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.
Reprinted with permission of Ron & Rebecca Kellen & Bogie of the Mile High Ballroom of Prescott, AZ
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