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Foxtrot is a dance performed on Dancing with the Stars.
Formerly known as the Slow Foxtrot, it is an elegant and sophisticated ballroom dance that was originated in the 1920's, taking elements from the traditional Waltz.
Foxtrot was introduced to Dancing with the Stars in season 1 and has been a regularly performed style since.
The dance was premiered in 1914, quickly catching the eye of the husband and wife duo Vernon and Irene Castle, who lent the dance its signature grace and style. The exact origin of the name of the dance is unclear, although one theory is that it took its name from its popularizer, the vaudeville actor Harry Fox. Two sources credit African-American dancers as the source of the Foxtrot: Vernon Castle himself, and dance teacher Betty Lee. Castle saw the dance, which "had been danced by negroes, to his personal knowledge, for fifteen years, [at] a certain exclusive colored club".
W. C. Handy ("Father of the Blues") notes in his autobiography that his "The Memphis Blues" was the inspiration for the Foxtrot. During breaks from the fast paced Castle Walk and One-step, Vernon and Irene Castle's music director, James Reese Europe, would slowly play the Memphis Blues. The Castles were intrigued by the rhythm and Jim asked why they didn't create a slow dance to go with it. The Castles introduced what they then called the "Bunny Hug" in a magazine article. Shortly after, they went abroad and, in mid-ocean, sent a wireless to the magazine to change the name of the dance from "Bunny Hug" to the "Foxtrot." It was subsequently standardized by Arthur Murray, in whose version it began to imitate the positions of Tango.
At its inception, the foxtrot was originally danced to ragtime. From the late teens through the 1940's, the Foxtrot was certainly the most popular fast dance and the vast majority of records issued during these years were foxtrots. The Waltz and Tango, while popular, never overtook the foxtrot. Even the popularity of the Lindy Hop in the 1940's did not affect the foxtrot's popularity, since it could be danced to the same records used to accompany the Lindy Hop.
When rock and roll first emerged in the early 1950's, record companies were uncertain as to what style of dance would be most applicable to the music. Notably, Decca Records initially labeled its rock and roll releases as "foxtrots", most notably "Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Haley and His Comets. Since that recording, by some estimates, went on to sell more than 25 million copies, "Rock Around the Clock" could be considered the biggest-selling "foxtrot" of all time. Today, the dance is customarily accompanied by the same big band music to which swing is also danced.
Over time, the foxtrot split into slow and quick versions, referred to as "foxtrot" and "quickstep" respectively. In the slow category, further distinctions exist between the International or English style of the foxtrot and the continuity American style, both built around a slow-quick-quick rhythm at the slowest tempo, and the social American style using a slow-slow-quick-quick rhythm at a somewhat faster pace. In the context of International Standard category of ballroom dances, for some time the foxtrot was called "Slow Foxtrot", or "Slowfox". These names are still in use, to distinguish from other types of foxtrots.