On Quickstep

Quickstep – not the passion of Tango, not the aristocracy of Viennese Waltz, not the sexyness of Bolero – but Quickstep’s characteristics are quick, joyful, energetic, light-hearted, smooth, glamorous, flowing, cheerful, graceful, exuberant, playful, weightless, spontaneous, and carefree

The History
Music of the 1920s played the slow-Foxtrot too fast – thus Quickstep became the faster version

Roots lie in the strides of Foxtrot and the quickness of Charleston, but without the kicks

Quickstep is also influenced by dances Shag, Peabody, & One-Step, plus ragtime music

Quickstep called “the QuickTime Foxtrot and Charleston” at a 1927 dance competition

Performed in Ziegfeld Follies (Running Wild) in 1923

The Dance
Quickstep – the fastest tempo of all the ballroom dances

Appears dancers’ feet are barely touching the ground

Quickstep is danced in 4/4 time

Dancers stay in hold (no breaks)

The movement of the dance is fast and powerfully flowing and sprinkled with syncopation

Quickstep moves across the floor with quick steps, quarter turns, chasses, hops, runs, pivots, tipples, fish tails, swivels

Quickstep and it’s music are both happy and lively

The Basics
Quickstep involves fast movement, but the basic pattern is easy to learn

The basic pattern progresses down the floor in a zigzag pattern

The basic rhythm is slow-quick-quick-slow or slow-slow-quick-quick

Repeating pattern: slow, slow, quick, quick, slow, slow, quick quick, slow, slow, quick, quick, slow, etc

Quick is one beat, slow is two beats

Heel leads on forward steps important

Both the leader and follower should maintain an upright posture throughout the dance

The basic, but with a spin-turn for corners

Quickstep is not for everyone because it’s not an easy dance. However, there’s no doubt that the audience loves watching Quickstep at its finest.


73 thoughts on “On Quickstep

  1. Great videos (can’t see the first one in my country 😦 )
    I love figure skating (as you love dance) and I was always pleased when the Quickstep was chosen for the dancers’ short program… So much fun to watch both on a dance floor and on the ice!


  2. I do love when you write about dancing Frank! The first video also not available here, but the others that I chose to watch were wonderful – especially the one featuring all the different dances, and Anton Du Bek who is one of my favourites! This is an interesting and informative post – thank you! xoxo


    • Pauline,
      Knowing you enjoy them, I was very selective when picking the videos showing the basic steps. Did you try? The first video is from Dancing with the Stars – and who knows why it’s blocked. Go to Youtube to search “Charlie White Sharna Quickstep” to see what you get.


  3. You and your wife actually dance that dance, Frank? Wow! I’m impressed. Milton and I can barely handle walking down the sidewalk. I could only play the first video. I got error messages on all the others. At first I thought the problem might have been my computer, but when I tried to access other YouTube videos, they played fine.


  4. The Quickstep is always impressive to watch! It’s often a crowd pleaser on DWTS. I enjoy a nice “slow” foxtrot, but I don’t think I would be very graceful with the faster version. I never thought about putting the Quickstep we see today with the Charleston! That was an interesting piece to put together. 🙂


  5. Oh I just commented on your satire post thinking it was the latest one, but no, you’ve already done the quickstep one! I enjoyed the Charleston vs quickstep video there – always love the Charleston. There’s something childlike about the quickstep, I don’t mean simple, it just reminds me of carefree children somehow when I watch it – does that make sense?


    • Vanessa,
      Carefree & childlike are very good adjectives for Quickstep. I also found it the Quickstep and Charleston comparison to be interesting as they came from the same era and similar music.Glad you enjoyed it … and hey …. I had video from your famous ballroom at Blackpool. 🙂


  6. What joyous movement! I so love dance, watching it just makes me happy. That ya’ll are learning and doing, I am both envious and clapping my hands in delight. I think one of these days you must put up a video of you dancing.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I haven’t watched DWTS the last couple seasons–just not enough time–but I do remember that dance Charlie and Sharna did. So great. I imagine the quickstep is like good writing: if it looks effortless, it probably wasn’t. It probably required a lot of work to perfect.


  8. My goodness! My feet were tap tap tapping as I watched your videos and read your descriptions. I love all things dance and this just tickled my get up and go. It looks so fun and lively, it’s no wonder you both like it as a hobby. Quickstep. Added to my list of things to learn.


    • Lenora,
      Cheers to you for liking this post … and wow … even a desire to learn Quickstep! Fun and lively it is!

      PS: Life a bit frantic at the moment, so I’ll be visiting more in time … after all, I’m a strong believer in reciprocating.

      Liked by 1 person

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