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Waltz and Foxtrot Timing
Posted by 40niknar
7/8/2008  9:26:00 PM
I am confused between the beats and the timing between the Foxtrot and the Waltz....

There are 6 beats to the basic Foxtrot, but yet there are 8 beats to the measure. Is the Foxtrot 4-4 timing?

I don't understand how you can dance 6 beats of the Foxtrot to an 8 beat measure.

We dance Waltz 6 beats to a measure as there are only 6 beats in a measure of Waltz (not 8 as in Foxtrot). What is the timing of Waltz? 3-4? 4-4?

Can someone help explain how the Waltz and the Foxtrot both have 6 beats to a measure?
Re: Waltz and Foxtrot Timing
Posted by CliveHarrison
7/16/2008  10:57:00 AM
The Waltz is danced to music with 3 beats to 1 measure (3/4) and most figures are danced 1 step to 1 beat. Counting is 123 123 123 etc., but some figures use divided beats, the simplest being the whisk and chasse, where the count would be 123 12&3. Several figures are danced over 2 measures, such as Natural Turns & Reverse Turns. Each has 6 steps, but each of 1 beat, and the musical count would still be 123 123, not 123456.

Foxtrot is danced to music with 4 beats to 1 measure (4/4), but steps are counted as slows or quicks. A quick is 1 beat, but a slow is 2. The basic figures of foxtrot are of different lengths: Feather Step & Three Step, both 1 measure of 4 beats, counted SQQ; Reverse Turn 2 measures, counted SQQSQQ and Reverse Turn 2 1/2 measures, counted SQQSSS (all as Guy Howard).

I'm not sure that I can see how either dance can be considered to have 6 beats to 1 measure. Neither do. The only dance that can follow that pattern is Viennese Waltz, using music in 6/8 metre (although 3/4 at a faster tempo is more common). The 6/8 time signature is in compound time, with a quaver (eighth note) pulse, so that the six beats fall into two accented groups: 123 456 (which is why the VW fits), and not just like 3/4, with its crotchet (quarter note) pulse. If 3/4 was counted in quavers, you would get 1& 2& 3&, rather than 6/8's 123 456.
Re: Waltz and Foxtrot Timing
Posted by anymouse
7/9/2008  7:02:00 AM
"There are 6 beats to the basic Foxtrot, but yet there are 8 beats to the measure. Is the Foxtrot 4-4 timing?"

There are four beats to the measure in foxtrot.

If you have a 6-beat basic sequence (probably SSQQ) that will take you a measure and a half worth of music to dance.

Re: Waltz and Foxtrot Timing
Posted by 40niknar
7/9/2008  8:00:00 AM
Not being a musician, I guess what has confused me was instructors counting just before they want you to start your move by saying 56,5678. Therefore, I had always thought there were 8 beats to a measure. Now that the light has come on, I can more clearly see how there are 1-1/2 measures in SSQQ. Why do instructors count to us as 56,5678 (or sometimes just 5678)?
Re: Waltz and Foxtrot Timing
Posted by anymouse
7/9/2008  8:16:00 AM
"Why do instructors count to us as 56,5678 (or sometimes just 5678)?"

It's sometimes useful to think of pairs of measures, in which case the first measure would be 1234 and the second one would be 5678.

If you start a dance sequence on a "first measure", then the measure preceding the start of dancing would be a "second measure".

Re: Waltz and Foxtrot Timing
Posted by 40niknar
7/9/2008  9:14:00 AM
OKKKK, now that makes a lot of sense. Thank you for a much clearer understanding!
Re: Waltz and Foxtrot Timing
Posted by GENEWILMAN.COM
7/9/2008  2:37:00 PM
MOST PEOPLE THAT HAVE ASKED THAT QUESTION ARE PEOPLE THAT HAVE HAD SOME SORT OF MUSIC EXPERIENCE, PEOPLE THAT HAVE TO COUNTS UNITS AND MEASURES....WHEN ASKED ABOUT THAT IN MY CLASSES, I USUALLY ANSWER THE SAME AS EVERYONE ELSE HAS...BUT I ALSO ADD THAT A WHOLE NOTE IS EQUAL TO ONE STEP OR A SLOW AND 2 QUICKER NOTES SUCH AS A HALF NOTE IS EQUAL TO A HALF STEP OR A QUICK QUICK IN DANCE TIME, USUALLY A FEET TOGETHER IN A BRONZE STYLED FOXTROT BOX STEP.....OR JUST LEARN TO DANCE WITH USING OUR METHOD OF LEARNING AND FORGET THE MEASUREMENTS OF MUSIC..UNLESS THEY ARE TRAINING TO BE A CHOREOGRAPHER AND NOT A BALLROOM SOCIAL DANCER. THEY ARE POSSIBLE NOT GOING TO A SOCIAL DANCE AND FIGURE OUT HOW MANY SLOWS OR QUICK SHOULD BE THERE IN THAT 56 BARS OF 4/4 TIMED MUSIC OR 65 MEASURE OF 3/4 TIMED SONGS.
Re: Waltz and Foxtrot Timing
Posted by Polished
7/9/2008  4:21:00 PM
Not all that clear. A slow has two beats to one step. A quick has one beat for one step. A syncopation has two steps to one beat of music. This is for 4/4 Tempo
The Waltz which is 3/4 is not counted in slows and quicks. The Tango is, but is better if counted in beats to make sure that after a Progressive Link we do not step off into a Closed Promenade on the count of 1 2. It should be 3 4.
Re: Waltz and Foxtrot Timing
Posted by jofjonesboro
7/9/2008  4:34:00 PM
Genewilman, using all caps makes it difficult to read your posts.

Learn to use your shift key.

jj
Re: Waltz and Foxtrot Timing
Posted by dheun
7/12/2008  2:44:00 PM
The counting/timing can be hard for beginners to grasp. What I especially see is the beginners I work with have a hard time getting quickly back into the S after the SSQQ.
In other words, they hesitate a split second to get their bearings, so to speak, and then it turns into a more choppy sequence. So I really try to stress the gliding, the heal-toe, heal-toe, toe-toe .. then quickly into heal-toe, etc. really without breaking stride. The QQ are best at a slight angle as well, allowing that momentum to keep moving forward along LOD.
Does anyone have a tip/advice related to this, maybe even in terms of counting to the tempo, to make it easier to grasp?
Genewilman may have been touching on this, but I agree that post was hard to stick with because of the all caps.

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