FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM SEPTEMBER 6, 2018 • DANCE • THE QUEENS COURIER 59
Trotting into history
BY TRESA ERICKSON
Th e year is 1910 and ragtime music
is in full swing. During this period, a
new phase of ballroom dancing develops.
Partners dance close together, ad-lib to
the music and have a good time. Dances,
like the Bunny Hug, Turkey Trot and
Castle Walk, are all the rage. Out of this
period comes a vaudeville actor named
Harry Fox and a dance called the Fox
Although stories vary regarding its origins,
most dance historians agree that the
Fox Trot originated in New York City in
1914. While appearing in several vaudeville
shows in New York City, Harry Fox
met Yansci Dolly, one-half of the famous
dancing team known as the Dolly Sisters.
With her twin sister, Rozika, Yansci performed
on Broadway and later in fi lms.
In April 1914, Yansci and Fox were married.
Later that summer, the New York
Th eatre was converted into a movie house.
Hoping to bring in more money, the theater’s
management team turned the rooftop
into a dance spectacular called Jardin
de Danse and added vaudeville acts downstairs
between movies. Th e team hired the
Dolly Sisters to perform on the rooft op
and Fox to perform downstairs.
It was during one of his performances
downstairs that Fox began doing trotting
steps to ragtime music. Th e audience
loved the new dance and began
referring to it as “Fox’s Trot.” Before
long, the American Society of Professors
of Dancing standardized the steps of
the Fox Trot and hired choreographer
Oscar Duryea to introduce it to the public.
Duryea thought the trotting step was
too complicated and replaced it with a
smooth glide. His new version, a rolling
smooth glide that moved in large steps
across the room, was a hit, and dancers all
over the world began doing the Fox Trot.
With its combination of quick and slow
steps, the Fox Trot gave dancers more
freedom and fl exibility in their movements.
Th ey could glide across the fl oor
or stay within one area if the dance fl oor
was crowded. American dancer G.K.
Anderson liked the Fox Trot so much that
he began performing it with his partner,
Josephine Bradley, in competitions across
America and London, further increasing
Variations of the dance, including the
Peabody, the Quickstep and the Roseland
Fox Trot, have cropped up throughout
the years. Dances, like the Lindy and the
Hustle, are also due in part to the Fox
Today the Fox Trot is as popular as ever.
Many couples learn it in their ballroom
dancing classes, while others become
masters of it and display their Fox Trot
talents in competitions across the country.