5 benefits of dancing the Foxtrot
Dance has many benefits for participants health and wellbeing and it is great way to stay active not matter what your age or ability. In fact dance is a great way to help us all age better. Find more information about dancing in later years here.
In this blog we will highlight 5 benefits of dancing the Foxtrot. The Foxtrot is a ballroom dance that is a smooth, progressive dance characterized by long, continuous flowing movements across the dance floor.
The foxtrot is thought to have begun with Harry Fox (1882-1969), an African American vaudeville entertainer, in the early 1900’s in the United States. Fox took what was a slow walk on two beats and made it into one trot – one step per beat, in which he would later develop into a partner dance. It is a smooth partner dance characterised by long flowing movements similar to those of the waltz and it proved to be a great accompaniment to the sound of ragtime.
The Foxtrot was made globally popular by husband and wife dancing couple, Vernon and Irene Castle, who featured it in the film Watch Your Step in 1914. The foxtrot became an immediate hit, yet with its popularity came criticism. The Foxtrot, like its predecessors was to be called a shameless dance, vulgar and a threat to social norms.
The foxtrot was always danced to fast music, and was the most popular fast dance between 1910 and 1940, and the waltz and tango could never overtake it.
Here we will now highlight the 5 benefits of dancing the Foxtrot which can contribute significantly to healthy ageing.
Strengthen your leg muscles – Foxtrot encourages long walking movements and when we walk backwards your start to strengthen the muscles in the back of your leg and your bottom. Walking backwards can even help to rehabilitee knee injuries.
Increases sense of body awareness – When dancing the Foxtrot your have to be aware where you are travelling so that you do not dance into someone else. You also have to be present and connected to the music. and to the present moment.
Improve your balance – Travelling backwards will always challenge your balance. The Foxtrot requires you to maintain good balance and control over every movement . For the Foxtrot to feel smooth and elegant practice is required.
Improve your ankle mobility – If you are stepping forward with a beautiful heal lead or rolling through your feet from your toe to your heal as you lower your foot to the floor you need good ankle mobility. Over time, ankle mobility naturally decays and in cases where previous history promoted very rigid joints, the risk of experiencing falls or other similar accidents can increase considerably.
Encourages you to have fun – The combination of quick and slow steps gives it more flexibility and variety than the one and two steps and makes it more fun to dance. The music to accompany the Foxtrot dance dance can often big band swing-style music, which always gives you a feel good factor.
Whilst Foxtrot is traditionally a partner dance watch our Keep Dancing dance class dance the routine solo.
We would love to know if you have found any other benefits of dancing the Foxtrot in addition to our 5 benefits of dancing the Foxtrot in the comments below.
Find out more information about Xpress-Yourself Dance CIC Keep Dancing classes across the West Midlands and online here.