Fox Trot

By Arthur Murray


The Fox Trot provide a good foundation for all dances and is often called the “get-acquainted” or “first impression” dance.



In 1913, Harry Fox a vaudeville comedian, introduced a trot to a ragtime song in the 1913 Ziegfeld Follies that pushed other trots into the background. It became America’s most popular dance and remains so to this day as the standard of social dances.



Fox Trot music is written in 2/4 or 4/4 time. The first and third beats are accented in 4/4 time. The range of Fox Trot tempos makes it possible to consider Fox Trot as though it were three dances: Slow Fox Trot; Medium Fox Trot; and Fast Fox Trot, also called Society Tempo. Fox Trot has major teaching rhythms: Magic Rhythm – Slow, Slow, Quick, Quick (SSQQ) and Box Rhythm – Slow, Quick, Quick (SQQ).



The basics components of Fox Trot are walking steps and side steps. Crowded dance floors or night club condition require that all three tempos be expressed with short steps. In larger ballrooms the slow Fox Trot is characterized by longer smooth, gliding steps, demanding ease of movement and control in order to give this dance an unhurried appearance.


Teaching Elements:

  • Dance Position           To develop attractive appearance in ballroom dancing.
  • Footwork                     Work on ankle flexibility, smooth walks and chasses.
  • Follow Through          Develop control of timing.
  • Maneuverability        Learn to move comfortably in all directions.
  • Amalgamations          Combine steps easily and smoothly to all tempos, transitions from Swing                                                 to Fox Trot and back.
  • Continuity                    Be able to move continuously and smoothly.
  • Compare/Contrast     Waltz, Tango, Rumba, Swing.


Fox Trot songs and artists include:

New York New York – Frank Sinatra

My Baby Only Cares For Me – The Brian Setzer Orchestra

It Had To Be You – Harry Connick Jr.