Roaring 20s Revival: Learn to Foxtrot

As the kids start school and summer ends, brush up on your dance skills and spend quality time with your significant other by helping Fred Astaire Dance Studios revive a dance that took center stage in the 1920s. Donning a flapper-style dress is up to you.


The foxtrot was introduced to the ballroom dance scene in 1914 when American comedian and vaudeville star, Harry Fox, showcased a trotting step during his 1913 Ziegfeld Follies, according to Encyclopedia Britannica. The foxtrot, which was influenced by ragtime music, features a syncopated rhythm and developed less strenuous walking steps in ballroom dancing. The dance is easy to execute, which helped fuel its popularity. The speed of the steps vary with the tempo of the music, and dancers cover a wide swath of the dance floor. The foxtrot prompted the development of other popular dances, including the swing and jitterbug. 


The foxtrot quickly became a popular social dance that gained momentum during the Roaring 20s, a unique time of prosperity in the United States. The Roaring 20s were a time of political and social change in America. After World War I, as the popularity of jazz music skyrocketed, many Americans left farming behind and moved to cities where they had both time and disposable income at the end of their workday, according to Young women, dubbed flappers, sported short haircuts and short dresses and hit the dance clubs after a long day at work to have fun and leave their worries behind.


Fred Astaire Dance Studios believes life is better when you dance. The dance studio chain offers lessons to people of all ages and stages who want to have fun and enjoy the transformative power of dance. Ballroom dancing combines the physical activity, mental stimulation, and social interaction many people are craving as we focus on current events and social distancing. In addition to the foxtrot, Fred Astaire Dance Studios offers instruction for all partner dances, including the salsa, mambo, waltz, tango, and jive. If you’re not ready to take a lesson at one of Fred Astaire Dance Studios locations, the acclaimed company offers an interactive Online Lesson Platform allowing students to stream lessons from their home or book live, online lessons with certified dance instructors.


Check out these performers showcasing their foxtrot skills on the dance floor.


In this clip, disgraced figure skater, Tonya Harding, and Sasha Farber dance the foxtrot to “When You Believe,” by Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston on “Dancing With the Stars,” a television dance competition program.


Two dancers perform the foxtrot on “So You Think You Can Dance,” a reality dance series, to “White Tie and Tails,” sung by Ella Fitzgerald in the classic movie, “Top Hat.”


In this fun performance, Susanna Reid and her partner showcase the foxtrot to “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” on the British television series, “Strictly Come Dancing.”


Contact your local Fred Astaire Dance Studios to book a lesson to learn a popular dance from the 1920s or log on to their Online Lesson Platform to download a lesson today.