AskDefine | Define quickstep

Dictionary Definition



1 military march accompanying quick time
2 a ballroom dance with both quick and slow steps v : perform a quickstep [also: quickstepping, quickstepped]

User Contributed Dictionary



quick + step


  1. A fast foxtrot.


  1. To dance the quickstep.

Extensive Definition

This article is about the dance. For the cycling team, see Quick Step.
Quickstep is an International Style ballroom dance that follows a 2/4 or 4/4 time beat, similar to a fast Foxtrot. An example of a song suitable for the classic quickstep would be Louis Prima's "Sing, Sing, Sing". However, while the dance may appear very similar to a fast Foxtrot, its technique and patterns are distinct.


The Quickstep evolved in the 1920s from a combination of the Foxtrot, Charleston, Shag, Peabody, and One Step. This dance is English in origin and was standardized in 1927. The Quickstep now is quite separate from the Foxtrot. Unlike the modern Foxtrot, the man often closes his feet, and syncopated steps are regular occurrences as was the case in early Foxtrot. In some ways, the dance patterns are close to the Waltz, but are danced to 4/4 time rather than 3/4 time.
This dance gradually evolved into a very dynamic one with a lot of movement on the dance floor, with many advanced patterns including hops, runs, quick steps with a lot of momentum, and rotation. The tempo of Quickstep dance is rather brisk as it was developed to ragtime era jazz music which is very fast paced compared to other dance music.
By the end of the 20th century the speed of Quickstep as done by advanced dancers has increased even more, due to the extensive use of steps with eighth note durations. While in older times quickstep patterns were counted with "quick" (one beat) and "slow" (two beats) steps, many advanced patterns today are cued with split beats, such as "quick-and-quick-and-quick-quick-slow".
Note that there was a 19th century Quickstep, which was a march-like dance and has no relation to the modern ballroom step.


Quite in contrast to the Foxtrot or the Waltz, the Quickstep often has patterns or sequences that have a duration of multiples of measures as well as containing patterns with an extra half measure, creating a shift of the emphasis from beat ONE to beat THREE and vice versa.
The two International Style syllabi of ISTD and IDTA for Quickstep slightly differ. The American Style dance competition program does not include Quickstep, but the dance is still taught and danced socially in American dance venues.


The Quickstep is elegant like the Foxtrot, and should be smooth and glamorous. The dancers should appear to be very light on their feet. It is very energetic and form-intensive.

External links

quickstep in Bulgarian: Куикстеп
quickstep in Catalan: Quickstep
quickstep in Czech: Quickstep
quickstep in Danish: Quickstep
quickstep in German: Quickstep
quickstep in Spanish: Quickstep
quickstep in French: Quick step
quickstep in Galician: Quickstep
quickstep in Hebrew: קוויקסטפ
quickstep in Dutch: Quickstep (dans)
quickstep in Japanese: クイックステップ
quickstep in Polish: Quickstep
quickstep in Portuguese: Quickstep
quickstep in Slovak: Quickstep
quickstep in Finnish: Quickstep
quickstep in Swedish: Quickstep
quickstep in Chinese: 快步
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