Learn Foxtrot Dance for Beginners step by step


There is no hopping in the Foxtrot. There is only ankle action that gives the dance a smooth lifting feeling. Ankle action on quick’s is achieved by pushing up on the ball of the foot as high as you can and finding the center of balance before lowering the heels. To put pressure on the ball of the foot gives you control. This is achieved by pushing away and upwards with the opposite foot. A lifting effect of the body is achieved when ankle action is used.

The head must be centered between the heels for balance. Animation to the dance is gained by proper use of ankle action and accenting the 2nd slow. This gives a great feeling to the dance. Toe by toe on the quick’s are the connection points for the brain. Toe by toe can be explained as the enter button of your own mental computer, forming concrete contact points. Feet always take the shortest route to its destination.

Patterns normally end with a quick-quick, from there, continuing into another pattern. Continuity of all taught patterns is achieved by dancing non-stop regardless of any mistakes. The true skill in dancing with each other is shown by continuity. Never move away from your partner when opening in conversation. It is just forming a V-shape. The feet are still pointing toward each other. This is taught in Secondary.

Brish and Follow through all the time

The feet brush lightly and fast past each other. The smoother the dance floor surface the more pressure should be given and the tougher the floor the less pressure should be given. Try not to plow into the floor but rather to move smooth and easily. If there is no brush and follow through, it is inevitable that you will ice skate and lose balance. Use heal-leads stepping straightforward and toe-releases stepping straight backward. This is done by keeping the foot straight. These methods give the Foxtrot a softer and smoother movement.

Long strides:
striding free from the hip and increasing strides as advancing

Lilt knees are achieved by relaxing the knees when standing up straight. The knees will be straight on the lofts and should be relaxed when weight is put on the leg. The partners should be stepping towards each other’s feet. Do not try and miss each other as this will cause you to lose balance and make the lead and follow difficult. The stride for the 2nd slow will be longer as one should push harder for the accent. Striding free from the hip: means that the leg will open up to the thigh when a step is taken. When the tights stay closed and the knees close to each other it means that you are striding from the knee.

Hold: posture and stance

The man holds the left hand in line with his nose with the arm at a 90 ° angle. The right hand is on the lady’s back under the shoulder blade and in body contact on the lower back. The lady’s right hand lightly fits in the man’s palm. The left hand is against the man’s shoulder. Posture is a straight spine forming a line from the crown of the head to the coccyx. This is achieved by pulling in the tummy to straighten your back and tensing the muscles to keep posture. The rib cage will lift. Bracing up for balance and easy movement also means that you dance lighter for your partner. The stance is with the feet together and the knees lilt as if you are standing against a wall. The lady always stays a little to her left of the partner, being able to fit the right foot in between the partners’ feet. The partners focus on their center as they should dance from their heart into each other’s center, and so being able to glide together.

Body contact

With body contact one pushes from the opposite leg, using the muscles from the feet and ankles upwards. A pelvic tilt will be achieved when using the hamstrings and clinging the bum. This enables you to dance upwards like an airplane takes off. By pretending that there is a book on your head it prevents leaving the body behind. The partner then resists by pushing towards the other partner. With body contact, we concentrate on speed and not power. The speed and resistance switch on the quick’s and change of direction.

Timing and phrase to the music

The accent is on the 2nd slow. The 2nd slow will be a bigger step by pushing a bit harder. Foxtrot timing is Slow, Slow, Quick, Quick, danced at a slow, medium and fast tempo. There are two beats in a slow. The step takes place on the first beat. Push to ensure stepping on the beat. Dancing is a feeling and the dance character can be expressed by phrasing to the music. The Foxtrot is an elegant and graceful dance that gives pleasure and fun by showing off. The character can be compared to a luxury pleasure boat. Choreograph is when the music is your drive to let your dance peak as the music peaks.

Lead and follow

In body contact, the main leading will be with the hips and the lady should not anticipate stepping to the sides as the forward motion with enabling the man to take her anywhere. Clear leading with three fingers with the right hand is the continuous guide to the lady. Easy following by stepping after the partner has stepped and by pointing the feet when moving backward will avoid stepping on toes.

The partner moving around the other should take bigger steps and the other smaller steps. This is essential in the Zig-Zag. The partners should do any move together even if it is a mistake. This can be done only if the lady does not anticipate the man’s step as she will not know what he will do next.

Floor craft on crowded, small and open dance floors

Floor craft is achieved by using alignment and direction on the dance floor. On small or crowded floors it can be made easy through the amalgamation of patterns. Steps are made smaller and delayed to stay on the beat. The Foxtrot is danced anticlockwise on the outskirts of the dance floor.

Head and arm styling

Elegant head styling is used by looking in the moving direction. The lady looks neatly over the partners’ head. Always look up and left. The lady use head styling more extensively than the man. The arms should be held up lightly by oneself and the hands should touch softly. The softer the hands are the more control you will have over your body and the more lead and follow can be felt.


Interested in other dance styles:

Ballroom dance styles

Foxtrot dance moves

How to salsa dance

Learn Argentine Tango dance

 Club dance moves