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American Style Foxtrot
Progressive Quarter Turns
6. Progressive Quarter Turns
Fact Sheet
Official Name:Progressive Quarter Turns
Dance / Level:Intermediate Bronze American Style Foxtrot
Aliases:Quarter Turns to Right and Left, Zig Zag Basic, Junior Walk

Progressive Quarter Turns (also known simply as Quarter Turns or Zig-Zag Basic) is a pattern of alternating Forward and Backward Basics, danced to the timing SSQQ, SSQQ. The Forward Basic turns 1/4 to the right, and the Back Basic turns 1/4 to the left. It begins with man facing diagonally toward the wall, and the dancers progress down line of dance in a zig-zag pattern.

This begins the series of diagonally-moving figures, which is the focus of the intermediate bronze level in Foxtrot. It includes Progressive Quarter Turns (in-line and O.P.), Progressive Quarter Turns to R., Right Box Turn, and Forward and Backward Changes O.P. Once learned, the Progressive Quarter Turns often replace the Forward Basic as the basic repeated pattern of choice, and is considered by some to be the true "Foxtrot Basic".

Because the Progressive Quarter Turns begin and end on the same alignment, they can be repeated as desired to progress down line of dance. They can also turn the corner by underturning the Forward Basic and overturning the Basic, as in the following example:

Progressive Quarter Turn, Taken at Corner

Figure Starting Alignment (man) Ending Alignment Amount of Turn
Forward Basic Facing Diagonal Wall Backing Center 1/8 to R. over 2-4
Back Basic Backing Center Facing Diagonal Wall of new LOD 3/8 to R. over 6-8

In the above example, the Forward Basic is underturned by 1/8, whereas the Back Basic is overturned by 1/8, so that the entire figure ends rotated 1/4 turn counterclockwise from where it began, thus turning the corner. Another method for turning the corner is to take the Forward Basic with no turn, followed by a Back Basic with 1/4 to L.

6b. Progressive Quarter Turns O.P.

Progressive Quarter Turns O.P., or outside partner, are functionally identical to the more basic Progressive Quarter Turns. All steps, footwork, directions and alignments are identical; This is simply an alternative method for dancing the same pattern, and teaches the student both the option and the method for achieving outside partner position. The position itself comes into play on the second walk of each SSQQ basic: Man stepping forward outside partner on 2, and lady stepping forward outside partner on 6.

The formula for achieving outside partner requires two main ingredients: (1) The placing of one foot along the track of the other in CBMP, or Contra Body Movement Position, and (2) the body oriented to a slightly different angle than that of the feet, in order to maintain the proper dance position. This can be done by turning the feet under the body, as is the case in the Forward and Backward Changes O.P., or in the case of Progressive Quarter Turns O.P., by turning the body over the feet.

The inline and outside partner variations can, of course, be freely mixed together in any combination. For example, it's very common to dance the Forward Basic with the outside partner variant while returning the inline position for the Back Basic, or vice-versa.


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