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February 26, 2016

HOW TO STEAL THE NIGHT WITH THE FOXTROT

SAY NO TO A DULL NIGHT, AND HELLO TO THE FOXTROT.

You walk into the venue and scan the room: flowers on the tables, guests enjoying their appetizers, bartender flipping bottles, and the band playing a smooth cover of Frank Sinatra- check, check, check, and CHECK.

You’ve been here before… the wedding, the anniversary, the company holiday party, even your own birthday. Whatever the reason for gathering, you need to make an important decision about the rest of your night.

Are you going to stand by the bar? Sit at the table? Mingle with the same friends? Do what’s familiar? Comfortable? Rinse, repeat.

YAWN… are you bored or boring?

Why not mix things up and take a step towards making this party a little more memorable?

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How about putting the drink down, excusing yourself politely, and joining that jolly group of potential new friends on the dance floor?

Social events may vary in terms of the guests, decorations, and venue, but one thing that most of them have in common is music. Sometimes it’s a DJ playing the latest hits, and other times it’s a live band serenading the room with classic jams.

When the band plays a timeless Frank Sinatra or Dick Haymes record, the crowd dons a familiar smile and enjoys a good throwback. Little did you know, this type of music usually accentuates the first and third beats, making it the perfect fit for an easy-to-learn dance called the Foxtrot.

Always evoking smooth and sleek motions, the Foxtrot has been called the Rolls Royce of ballroom dance. It was first introduced in 1914 by entertainer Harry Fox, when his trotting steps to ragtime music earned his dance a rep as the “Fox’s Trot”. The dance provides so much variety and flexibility in movement because it consists of two slow steps followed by two quick steps, giving you a combination of rise and fall motions.

Mastering this dance will help you to embody it’s smooth quality and graceful movement, giving you that extra confidence walking across the room. Nervous about your interview on Monday? If you can tackle the Foxtrot this weekend, you can walk into any interview with the confidence to knock it out of the park. Just don’t start dancing on the conference table.

It’s a simple dance, is easy to learn, and once you have it down it’ll make you a hit at any family or company party.

WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW FOR A STEP-BY-STEP

If you’d still like to know more, here are the three key steps in the Foxtrot:

BASIC STEP

Gentlemen start with your left leg. Walk 2 steps forward, then step to the left (side together). Ladies start with your right leg. Walk 2 steps backward, then step to the right (side together). Maintain a “slow, slow, quick, quick” rhythm.

FOXTROT PROMENADE

Gentlemen face your left and ladies face your right. Take 2 steps forward, then turn to face your partner. Feet go to the side, then together, still maintaining a “slow, slow, quick, quick” rhythm.

CORNER STEP

This steps helps you and your partner change direction to avoid obstacles on the dancefloor (like other couples). Gentlemen step forward on your left foot and ladies step back on your right. Rock and replace the weight on your foot, then step back. Gentlemen leading on your left foot, and ladies on your right, turn a quarter of a turn. Then bring your feet together.

Learn these three basic moves and you’re all set. Next time you’re at a party and your favorite throwback comes on, don’t just sway to it in your seat! Grab a partner and try out the Foxtrot. The trick to ballroom dance is it has to be danced with two people, which ultimately helps develop your social skills.

It’s O-K if you miss a step! The point is to allow your body to move to the music and share the moment with your loved ones.

The view from the dance floor is oh-SO much better than the one from your seat at table 4. Take my word for it.

Take a second to share this with a friend. Who knows- you might change their night!

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