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Developed during World War I in suburban New York, it was initially performed by Caribbean and African dancers. It eventually made its debut on the stage of American music-halls and immediately became popular in ballrooms. Foxtrot and Quickstep have a common origin. In the twenties many bands played the slow-Foxtrot too fast. Eventually they developed into two different dances. The slow-Foxtrot tempo was slowed down and Quickstep became the fast version of the Foxtrot. 1925 began the Charleston fever, it had a lot of influence on the development of the Quickstep. The English developed the Quickstep from the original Charleston as a progressive dance without kicks and mixed in the fast Foxtrot. They called this dance "the QuickTime Foxtrot and Charleston". At the 'Star' Championships of 1927, the English couple Frank Ford and Molly Spain danced a version of the QuickTime Foxtrot and Charleston without the characteristic Charleston knee actions and made it a dance for two instead of a solo.

There was a debate as to why this dance became so popular in Britain. It has been thought that the Quickstep was Brit's answer to keeping warm indoors during the winter. It is a proven fact that the energy exerted while dancing a 60 second Quickstep is equivalent to running a mile in record time!!

This dance might be termed the "joy" dance of modern dancing. While the basic figures are quite simple, the tempo of the music and the whole character of the dance seem to invite a carefree interpretation of its bright rhythm. The beginner will find the basic steps easy to learn and easy to fit the music. The advanced dancer will discover that the music lends itself to an infinite variety of steps. The dancer who masters the fundamentals of the Quickstep will have command of a dance that can never grow stale, a dance that is unquestionably the most attractive expression of rhythm the world has ever known. The Quickstep is undoubtedly the most popular dance today.



The two features that make quickstep such an interesting rhythm also make it difficult at first. These are the fast tempo and the almost perverse, ever changing combinations of quicks and slows. There is a general rule that can help you decide which steps should be slow and which should be quick usually, forward and back steps are slow and closing or locking steps are quick. Usually, exceptions to this rule will be clarified in the cue. For instance, the telemark to semi-closed position consists of three forward steps for the man and so uses three slow steps. If the cue is "quick open telemark," the count would be quick, quick, slow. However, given the fast tempo, you don't really have time to think through the rule as each figure is cued. You have to memorize the timing of each figure, as well as the steps (telemark is ss; s -- quarter turns and progressive chasse is ss; qqs; sqq; ss; -- V-six is qqs; sqq;) But this rich variety is half the fun. Mr. Alex Moore, one of the foremost teachers of English ballroom dance, has referred to the Quickstep as, "a dance that can never grow stale, a dance that is unquestionably the most attractive expression of rhythm the world has ever known."

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