Unlike other dances, Quickstep is an International Style dance only (there is no American Style version). It is a fast, light, smooth and gliding dance that travels counter-clockwise around the floor (a fast version of the Foxtrot).
This is an advanced dance because of it's speed and the varied "Slow" and "Quick" rhythms. Quickstep is danced in 4/4 time at a standardized speed of 48 to 50 mpm (measures per minute). A fairly good size floor and strict tempo music (music that does not vary in tempo) is required because of the speed. It is said that a 60 second Quickstep is equivalent to running a mile.
Quickstep is danced with various combinations of "Quick" and "Slow" steps. (a "Quick" has a duration of one beat of music and a "Slow" has a duration of two beats). This complicates the timing of the foot patterns because you can have 1, 2, 3, or 4 Slows in succession or 2 or 4 Quicks or just about any combination depending on the pattern being danced. That is why it is so important to follow --RULE NUMBER ONE --"Know what you are doing" !!!
It is a definite advantage to be proficient in Foxtrot before learning Quickstep. Quickstep uses the standard Foxtrot frame and partnership.
Concentrate on getting comfortable with the Quickstep basic patterns (they happen automatically without thinking) before trying to add the more advanced patterns.
Clean footwork is a must (precise weight changes and clear heel and toe steps). Always use heel leads on "Slow" forward steps. There is rise and fall in the feet and ankles but it is absorbed in the knees (the head stays level and does not rise and fall).
Quickstep requires the use of banked corners to change direction because of the speed. This means that the partnership has to lean into the corners to compensate for the body momentum developed by the speed of the movement.
As Alex Moore states in his book on Ballroom Dancing, "The dancer who masters the fundamentals of Quickstep will have command of a dance that can never grow stale, a dance is that is unquestionable the most attractive expression of rhythm the world has ever known."