The Quickstep with Timing of 4 Beats per bar and a Tempo of 50-52 Bars per minute followed hot on the heels of the Foxtrot as people began to dance the 'Quick' Foxtrot.
The Quickstep is a descendent of the Boston and the One Step, which appeared on the scene with the arrival of Ragtime and Jazz music in America towards the end of the nineteenth century. These two were the first dances based on the forward step. They used a heel lead followed by two or more steps on the balls of the feet. As Ragtime evolved into Swing through the 1920's, new dances such as the Charleston, the Shimmy, and the Black Bottom became popular.
The Charleston was said to have originated in the Cape Verde Islands. It evolved into a vigorous round dance done by Negro dock workers in the port of Charleston. It was first performed on stage in New York in 1922 in a black revue by George White, and then in the stage show "Running Wild" in 1923 by the Ziegfeld Follies, which toured U.S.A. It was popularised in Europe by Josephine Baker in Paris in the 1920's. At that time it was danced with wild swinging arms and side kicks, to music at 200 to 240 beats per minute. It subsequently became very popular worldwide, but the wild character of the dance induced many sedate ballrooms either to ban it altogether, or to put up notices saying simply "PCQ", standing for "Please Charleston Quietly".
The Black Bottom and the Shimmy became very popular in the USA between 1910 to 1920, and became a national craze after being performed in the Zeigfeld Follies in 1922. These dances became absorbed into a faster version of Foxtrot after a visit by Paul Whiteman's band to the UK in 1923, becoming known as the Quickstep.
The Quickstep was developed to interpret music with a faster tempo. It is a fast moving dance based on walks and chasses danced to music of 200 beats per minute. It retains the walks, runs, chasses and turns, of the original Foxtrot, with other fast figures such as locks, hops, and skips having been added.
The Quickstep is fun, lively and energetic and popular with almost all dancers. It owes a lot of its more advanced hops and kicks to the original Charleston.
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