Reportedly of English origin but evolving from African/American dancers of the early 20th century. The Quickstep is a dance in 4/4 or 2/4 time, evolving in the 1920’s jazz era.
I say evolving as all dance styles come from somewhere and the Quickstep is know exception. So to find out more let’s go back to the early 20th century where many dancers were named after animals, The Squirrel, The Duck Waggle, The Turkey Trot, The Snake, The Grizzly bear, The Lame Duck, The Kangaroo Hop, to name just a few.
Also at this time was the Fox Trot a little prancing dance, probably dance forward and involving 4 slow steps and 8 quick steps around the room, a lunge close lunge type of step producing a full turn, but not much else and looking nothing like the slow fox we know today.
By 1916 though this dance had become slower and more elegant with long steps and fluidity taking on a look of the Slow Foxtrot we know today.
Then came JAZZ so in the 1920’s the Foxtrot was speeded up again but not to replace the Slow Foxtrot but to run along side as the QuickTime Foxtrot. It slowly started to take on elements of some of those earlier animal dances and also the Charleston, Shag, Peabody, and the One Step. Soon becoming known as the Quickstep.
The Quickstep like the early Foxtrot still has a syncopated rhythm but has evolved ( there’s that word again) in to a very dynamic dance, in many ways due to the extensive use of steps with split beats and eight note durations. These days it contains a lot of hops, runs, and rotation that makes for a fast lively dance. You will find that the modern day quickstep does not resemble the early 20th century march like foxtrot dance or the 1920’s Quick Time Foxtrot at all it has evolved into the international Quickstep a dance of 4 beat measure of 40-50 bars per minute that has light skipping airy movement that skims the floor.
If you go along to a vintage dance though you may see a very different quickstep resembling the dance that was done in the 1920’s.
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