In 1914, a young dancer named Harry Fox introduced his version of the current jerky, trotting dances popular in that era, which soon became the hot new thing in New York. When his dance made it to England, the jumps and high jinks were ironed out, creating a smooth, elegant dance more reminiscent of the Waltz. The advent of Foxtrot was the most significant development of all modern ballroom dancing. The combination of quick and slow steps permitted more flexibly and gave more pleasure than the one-step versions it replaced and influencing other dance forms such as Lindy Hop and the Hustle. Variations include the Peabody, Quickstep and Roseland.
The Foxtrot is an all-purpose dance that can be performed to many different styles of music around 32-34 mpm. Forward steps are more rolling, with all parts of the foot making contact with the floor and a brushing through of the free foot. Backward steps involve a pushing off of the weight-bearing foot through the heel, releasing the toes before brushing through to the next step. Overall the dance should have an easygoing, lighthearted feel with controlled gliding steps.