How to Dance a Lock Step in Quickstep

Written by jennifer walker
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Quickstep is a bright, lively dance, characterised by kicks, hops, turns and runs across the floor. It was developed during World War I in New York, and the music it is danced to today still hearkens back to that time. Quickstep is a dance that is very simple at the lowest level, although it is quite fast. It is generally one of the first dances you learn if you are studying International style ballroom dancing. The lock step in Quickstep is not the first step you should learn, nor is it a step you would start out the dance with. It is performed throughout the dance as a linking step between steps. The biggest mistake most leaders make when dancing this step is not executing the lock properly, giving the lady no indication that he is doing one. Follow the steps carefully, and you will find it easy to lead the lady through the lock.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Optional: ballroom dance shoes with suede soles.

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Stand on your left foot with your right foot free in closed dance position, left side forward, ready to step outside partner.

  2. 2

    Count one, two (say “slow”--two beats): take a step forward onto your right foot, heel first, knee bent, stepping just to your left of the lady’s feet (outside partner).

  3. 3

    Count three (say “quick”--one beat): step forward and slightly wide on the ball of your left foot.

  4. 4

    Count four (say “quick”): moving slightly sideways to the left, bring your right foot forward to lock loosely behind your left and change weight to the ball of your right foot. Both legs should be fairly straight with the knees slightly flexed.

  5. 5

    Count five, six (say “slow”): step forward and slightly wide on your left foot to unlock, stepping on the ball of the foot and then sinking softly onto the heel with a bent knee.

  1. 1

    Stand on your left foot with your right foot free in closed dance position, right side back, ready for the man to step outside partner.

  2. 2

    Counts one, two (say “slow”--two beats): take a step back onto your left foot, knee bent.

  3. 3

    Count three (say “quick”--one beat): step back and slightly wide on your right foot.

  4. 4

    Count four (say “quick”): moving slightly sideways to the right, bring your left foot back to lock loosely in front of your right and change weight to the ball of your right foot. Both legs should be fairly straight, with the knees slightly flexed.

  5. 5

    Count five, six (say “slow”): step back and slightly wide on your right foot to unlock, stepping on the ball of the foot and then sinking softly onto the heel with a bent knee.

Tips and warnings

  • The count for the lock step in Quickstep is slow, quick, quick, slow. A slow is two beats and a quick is one beat.
  • Closed dance position: lady’s right hand in the man’s left, held at about eye-level. Man’s right hand on lady’s left shoulder blade (under her left arm). Lady’s left hand flat on the man’s back, just behind his shoulder. The lady is offset to the man’s right side, even more so in outside partner position.
  • Consult your physician before starting any new physical activity.

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