- Claude Conyers
American ballroom dance that evolved from the fast Foxtrot of the ragtime era. Soon after the introduction of the foxtrot in 1914, two variations developed: a slow version done at about 40 measures per minute and a fast version done at over 50 measures per minute. In England, the fast foxtrot was called the Quickstep; in America it was called the Peabody, named after a New York policeman, Lieutenant William Frank Peabody (1873–1939). Charged with questionable activities, Peabody had twice been dismissed from the police force but had been exonerated and reinstated; he was eventually promoted to captain and put in charge of a Brooklyn precinct. He was a large, good-natured bachelor who, despite his considerable weight, was light on his feet and who loved to dance. A popular member of New York ragtime dancing circles, he especially enjoyed dancing the fast foxtrot, which was gaining popularity in ...