Harry Fox, a vaudeville dancer and comedian lent his name to the Foxtrot dance step. Fox was believed to be the first to use the “slow step” which led to the birth of the Foxtrot. This first freestyle use of the “slow step” came into vogue around 1912, during the period of ragtime music.
By 1915, another change took place— new and melodic pop songs were being written; tunes like, Oh, You Beautiful Doll and Ida were the smash hits of the day. The public was quick to appreciate the change to a smoother, more rhythmic style of music and their dancing began to incorporate the better attributes of the older dances. From 1917 up to the present time, the emphasis has been placed on smoother dances and individualized expression.
By 1960, the international style of dancing was making its way into the U.S. ballrooms and many of its techniques were implemented into the American Style Foxtrot.
With its smooth and sophisticated feeling, most figures are designed for the larger ballroom floor. However, these same figures are also suited to an average dance floor when danced more compactly.