One of the most famous of the ballroom dances, the quickstep was developed as a mixture of the Charleston and the Foxtrot from the early 20th Century and England and New York. Created in tandem with the faster music bands were playing, which required rapid footwork, the quickstep is also difficult, combining both speed and elegance, posture and stamina. Once learned, though, it is one of the most fun partnered dances.
The Man’s Step
The man’s step is based on directions around the ballroom. He starts at a diagonal angle to the wall, then has two quick steps to the left, stopping with a slight turn to the right, then the chasse, which is stepping with the right foot behind and to the left, then another two quick steps. The routine ends up being: quick-quick, slow, turn, right foot step behind, quick-quick slow.
The Lady’s Step
The lady’s step begins in the opposite way to the man’s, with her back diagonal to the wall. She starts on her right foot and walks back. Then she stands up on her toes, and does her own chasse to her right, the quick-quick slow. At the end of the chasse she’s coming down toe-heel, softly, with her own turn to the right. Then she goes forward with her left foot leading, and with the right foot eases into another chasse. Her routine looks like: a backwards walk, then a chasse, a forward walk, then a chasse.
Both partners need to slightly change the degree of their turn on the side together to facilitate moving around the corner. The man’s step will always be moving toward the left, and the lady’s step will always be moving to the right.
Achieving these basics is actually more challenging than it sounds. Getting both partners perfectly in sync is essential, otherwise you’ll trip over each other. When it is in sync, you’ll look almost like you’re one body moving in perfect rhythm, knowing exactly where all your body parts, especially your feet, are at all times. The result is a gorgeous, elegant glide around the floor, with effortless turns that seem completely natural. Advanced quicksteppers seem superhuman, however, with practice, you can glide across the ballroom floor with swan-like grace. It takes a little big of patience and concentration, but mostly a receptive partner.
Call Arthur Murray and you’ll see just how this is done! Dance on it to our location at: 1711 N College Ave, Bloomington, IN 47404. Or call us at: (812) 334-0553.