1925. As the faster Jazz music became popular, a new dance style began developing, with elements from dances such as the Peabody, Shag, One-Step, and Charleston becoming incorporated into the Foxtrot. Kicks and runs were added into the routines. Dancehalls would intentionally speed up the tempo of the traditional Foxtrot music and people would dance “the Quicktime Foxtrot and Charleston,” the interim dance which was the forerunner to the modern Quickstep.
 
When the decision came to define the dances, Foxtrot became Slow Foxtrot and the Quicktime Foxtrot and Charleston was simply renamed to “Quickstep.” Quickstep became standardised in 1927, and quickly became its own dance, rising in popularity and outliving all the dances it borrowed from. Today, we see Quickstep as a light, fast, dynamic dance full of energy and exciting choreography, rich with runs, hops, skips, and jumps.

 

Cassie