What’s the Hardest Ballroom Dance? A Quick Overview

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When you are starting in ballroom dance or even if you have been dancing for years, you may ask, “What’s the hardest ballroom dance?”

Some dances are more difficult than others because some have more complicated sequences or a higher number of steps.

Dances have different tempos, and a faster speed can increase the challenge.

That said, the slow foxtrot is considered to be the hardest ballroom dance to master.

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What Makes the Foxtrot Hard?

The Slow Foxtrot is a difficult and sophisticated dance requiring a considerable amount of technical skill and dancing expertise.

This is why a dance instructor would never teach this dance in a Beginner’s Class but will later on at the Silver level.

This dance does not have a single, identical, repeatable fundamental movement you can count on to get you from place to place.

Another challenge of the slow foxtrot is in the timing.

The “slow, quick, quick, slow” rhythm is done in time to a four-beat bar of music.

It is based on an enhanced motion to create a smooth, gliding movement across the floor. (watch a demo video here)

If this isn’t enough, two people need to do this in unison, making it so challenging to master.

The timing of the shifts in body weight must be accurate to give the dance its flow.

A critical aspect of the dance is shifting the body weight from the standing leg to the moving leg with the right timing.

It takes a lot of practice to become good at it.

In addition, the foxtrot requires strength in the ankles and feet.

That means it will take work beyond learning the steps to master this dance.

In his book Dance Class, Anton Du Beke states, “It’s the quality of movement across the bar of music combined with the accuracy of timing.”

In a nutshell, that is why the slow foxtrot is the answer to the question:

“What’s the hardest ballroom dance?”

How the Foxtrot Has Evolved

The foxtrot appeared in 1914, and it is named for Harry Fox. Fox was an actor, comedian, and dancer.

He had trouble finding dancers who could do the two-step, so he introduced “trots,” which had a faster tempo.

The quicker version of the foxtrot developed into the quickstep, and the slow foxtrot was left as the foxtrot that we know today.

The American foxtrot style resembles the styles of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

It was one of the first dances to have a slow beat in place of a single-count rhythm.

In other words, the slow step is held for two beats of music, while the quick beat is held for one.

For all of the reasons above and more, the foxtrot answers the question, “What’s the hardest ballroom dance?”

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