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Let's Quickstep

by Irv and Betty Easterday

Everything changes! And so, as music changed to a little slower pace in the 1920’s – the Quickstep was born. Dancing to this light and bright rhythm was exciting then and has remained a favorite in today’s dance world. The Quickstep evolved from the very fast-paced One-Step and actually utilizes many of the characteristics of the Charleston, Peabody, Foxtrot, and even the Two-Step. There has been and still is an easily accessible wealth of Quickstep music. So -- Let’s Quickstep!

The dance – in tempo and music – expresses a bright and carefree mood. A beginner can realize very soon that the basic figures are easy to learn, and the more advanced dancer will find that an infinite variety of figures can be adapted to the Quickstep rhythm. The dancers should have a full appreciation of the precise value of the slow and quick steps. It is valuable to keep in mind to “work on the slows and play on the quicks.” It is important to avoid skipping on the quicks. The quicks are shorter steps and do not lend themselves to being “working” steps. Learning the fundamentals of the Quickstep promises to give each dancer an exciting expression of this delightful, joyful rhythm.

As you delve into the Quickstep you will realize that many of the figures are familiar. You have danced these figures in other rhythms. With Quickstep you may slightly change the timing, the rise and fall, rearrange the slows and the quicks – anything is possible! But – let’s first examine some of the basic principles of Quickstep and some of the basic figures.

TIMING: 4/4 rhythm. Four beats to a measure. The 1st and 3rd beats are accented.

TEMPO: Often played between 48 and 32 bars a minute. Round Dances may be slower.

BASIC RHYTHMS: Slow, Slow; Quick, Quick, Slow;

Each “Slow” has 2 beats of music. Each “Quick” has 1 beat of music.

FIGURES: Walk, Quarter Turns, Progressive Chasse, Natural turn, Natural Pivot Turn, Chasse Reverse Turn, Zig Zag, Cross Chasse, Lock Step, Double Reverse, Back Lock, Running Finish, Spin Turn, Fishtail, Tipple Chasse to the Right, Four Quick Run, Change of Direction, Cross Swivel, Quick Open Reverse, Flicker, Telemark, Impetus, and many more.


Yes, Let's Quickstep!



From clinic notes prepared for the Roundalab Convention, June 2007, by Irv and Betty Easterday & Brent and Judy Moore.



dingbat




If you would like to read other articles on dance position, technique, styling, and specific dance rhythms, you may visit the article TOC.



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