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Dance Terms 2023
Acknowledge : Recognize your partner with an implied "thank you for gracing me with your company." One standard acknowledgement is an "apart, point." A bit more old
Across: Movement across the direction of dance. The step is taken in front of or behind the supporting foot (usually with "contra" body movement
Action: A movement that does not involve a step or a change of weight, such as a bow, kick, or hip twist.
Adagio: Any dance to slow music; also, part of the classical pas de deux in ballet.
Adjust: Modifying the size of the step, the amount of turn, or any other feature in order to achieve grace and comfort. One adjusts to the movements of one's partner and in preparation for the next figure.
Aerial: In the air. A position in which the foot is raised from the floor. Low = level with ankle; Medium = level with calf; High = level with knee.
Aerial Ronde: Flex supporting knee, extend free foot and point toe, and move free foot forward or back in an arc above the floor. Rondes may be done low, medium, high (see above), or you can raise the foot as far off the floor as conditions allow.
Ah: In the timing of dance steps and actions, an "a" represents only 1/4 beat. In a fast jive, a basic rock is danced "1, 2, 3/a, 4; 1/a, 2,
Air, Enl’: In ballet, a step done off the ground
Alignment: The direction of a step or figure in relation to the room (e.g., LOD). Consider alignment in contrast to foot position, which is the direction of a step in relation to the other foot (e.g., forward, side, back).
Allegro: Rapid tempo movements, often includes jumping steps.
Allegro (a Leg Grow): allegro in ballet involves fast and dynamic movements, usually jumping steps and sequences.
Allemande: A turn under raised joined hands. In Germany in the 1500s there was a popular dance called the Allemande that used these turns. Was this the source of our Alemana?
Allonge: In ballet, an elongated line; in particular, the horizontal line of an arabesque with one arm stretched front and the other back.
Amalgamation: A combination of two or more patterns or movements.
Amateur Dancer: A person for whom dancing is a hobby and who does not seek financial gain from the teaching or performing of dancing.
American Rhythm: A category of American
American Smooth: A category of American
American Style: A style of ballroom dancing developed in the United States that contrasts with International (or English) Style. It consists of two categories 1928) in Italy.
American Tango: One of the Smooth Rhythms — see the navigation bar at the upper left of each page.
And: In the timing of dance steps and actions, an "&" represents half a beat. A cha measure might be danced 1, 2, 3/&, 4; a step on an "&" count is very quick.
Animal Dances: Bunny Hop introduced 1953
Apart: Step away from partner and shift weight to that foot without progression. (cf. Away)
Arabesque: The gesture leg is extended behind the dancer’s body at 90° or higher, which requires hip and spine hyperextension, knee extension, and ankle
Arabesque (ah Rah Besk) : a position on one leg with the other leg raised behind the body and extended in a straight line.
Arch: A hand movement in which the man's and woman's designated hands are joined higher than the head in preparation for one or both partners to pass under the joined hands.
Argentine Tango: One of the Latin Rhythms — see the navigation bar at the upper left of each page.
Arm Styling: Positioning and movement of the arms, reflecting the character and style of the dance.
Around: To continue a circular pattern in the direction of movement to a specified ending position and facing direction.
Around The World: Lean outside your base of support and rotate the upper body in a broader arc than in a body roll.
Arrière, En: To the back.
Assemble: In ballet, a jump from one to both feet, usually landing in fifth position.
Assemblé: To assemble or place (the feet) together in the air (usually in fifth position) during a jump.
Assemblé (assam Blay) : Lifting off the floor on one leg, and landing on two. Legs assemble at the same time and return to fifth position.
Associate: (1) The first complete level of dance figures in the International Style and some American Style syllabi representing the foundation of movements and basic dance concepts. (2) A degree attained by a Professional Dancer as a result of passing a certifying teaching exam covering the Associate Syllabus.
Attitude: The hip of the gesture leg is at 90°, the knee is bent, and the foot is pointed.
Attitude Croisée Derriere: the leg is lifted to the back.
Attitude Croisée Devant: the leg is lifted to the front.
Attitude (ah Tea Tude) : A variation on the arabesque. The extended leg is raised behind the body but bent at the knee at an angle of 90 degrees.
Avant, En: To the front.
Away: An individual movement turning from the partner with some progression. (cf. Apart)
Axel: A tuck jump turning outward leaving and landing on the same foot.
Back (backward): Step in the direction opposite to that in which you are facing and shift weight to that foot. (In a facing position, the woman would step forward.)
Balance: A step that rocks from one foot to the other, usually in 3/4 time.
Balanchine: Founder, director, and principle choreographer of New York City Ballet. pied
Ball: The part of the foot just behind the toes. When dancing "up" one would step, "ball
Ball Change: Consisting of 2 steps; rocking on the ball of one foot and stepping on the other.
Ballerina: a female dancer in a ballet company.
Ballet: From the Italian balletto, diminutive of ballo, “dance.” Classical theatrical dancing based on the danse d’ecole, the rules and vocabulary that were codified around 1700 in France.
Ballet Master Or Ballet Mistress: a person in a ballet company whose job is to give the daily company class and to rehearse the ballets in the company repertoire.
Balletomane (bal Lay Toe Mane) : A ballet fan or enthusiast.
Ballon: In ballet, the ability of a dancer to remain suspended in air during a jump; elasticity in jumping.
Ballón: The quality of lightness, ease in jumping.
Ballroom: Sometimes called Standard, a category of International Style dances in ballroom competitions. It includes waltz, tango, foxtrot, quickstep, and Viennese waltz. This category loosely corresponds to the Smooth category of American Style, although in Ballroom, dancers are always in closed position.
Bandoneon: The Argentine accordian that accompanies many Argentine Tangos.
Banjo Position: One of many possible dance positions.
Bar Or Measure: A short section of music in the regularly recurring rhythm, usually marked by an initial stronger accent and then one, two, three, or more lesser accents. For instance, a waltz measure consists of one strong downbeat and two lesser beats
Barre: The introductory / warm up portion of the ballet class, conducted while holding onto a ballet bar.
Basic Figure: A standardized step pattern which together with other patterns constitute the basis of a dance.
Basic Movement: In ballroom dance, a characteristic figure that remains constant.
Battement: A beating movement of the legs.
Beat: A beat or count is one unit or accent in the recurring rhythm of a piece of music. In most dance music, you can count four instances of emphasis per measure. Waltz beats recur in groups of three.
Beats: To hit the legs together, moving in and out of fifth position in the air.
Behind: One foot or person crossing or standing in back of the other.
Bells /clicks: Clicking of the heels together while in the air.
Blend, Blending: Gently adjusting to a new dance position. For instance, the cue might be "back half box blending to sidecar." You would dance the half box in closed position and slightly adjust so that you end the figure in sidecar position.
Blow A Kiss: Press the finger
Body Ripple Or Body Wave: Lower your body by flexing your knees. This of course moves your knees forward. Next, move your knees back, and move your hips forward; bring your hips back, and move your torso forward. Finally, move the torso back, and move your head forward slightly. This is kind of a tough one, but it can look like a smooth ripple starting low at your feet and moving steadily up your body
Body Roll: Lean outside your base of support and rotate the upper body in a broad arc.
Bolero: One of the five competition dances in American Rhythm; also considered Latin in round dancing. The first step is typically taken on the first beat and held during the second beat, with two more steps falling on beats three and four. This dance is quite different from the other American Rhythm dances in that it requires not only Cuban motion but also rise and fall and contra
Bolero Banjo Position: One of many possible dance positions.
Bolero Position: One of many possible dance positions.
Bolero Sidecar Position: One of many possible dance positions.
Bounce: A quick rising and falling movement, usually on the beat or to a syncopated rhythm.
Bourrée: A step performed on pointe from fifth position.
Bow: The man stands with his feet together, toes slightly apart (1st position), hands at his sides, and inclines his body gently toward the lady.
Break: Two measure movement that follows a six measure movement.
Bridge: Also called a back bend.
Brise: In ballet, a jump off one foot that is “broken” by a beating of the legs in the air.
Brisé: A jumping beat which allows the dancer to travel in a specified direction.
Broken Sway: Lean or tilt the body from the waist upward.
Bronze Level: The first complete level of the Medalist System, representing the foundation of movements and basic dance concepts. Also used in Competitions, representing a level above Newcomer and below Silver danced by Amateurs.
Brush: Striking of the ball of the foot or the toe tap against the floor.
Buck / Chug: Forward movement emphasizing the heel drop with weight on the same foot.
Buffalo: Step consisting of a step, shuffle, and a leap.
Bump: Standing side by side, roll your hips toward your partner and gently touch hip to hip. If you want to carefully preserve your balance, you may come close but not actually touch.
Butterfly Position: One of many possible dance positions.
Buzz: Rotate on the ball of the supporting foot by pushing with the free foot. There is no weight change unless separately cued. May be done solo or as a couple.
Cabriole: “Caper like a goat”.
Cambre: In ballet, a bend from the waist to the side or to the back.
Cambré: A bend of the body from the waist to the front, back, or side, with an accompanying port de bras.
Canter: Particularly in waltz, taking two steps in a three
Cecchetti Method: A school and style of ballet, originated by Enrico Cecchetti (1850
Center: The direction to the left, as one faces line of dance; toward the center of the room.
Center Floor: The second portion of the ballet class, comprised of the adagio, turns, and small jumps (petit allegro).
Centre Practice: a group of exercises similar to those at the barre but performed in the center of the room. These exercises are done without the support of the barre and are normally performed with alternate feet.
Cha Cha: One of the five dances in both American Rhythm and Latin competitions. It is danced to the music of the same name introduced by Cuban composer and violinist Enrique Jorrin in 1953. This rhythm was developed from syncopation of the fourth beat
Châiné Turn: Châiné turns are sharp, repeated half turns taken on alternating steps and so progressing across the floor, all turns to the left or all to the right, and so describing something like the links of a chain. The basic movement in ballet is done en pointe and with alternating forward and closing steps. Of course, round dancers will not been pointe, but we certainly should make use of foot rise so our turns can occur comfortably on the balls of the feet. The chaine turn is something like a riff turn in bolero, sometimes like a quick, underturned spiral turn, and so is sharp and with less progression than a turn or roll that is spread more evenly over the three steps of a measure.Other combinations of forward and closing steps can also be used (e.g. close, close, forward).
Chaînés: “Linked like a chain”.
Challenge Line: In Promenade position (semi
Change Feet: The act of transferring weight from one foot to the other.
Change Of Weight: Transfer body weight from one foot to the other. A "touch" is an action with one foot that does not involve a change of weight. de
Change Point: Quickly close free foot and pont new free foot to side. Done as one movement in one beat of music.
Change Sides: Partners exchange places to a desiganted position. Sometimes the change is quite precise, putting each dancer exactly where the partner used to be. Sometimes progression is involved and dancers move from the inside of the circle to the outside and visa versa, but this change could occur along the line of dance or along a diagonal. Sometimes, the woman turns under joined hands during the change.
Change Sway: From any swayed position, stretch the opposite side of the body, tilt in the other direction, change head position (look the other way), and usually rotate the body.
Changement: “Changing the feet”.
Chase: One partner pursues the other.
Chasse: A sliding step in which one foot “chases” and displaces the other.
Chassé: “Chasing one foot with the other”.
Check: A step in which you stop and prepare to change direction. de
Checking: The process of stopping and getting ready to change direction; no additional step.
Chest Lift: With back on the floor, chest lifts off the floor.
Choreographer: a person who composes or invents ballets or dances.
Choreography: describes the steps, combinations and patterns of a ballet or dance.
Chug: With weight on both feet, bend the knees and then straighten sharply, causing the feet to slide back.
Cincinnati: A brush, hop on the opposite foot, shuffle and a step.
Circle: Move forward, turning, as on the circumference of a circle.
Ciseauz: A jump in which the legs open in second position in the air, resembling a scissors.
Clap: Bring the palms of your hands together to make a sharp sound. One might clap on certain beats of the music to mark time.
Classical Ballet: a traditional style of ballet which stresses the academic technique developed through the centuries of the existence of ballet.
Clockwise: Turning to the right
Close: Bring the free foot to the supporting foot, and step or take weight.
Closed Division: A category at a DanceSport event, which requires that competitors may only dance figures that are specific to a certain level and syllabus and may not dance variations and choreography outside of the syllabus.
Closed Figure: A dance figure where the feet close on the last step. Examples are Left and Right Box Turns in the American Style and Reverse And Natural Turns in the International Style.
Closed Head: Woman looks left over the man's right shoulder. The man leads her to "close her head" with a little right sway.
Closed Position: One of many possible dance positions.
Closed Turn: A turn in which the second or third step is a closing step. Contributes to body "fall;" typical of waltz.
Coccyx Balance: Balance on the coccyx, both knees bent with lower legs parallel to ceiling and feet pointed, torso may tilt slightly backward, arms are parallel with lower legs. circle in space at > 90° of hip flexion.
Combination: A group of consecutive patterns and choreography. Similar to Amalgamation but sometimes involving a slightly more advanced set of patterns.
Comma: In abbreviated descriptions of dance steps (as opposed to complete sentences), a comma indicates the end of one beat of music. For instance, "fwd, fwd, cl;" represents three dance steps on three beats of music, perhaps a waltz measure
Commence: To start or begin. Used when a turn or action is begun on one beat of music and completed during another beat.
Compass Turn: Like an arabesque turn, but the toes stay in contact with the floor.
Complete: To finish or end. Used when a turn or action is begun on one beat of music and finished during another beat.
Consists Of A Step, Shuffle, Leap, Tap. :
Contagion(ripple): The repetition of a movement from one person to the next.
Continue: To proceed or to keep going. Used when a turn or action is begun on one beat of music, continues through at least one additional beat, and ends during yet another beat.
Continuity Movement: The continuous passing of the feet from one step to the next. This action is used from Silver Level on in American Style Waltz, Foxtrot and Viennese Waltz and is also characteristic of the International Foxtrot and is used greatly in International Waltz and Quickstep.
Continuous: An adjective that usually means that steps have been added to the figure being defined and/or the figure is to be executed more quickly. A Continuous Hover Cross is a foxtrot figure that has two extra quicks in the middle of a normal Hover Cross, making the figure 2 1/2 measures, instead of two. In La Pura, the Gosses used Countinuous Double Cubans, which used the same two measures as a normal, cha, Double Cubans, but it had one additional step in the middle (the last & in the first measure)
Contra Banjo Position: One of many possible dance positions.
Contra Sidecar Position: One of many possible dance positions.
Contraction: Tightening the abdominals, tucking the pelvis, and forming a “C” with the torso so that the shoulders are over the pelvis.
Contrary Or Contra Body Movement: Turning the body toward the moving foot. Think also of shoulder or hip leading, but the whole body turns. When you step forward right, turn right with left shoulder leading. When you step back right, turn left with left shoulder back. CBM puts a twist in your body. It facilitates smooth turning movements. It also creates graceful body lines. Use CBM during a Natural Turn (compare CBMP below).
Contrary Or Contra Body Movement Position: The static position in which one foot is forward or back and the opposite side of the body is turned in that direction. It is the position achieved when the moving foot is placed on or across the line occupied by the supporting foot. It is the position your body is in at the end of Contra Body Movement. Use CBMP during a Contra Check—you are not turning as a couple but are using M's right
Core: Sometimes called "center." The group of muscles in the center of the body, encompassing the abdomen, lower and upper back, hips, buttocks, and inner thighs. In all dance movements, the core must be engaged. Beginning dancers often have a hard time finding the core in their bodies and engaging it.
Corte: In closed position, the man steps back and to the side, lowering into that knee and swaying to the right ("dip"). Leave the free leg extended.
Count: A count or beat is one unit or accent in the recurring rhythm of a piece of music. In most dance music, you can count four instances of emphasis per measure. Waltz beats recur in groups of three. Also, the beats per measure.
Counter Clockwise: Turning to the left
Counter Promenade Position (=reverse Semi: Closed Position) the hip is abducted and externally rotated, the knee is bent, the foot is pointed, and the toe touches the knee of the stance limb.
Counterpart: Refers to the woman's part. Depending upon the dance position and footwork specified, the woman uses the same or opposite foot as the man and moves in the same or opposite direction.
Coupé: “To cut”.
Couple: Two dancers who are partners in a round dance.
Cramp Roll: Step using toe and heel drops in a specific pattern.
Croisé (quo Say) : A dancer stands with legs crossed at an angle to the audience. The disengaged leg may be crossed in the front or in the back.
Croix, En: “Cross”.
Cross: Step in front or behind the supporting foot and beyond the supporting foot such that the thighs cross; take weight.
Cross In Back: Step in back of supporting foot and take weight.
Cross In Front: Step in front of supporting foot and take weight.
Cross Left In Back Of Right: Step with the left foot in back of the right foot and take weight.
Cross Left In Front Of Right: Step with the left foot in front of the right foot and take weight.
Cross Right In Back Of Left: Step with the right foot in back of the left foot and take weight.
Cross Right In Front Of Left: Step with the right foot in front of the left foot and take weight.
Cross Walk: Step forward and place foot in front of the other, crossing thighs and with a little swagger.
Cuban Action Or Motion: Move hips side and back as you step. You don't really move the hips. Instead, step, take weight, straighten that leg and flex the now free leg; this foot and knee action is what moves the hips in the direction of the stepping foot.
Cuddle: A dance position in which partners are facing, the man's hands are loosely on the sides of the woman's waist or on her lower back, and the woman's hands are on the man's shoulders, neck, or face.
Cue Sheet: The written description or instructions for a round dance routine.
Cuer: A person who prompts round dancers by naming the steps, figures, and other helpful information, such as facing direction, ending position, and amount of turn, as the dancers dance, and doing so in a timely manner so that the dancer can hear the cue, process the information, and then execute the moves in time to the music. Analagous to the caller of a square dance.
Cues: Abbreviated instructions, written by a choreographer in a cue sheet or spoken by a cuer during the dance to help dancers remember a dance routine. Cues are ordinarily directed to the man, with the woman doing the "natural opposite," if you are in closed or another facing position. Cues can also be directed to both, for instance, if you are in open position, and cues can be directed to each (e.g., man chasse woman roll left to shadow).
Curl: Like a relaxed spiral to the left. The woman will have stepped forward on her right foot, and the curl is a left
Curtsey: In the Demi
Curve: Dance in a small arc but maintain the initial forward or backward direction of dance. You might begin facing diagonal wall and dance forward, curving, to end facing diagonal center.
Cut: Cross the free foot around in front of and then back, beyond the supporting foot so tightly that you must move that supporting foot back. A cut is like a lock in front, but normally a cut is done on beat 1 (cut, back) whereas a lock is done on beat 2 (back, lock).
Dancesport: The official name given to the sport of competitive Ballroom Dancing. Relates to the more athletic form of Ballroom Dancing as recognized by the Olympic Committee.
Danseur: a male dancer in a ballet company.
Dash Or Hyphen: In abbreviated descriptions of dance steps (as opposed to complete sentences), a dash usually represents a pause, nothing happening during a beat of music, at least no step. For instance, a rumba half basic is "fwd, rec, sd,
Dedans, En: Inward.
Degage: In ballet, shifting weight from one foot to the other. pied, etc.
Dégagé: “To disengage”.
Dehors, En: Outward.
Devant: In front.
Develope: Bring either foot up the supporting leg to the outside of the supporting knee and then extend that free foot forward. It is a graceful "knee" and then "kick."
Developpe: An unfolding of the leg in the air.
Dèveloppé: A large, relatively slow leg gesture.
Diagonal: A direction between two of the "cardinal" (line, wall, reverse, center) directions on the dance floor. Dancing on the diagonal often flows more smoothly and looks better than dancing squared up.
Diagonal Center: The direction 1/8 to the left, as one faces line of dance; half way between line of dance and center.
Diagonal Reverse And Center: The direction 1/8 to the right, as one faces reverse line of dance; half way between reverse line of dance and center.
Diagonal Reverse And Wall: The direction 1/8 to the left, as one faces reverse line of dance; half way between reverse line of dance and wall. bras
Diagonal Wall: The direction 1/8 to the right, as one faces line of dance; half way between line of dance and wall.
Dig: Digging of the heel into the floor without weight transfer.
Dip: In closed position, the man steps back and to the side, lowering into that knee, swaying to the right, and perhaps rotating a little to the left. Leave the free leg extended. This is a Lunge back.
Dishrag: Join hands, opposite free feet, raise joined hands, and turn under and away.
Downbeat: The principally accented note of a measure of music.
Drag: In a stretched up body position, touch the toe to the floor relatively far from the supporting foot and move it toward that foot; no weight. bras action supplemented with flexion, lateral flexion, or hyperextension movement of the spine.
Draw: Pulling of the free foot from an open to a closed position with a sliding motion.
During A Sauté, One Calf Beats Against The Other. :
East Coast Swing: Or simply Swing, a triple Swing danced at a slower tempo than Jive. See Jive.
Ecarte: In ballet, a position with one leg extended at an oblique angle while the body is also at an oblique angle. or full pointe) from plié.
Edge: The inner or outer side of the foot. A side step might be taken, "edge
Ee: In the timing of dance steps and actions, an "e" (like the "a") also represents 1/4 beat. It is not much used in round dancing, but I'll include it here just for completeness. Where the "a" represents the fourth quarter of a beat, the "e" represents the second quarter. The last two beats of a measure might then be segmented into a 3
Efface: In ballet, a position of the body at an oblique angle and partly hidden.
Elevé: A rise upward onto the toes.
Emphasizes Seven Basic Movements In Dance: Plier (to bend), Étendre (to stretch), Relever (to rise), Glisser (to slide or glide), Sauter (to jump), Élancer (to dart), Tourner (to turn). bras and port
Ending: The last steps, figure, or position taken at the end of a dance.
Enhaut: In ballet, a position of the arms above the head.
Entrechat: A ballet movement in which the dancer repeatedly crosses his or her legs in the air.
Envelopé: A unilateral leg movement in which the gesture limb begins in a knee extended position away from the body, and ‘folds’ back into the body.
Épaulement: Position of the shoulders in relation to the head and legs.
Essence: Basic movement associated with soft shoe dancing.
Ex: A jump from the point tondu front to the point tondu back.
Exhibition Ballroom Dancing: Also called Demonstration Dancing, this represents the performing of dance routines for an audience in a stylized, theatrical way.
Explode: Step sharply away from partner, usually with inside hands held, to end in open or left open position. Arms may be swept up or out.
Extend, Extension: The exageration of any pose or posture, involving lowering, or stretching up, or rotating a little more, leaning back farther, arching a bit more, or extending the arms and fingers. Usually done to develop a particular body line and to use additional time at the end of a picture figure.
Face: The direction toward which the front of the body is turned (e.g., facing LOD). The cue "to face" means to step and then turn toward partner.
Facing: To have one's front in the direction of something else, such as "man facing wall." Also, partners in front of each other, front to front.
Fall Or Lower: Lower body with weight centered over the ball and toes of the supporting foot. Involves whole body
Fallaway: Step back in semi pointe from demi
Fan: Flex supporting knee, extend free foot and point toe, and move free foot forward or back in an arc across the floor. Usually, the toe will be brushing the floor.
Fan Kick: A high straight leg kick in which the gesture leg makes a swooping circular arc across the front of the body.
Fandango: A lively Spanish dance in triple time performed with castanets or tambourines.
Feather: A step outside partner while maintaining parallel shoulders, usually with the right foot to a contra banjo, but also with the left foot to a contra sidecar. Usually begun in closed position.
Feather Ending: A step outside partner to contra banjo, having begun in semi
Feather Finish: Again, a step outside partner to contra banjo, having begun with a back step. For instance, from closed position, diagonal reverse and wall, trail foot free, step back turning LF, side L turning, and forward R to contra banjo diagonal line and wall.
Fellow: (1) The final complete level of dance figures in the International Style and some American Style syllabi representing the most advanced movements and dance concepts.
Ferme: In ballet, a closed position of the feet.
Fifth Foot Position: The heel of one foot is placed close to the toe of the other.
Fifth Foot Position Rear: The toe of one foot is placed close to the heel of the other.
Fifth Position: The legs are externally rotated, one foot is crossed in front of the other, with forward toe touching the back heel.
Figure: A specific sequence of steps forming a set that is complete in itself, often standardized and widely accepted and used as one component of a dance routine.
Figure 8: Move on the floor in such a way that your path forms the shape of the numeral "8." Depending on the momentum generated by the previous figure, you might walk (or two step, or waltz, or cha …) in a small counter
First Foot Position: The heels are together and the toes are turned out at the angle of 45 degrees from the direction you are facing.
First Position: The legs are externally rotated, and heels are together.
Five Positions: In ballet, the basic positions of the feet. First position
Flap: Brush and step with transfer of weight.
Flare: Flex supporting knee, extend free foot and point toe, and move free foot forward or back in an arc with the foot slightly off the floor. Compare to fan.
Flat: The entire bottom of the foot. A forward step may be taken, "heel
Flat Back: Position in which the legs are in parallel, the back is kept flat, parallel to the floor, with the torso hinged at the hips. air.
Flea Slide: Slide on a diagonal line in passé.
Flick: Move free foot sharply backward; no weight change. Pretend you have a pebble under your toe and you want to send it flying back.
Flight: The appearance of smooth, continuous, elevated motion, created by erect carriage and passing steps; prominent in foxtrot. Body flight softens the appearance of rise and fall.
Floor Craft: The ability to dance figures and amalgamations without running into other dancers. Don't insist on dancing the figures as you know they should be danced. Instead, be considerate of your partner and other couples. Shorten your steps if you are overtaking others, lengthen them if others are stacking up behind you, and shift to an inner or outer circle as appropriate. 1951) in Russia.
Flourish: Spread the fingers wide and rotate the hand back and forth on the axis of the forearm.
Follow: The act of responding to the leads (physical or visual) of the man and executing the actions, steps, and/or figures that he suggests by his lead. This is normally the woman's responsibility.
Foot Position: The direction of a step or action in relation to the other foot (e.g., forward, diagonally forward, side). The most popular Latin dance composed of quick steps.
Footwork: The manner in which the foot contacts the floor (e.g., heel
Forced Arch: Weightbearing position of the foot in which the heel is lifted and the knee is bent with extreme metatarsal dorsiflexion.
Formation Team: A group of three or more dancers who perform ballroom style routines.
Forward: Step in the direction you are facing and shift weight to that foot. (In a facing position, the woman would step back.)
Fouetté: A “whipping’ en dehors turn, in relevé, requiring coordinated dèveloppé devant,whipping the gesture leg to second, and returning it to passé, with opening and closing port de bras.
Fouette En Tournant: leg with rapid circular movements of the other leg while remaining in a fixed spot.
Fourth Foot Position: Beginning in first postition, one foot is moved directly forward.
Fourth Position: The legs are externally rotated, one foot is crossed in front of the other, separated by the distance of one foot.
Fox Trot: A dance to a 4/4 tempo.
Foxtrot: One of only two competition dance rhythms invented in the United States. It is danced to 4/4 swing
Frame: The position of the upper body, or topline, the head, neck, shoulders, arms, and hands, while in dance position. A good and toned frame, along with proper position of the lower body (hips, legs, and feet) (good posture) is essential for good balance, clear lead and follow, smooth movement — essential for good dancing.
Frappé: Beginning from the cou
Free Foot: The foot that is not supporting the body's weight.
Free Hand: The hand not in contact with the partner, not resting on hip (man), not holding skirt (woman)
Freestyle: (1)Dancing done on the dance floor in an apart where each person dances to the music doing steps of their own creation without a particular pattern or sequence
Freeze: Stop moving and hold fixed body and foot position.
Front: One foot or person crossing or standing ahead of the other.
Glide: Move the free foot in a given direction with light contact with the floor and take weight. Same as Slide.
Glissade: “Slide or glide”.
Graham Technique: A modern dance technique developed by Martha Graham, based on “contraction and release” as the motivation of all movement.
Grand Battement: A large, swift leg “kick” with the knee extended and foot pointed.
Grand Jete: A large leap forward.
Grand Ronde Jambe En L’aire: A unilateral, circumducted hip action where the gesturing limb describes a semi
Grande Jeté (grand Jeh Tay) : a big jump from one foot to the other in which the working leg is brushed into the air and appears to have been thrown.
Half Close: In a closing step, the free foot is brought to the supporting foot and weight is completely transfered. In a half closing step, the free foot is brought almost to the supporting foot with partial weight on the ball of the foot resulting in a transfer of some weight to the free foot. Occurs on "and" and "ah" counts, as in 3&4 or 1a2.
Head Cues: The cue terms that are spoken by the cuer. They are on the cue sheets above the figure descriptions, usually in 4
Heel: Extend foot forward and touch back of heel to the floor; no weight.
Heel / Heel Drop: Forceful dropping of the heel on the floor, with the weight placed on the ball of the same foot.
Heel Lead: A feature of a forward step in which the heel contacts the floor first, followed by the rest of the foot.
Heel Pivot: Turn on the heel of the supporting foot; no weight change.
Heel Pull: A type of heel turn in which strong pressure is used, first with the heel and then with the inside edge of the moving foot, knees soft, and ending lowered and with the feet apart; one weight change.
Heel Turn: Step back and turn on the heel of that supporting foot, feet together, shift weight to heel of previously free foot, then to toe of that foot; one weight change. The purpose of a heel turn is to change places; afterwards, the man should be in the woman's previous spot and she should be in his. It is important not to change weight early, because your partner will be moving through the unweighted side (as one pushes through a turnstyle) during the turn. If you have taken weight early, your partner won't be able to push through that weighted hip. For instance, the woman does a heel turn on step 2 of a foxtrot reverse turn. The man does a heel turn on step 2 of a closed impetus.
Hesitation: Progression is temporarily suspended and the weight retained on one foot for more than one count. Where a freeze is quite still, a hesitation usually involves continued body rotation, slow sway, or a drawing of the free foot, in preparation for the next step. Again, it is "progression" that is stopped, not all movement.
Hinge: Legs are in parallel, pelvis is pressed diagonally forward, torso tilted diagonally backward, knees are bent and approximately 3” off the floor, heels are raised to 1/4” relevé.
Hip Rock: Step to the side and roll hip to the side and back.
Hold: A beat of music during which no step is taken. Also, a dance position, such as closed position.
Hook: Cross the free foot in front or in back of and near the supporting foot. Usually the hook does not involve a weight change—one will step during the following action (e.g., unwind), but a cue such as "forward, side, hook behind" might well intend a weight change during the "hook."
Hop: Jump into the air, landing on the same foot and keeping the heel lifted.
Horton Technique: A modern dance technique which was developed from a balance study by Lester Horton.
Hover Sway: Lean or tilt the body from the ankle upward in a direction away from the supporting foot. Stretch the supported side of the body.
Hovering Action: Check the moving or the turning of the body and rise a little. The feet remain stationary.
Humphrey Technique: A modern dance technique based on the concept of “fall and recovery”, developed by Doris Humphrey.
Hyphen: In abbreviated descriptions of dance steps (as opposed to complete sentences), a dash usually represents a pause, nothing happening during a beat of music, at least no step. For instance, a rumba half basic is "fwd, rec, sd,
In: Used to direct a dancer to approach or to face toward partner; also, to refer to the direction toward center of hall.
In Place: Shifting weight from one foot to the other without progression in any direction.
Inside Foot: The foot nearest the partner when not directly facing partner or directly facing away.
Inside Hand: The hand nearest the partner when not directly facing partner or directly facing away.
Interlude: A part of the dance routine more than two measures long connecting major parts of the dance. A "bridge" is such a connection only one or two measures long.
International Style: A style of ballroom dance used in competitions throughout the world. It consists of two categories, Ballroom and Latin. The term is used in the United States to distinguish it from the American Style.
Introduction: A short series of steps of figures preceding the main part of a dance routine.
Irish: Movement adopted from Irish folk dances which consists of a shuffle, hop, and a step.
Isolation: A movement separating one part of the body from the other parts (most common are rib isolations).
Isolations: Moving one part of the body, such as the head, shoulder, ribs, or hips, while the rest are immobile.
Jazz Frame: Arms are crossed overhead with fingers in jazz hands.
Jazz Hand: Fingers are spread.
Jete: Leap from one leg to the other in which one leg is thrown to the side, front, or back.
Jeté: A “throwing step” where a leaping jump is executed from one foot to the other.
Jump: Spring into the air from both balls of the feet and landing on the same.
Kick: Raise knee straight up and then straighten leg with toe extended; no weight change.
Kick & Dig: A four
Knee: Raise knee straight up and across supporting leg; no weight change. The free foot points down and lies near the supporting leg, at the calf or knee.
Knee Hinge: A tilt of the torso in which the knees are bent and at a 45° angle, the back is flat, and the heels are lifted.
L’aire: In the air.
Lady: We cue "lady" because "woman" could be heard as "man," but we abbreviate it "W" because "L" means "left." (Make sense? )
Lady Under: The woman moves from a designated position, under joined hands, to a designated position.
Lateral: A side stretch of the torso, with legs in 2nd position.
Latin: American Style
Latin Cross: Cross one leg in front or behind the other so that the toe of the back leg is turned out, the knee of the back leg is just behind the knee of the front leg, and the heel of the front leg is near the toe of the back leg. The two feet make a figure "7."
Latin Dance: One of the two sets of competition dances in International Style ballroom. It consists of cha, samba, rumba, paso doble, and jive.
Latin Motion: A characteristic type of hip motion found in the technique of performing a step in Latin and in Rhythm dances. Although it is most visible in the hips, much of the effect is created through the action of the feet and knees. One steps ball
Lead: The act of directing the woman through a figure or a dance. It involves choosing appropriate steps to suit the music and leading by hand and body signals to complete the chosen steps smoothly and safely. If the dance is a choreographed routine, as in round dancing, the lead is still responsible for initiating each move, which ensures smooth coordination between the two dancers. Lead is normally the man's responsibility.
Lead Foot: Man's left, woman's right
Lead Hand: Man's left, woman's right
Lead In: The music that occurs before the dance introduction begins, usually one or two measures.
Leading: Effective communication of intended actions by the leader through the use of leader’s own body movements and through one or more physical or visual connections to the follower.
Leap: A spring into the air, from one foot to the other.
Left Face: Turning to the left or counter
Left Open Facing Position: One of many possible dance positions.
Left Open Position: One of many possible dance positions.
Left Shadow: A dance position in which partners are facing the same direction, the woman to the left and a little in front of the man. As in shadow position, the man is "shadowing" the woman, but she is to his left. Right hands may be joined, and the man's left hand may be placed on the woman's back, to facilitate lead and follow.
Left Side Lead: Moving with the left side of the body ahead of the right. Sometimes referred to as a "slicing" movement.
Lift: Rise slightly on the ball of the supporting foot. Done while you are stepping forward or side, but no weight change in itself. You might simultaneously stretch the body and raise the free leg. If you are stepping forward, you would raise the free leg forward. If you are stepping to the side, you would raise the free leg to the side, away from your direction of movement. Keep the free leg straight and the toe pointed.
Lilt: Step heel to toe, giving a little rise to the body and earlier than usual.
Limón Technique: A modern dance technique developed by Jose Limón, which built on the concepts of Doris Humphrey and is based on the “fall, recovery, and rebound”.
Limp: Step side and then cross behind with slight bending of both knees.
Lindy: One of the Latin Rhythms — see the navigation bar at the upper left of each page.
Line Dancing: A type of non
Line Of Dance: The line of dance is forward, counter
Line Of Progression: Direction the movement or flow of the dance is currently moving. May be line of dance or reverse line of dance. In general, if the couple is in closed position or semi alternating in a rapid motion.
Lock: Cross the free foot in front of or behind the supporting foot, place it close so that ankles touch or almost touch, and take weight. Progression is smoother if you rise on the ball of the supporting foot so that the locking foot can slip under the heel of the supporting foot.
Looking Circle: Partners facing center of hall, the taller dancer standing behind and slightly to one side of his partner to observe while instruction is being given. In a big group, where there may be three concentric circles of dancers, it is important to follow convention
Loose Closed Position: One of many possible dance positions.
Lower Or Fall: Lower body with weight centered over the ball and toes of the supporting foot. Involves whole body
Lunge: A large, open fourth position in which one knee is bent (usually the front), and the other is straight.
Lunge Turn: Step forward or side, bending the knee, checking the movement, and turning away from lunging step up to 1/2 turn. If you lunge L, you will turn RF. If you lunge R, you will turn LF. A Basketball Turn contains two Lunge Turns. A Chase begins with a Lunge Turn for the man.
Man Under: The man moves from a designated position, under joined hands, to a designated position.
Maneuver: Usually the man steps forward on his right foot and turns right
Man's Left Shadow: A dance position in which partners are facing the same direction, the man to the left and a little in front of the woman. Here the woman is "shadowing" the man (is behind him), but he is to her left.
Man's Shadow: A dance position in which partners are facing the same direction, the woman to the left and a little behind the man. Note that the man "has a shadow."
Mark Time: Step in place to the music for a designated number of beats.
Maxie Ford: Step named for a famous dancer.
Maxixe: A Brazilian dance of urban character, in 2/4 time and rapid tempo with slight syncopation. Also a jive or latin figure; see index.
Medalist System: A system of testing used by dance schools to measure a student’s progress in their dancing. It provides structure in a dance program of a school and serves to give students’ a sense of accomplishment in their dancing.
Member: (1) The second complete level of dance figures in the International Style and some American Style syllabi representing the next set of movements and basic dance concepts. (2) A degree attained by a Professional Dancer as a result of passing a certifying teaching exam covering the Member Syllabus.
Merengue: One of the Latin Rhythms — see the navigation bar at the upper left of each page.
Milonga: A style of tango characterized (among other things) by a quick rhythm, stepping on each beat (qqqq;). Also a place where the dancing is done.
Minuet: A slow and graceful dance that is the most popular dance of the eighteenth century, characterized by symmetrical figures and elaborate curtseys and bows.
Mirror: A specific type of following in which one partner, usually the lady, dances the mirror image of her partner's steps. So, if he steps back and the lady steps forward, she can be said literally to be "following" him. If he dances back and she dances back, too, if they step apart, then she is "mirroring" him. A vine is a mirrored figure; a twist vine is not. Jive involves more mirroring (the rock recover) and West Coast Swing more following (the man draws the lady forward).
Mirror Image: When one partner’s steps will be matching the other partner’s steps, as if viewed in a mirror.
Mixed Rhythm Dance: A Rhythm or Mixed Rhythm dance is one that includes two or more different rhythms. Some Rhythm dances are simply step
Mixer: A dance during which partners are exchanged. A dancer usually moves from one partner to the next, repeatedly.
Modern And Jazz Dance Body Roll: A rolling movement through the body.
Modern Ballet: a type of ballet from the twentieth century. To this day, modern ballet looks to re
Modern Style Ballroom: The term used to describe the Ballroom dances of the International Style
Modification: A change to a standard figure or to a sequence.
Morris Dance: An English folk dance that appeared in the fifteenth century, in which dancers wore bells on their legs and characters, included a fool, a boy on a hobby horse, and a man in blackface.
Movement: (1) A shift in position or space. (2)Used to describe a dancer or couple’s advancement through space on the dance floor.
Natural: Turning right face, in a clockwise direction
Natural Opposite: A term used in teaching to say that one’s partner will be dancing the same foot positions in a particular dance pattern except in the opposite direction and on opposite feet.
Natural Turn: Any dance pattern that turns to the right.
Nerve Roll: Series of quick, consecutive taps with heel, ball, toe, or tips.
Nightclub Dances: Dances designed to be danced in a club or on a small dance floor.
Number(s): Numbers to the left of a description designate the measures being described. Numbers following cue terms designate the number of steps to be taken.
Off Beat: Unaccented beat.
Open Division: A dance category at a dance competition where the dancers are permitted to dance figures not normally included in a standard syllabus for that particular level. (i.e. Open Gold Foxtrot).
Open Figure: A very general term that can have several meanings.
Open Head: The woman looks right as in semi
Open Out: Change from a relatively "closed" or facing position to one that is more separated.
Open Position: One of many possible dance positions.
Open Turn: A turn in which the third step is a passing step, instead of a closing step. Contributes to "flight," typical of foxtrot.
Opposite Footwork: Stepping with opposite feet free, for instance the man's left and the woman's right
Opposition Points: In a facing position, lower on supporting foot, extend free foot to the side, point toe, and stretch supported side, swaying toward pointed foot. Partner points in opposite direction, thus man and woman are pointing the same foot, usually the left.
Out: Used to direct a dancer to separate from or to turn away from partner; also, to refer to the direction toward the wall.
Outside Foot: The foot farthest from the partner when not directly facing partner or directly facing away.
Outside Hand: The hand farthest from the partner when not directly facing partner or directly facing away.
Outside Partner: A step taken not between partner's feet but to partner's right (e.g., banjo) or left (e.g., sidecar).
Ouvert: In ballet, an open position of the feet.
Oversway: In semi, line, step side and forward on the lead foot, stretch lead side of body and so sway toward free foot but look down line. Turn a bit to the left.
Overturn: More than the normal amount of turn. If the spin turn takes you to the wall, an overturn might take you to reverse and wall.
Parallel Or "sixth" Foot Position: The feet point straight forward instead of being turned out.
Parterre: Steps performed on the floor. It is the opposite of en l’air.
Pas De Basque: A traveling step from fifth position plié, which includes one 1/2 ronde de jambe from front to side, weight transfer to this leg, and closure into fifth plié.
Pas De Bourreé: A basic linking step which permits a change from one fifth position to another.
Pas De Chat: “Step of the cat”.
Pas De Deux: a dance for two.
Pas Debourree: A series of small, fast steps executed with the feet very close together.
Pas Dechat: Catlike leap in which one foot follows the other into the air, knees bent; the landing is in the fifth position.
Pas Dedeaux: A dance for two, usually a woman and a man. In its traditional form, it begins with an entree and adagio, followed by solo variations for each dancer, and a coda.
Paso Doble: An International Latin dance. It is the Latin rhythm most resembling the Ballroom style, in that forward steps are taken with the heel lead, the frame is wider and more strictly kept up, and there is significantly different and less hip movement. It actually originated in southern France but is modeled after the sound, drama, and movement of the Spanish bullfight. — For more, see the navigation bar at the upper left of each page.
Passe: leg is raised with a bent knee with the foot placed on the opposite leg, just below the patella. This may be either parallel or turned out.
Passé: Similar in shape to the retiré
Passing Step: Move the free foot past the supporting foot and then step or take weight.
Patterns: The term we use to mean a series of specific steps that comprise a figure. Means the same as “Figure”.
Penche: In ballet, leaning forward.
Petite: Small, little.
Petite Batterie: “Beats”.
Phrase: A passage of two or more measures of music. A phrase will be perceived as a specific tune or melody. Most pieces of dance music consist of two or more different phrases, each designated by a capital letter. Any phrase can repeat within the piece, so a whole piece might be designated Hop on one foot with a back brush in the air, landing on the same foot.
Phrasing: The fitting of the steps and figures of a dance to the recurring patterns of music. Each musical phrase is given its own specific choreography. Part A of the dance is performed to musical phrase A of the song. If phrase A recurs in the piece, then part A of the choreography repeats at that point. When phrase B occurs, part B of the choreography is performed, and so on.
Pickup: Usually the woman steps forward on her left foot and turns left
Picture Figure: An action or movement where the majority of the activity centers around not the steps but the frame of the couples' dance position.
Picture Line: A dance figure (e.g. Oversway, Contra Check) characterized by changing shapes in stationary position. Also known as Line.
Pique: Stepping directly onto the point of a foot.
Pirouette: A turn performed on one foot. This turn is done in place.
Pirouette En Dedans: Spin in the direction toward the supporting leg.
Pirouette En Dehors: Spin in the direction away from the supporting leg.
Pirouette (peer O Wet) : a rotation or spin
Piroutté: “Whirl or spin”.
Pivot: Usually as a couple, step and rotate on the ball of the supporting foot by turning the upper body. Stepping forward R, one would turn right. Stepping back L, one would turn right. The free leg is extended forward or back. Amount of turn can be very little or 1/2 turn or more.
Plie: A bending of the knees in any of the five positions. Demi plie
Plié: A bend of the knees while the torso is held upright.
Plié (plee Ay) : means bent, bending
Point: A position on the tip of the toes.
Pointe Shoes: The satin ballet shoes used by dancers when dancing on their pointes (toes). Pointe shoes are reinforced with a box constructed of numerous layers of strong glue in between layers of material. Pointe shoes are not made of cement or wood. Name of a time step dance.
Pointe, En: On pointe.
Poise: The correct (attractive, on balance) carriage of the body.
Polka: Originated as an English folk dance, in a 2/4 tempo.
Portdebras: In ballet, the positions of the arms.
Position: A standard couple relationship, e.g., closed, banjo, sidecar.
Press: Step forward on ball of foot, but take partial weight only. Usually a brief pause with supporting leg straight and pressed leg bent but pressure into the floor, forward poise to the body.
Primarily Performed By Men. :
Primitive Squat: Legs are in parallel, torso is straight, knees are fully bent, with heels remaining on the floor in a squat.
Professional Dancer: A dancer who teaches, performs or competes for a living. A dancer who receives financial compensation for their work as a dancer and would be ineligible to compete as an Amateur.
Progressive: Movement forward or backward along line of dance. A progressive dance moves; a spot dance is mostly danced in one place on the floor.
Progressive Movement: Any dance steps that are designed to move the couple down the line of dance.
Promenade: A slow pivot of the body while standing on one leg.
Promenade Position (=semi: Closed Position)
Promenade Sway: In Promenade position
Quick: A step taken on a single beat or on a fraction of a beat and followed by another step without pause. Also used to disignate a figure to be performed more rapidly, often with one more step than is standard, as in Quick Open Reverse in Waltz.
Quickstep: An International Ballroom rhythm that follows a 4/4 time beat, at about 50 bars per minute in competition. From its early beginning as a faster foxtrot, the quickstep has become distinctive for its speed across the floor. It is danced to the fastest tempo of the Ballroom dances, which necessitates that partners stay in closed position throughout the dance. One of our Smooth Rhythms — see the navigation bar at the upper left of each page.
Recover: With the feet apart after a previous step, return weight to the previous supporting foot. The foot may turn if required.
Release: A relaxing or arching movement.
Releve: In ballet, a rising with a spring movement to point or demi
Relevé: A rise or spring onto the toes (demi
Replace: Recover or return weight to previous supporting foot.
Retiré: A static position in which the hip of the gesturing leg is externally rotated and abducted, the knee is flexed, and the foot is pointed and touching the knee of the stance limb.
Returning The Lady To Her Seat: After a dance is over, the gentleman accompanies the lady back to her chair or other place of origin, usually with easy exclamations of pleasure and gratitude. He does not end a dance with a quick "thanks," and then bound off toward the snack table, leaving her alone in the middle of the floor.
Reverence: A ballet bow or curtsey in which one foot is pointed in front and the body leans forward. “en pointe”.
Reverse: Turning left face, in a counterclockwise direction
Reverse Develope: Swing either leg forward from the hip and then bring that foot to the supporting knee and slide the free foot down the supporting leg to touch the floor. Here the kick (really a swing) comes first and then the knee is bent.
Reverse Line Of Dance: The direction opposite to line of dance, in a direction clockwise around the dance floor.
Reverse Line Of Progression: The opposite direction the movement or flow of the dance is currently moving. May be line of dance or reverse line of dance. In general, if the couple is in closed position or semi
Reverse Semi: Closed Position
Reverse Turn: Any turn that turns to the left or aA turn used in Waltz, Foxtrot, Viennese Waltz, and Tango that turns to the left over six steps.
Rhythm: Pulse of the music.
Rhythm Category: A category of dancing that include the following American Style dances danced at competitions
Rhythm Or Mixed Rhythm Dance: A Rhythm or Mixed Rhythm dance is one that includes two or more different rhythms. Some Rhythm dances are simply step
Riff: Movement combining a brush and a scuff on the same foot.
Riffle: Riff combined with a spank.
Right Face: Turning to the right or clockwise.
Right Side Lead: Moving with the right side of the body ahead of the left. Sometimes referred to as a "slicing" movement.
Ripple: In its simplest form, a ripple is a tipping of the shoulders away from the direction of movement. In a ripple chasse, one might do the chasse down line of dance while briefly inclining the shoulders toward reverrse with left side stretch.
Rise: Elevate body with weight centered over the ball and toes of the supporting foot. Involves whole body
Rising To Demi: pointe while simultaneously drawing the gesture leg into fifth.
Rock: Change weight to free foot with the intention of returning to the original supporting foot. In Latin dances (e.g., Rumba) the free leg is bent and straightens as weight is taken, and this action moves that hip to the side (see Cuban Action). invent itself and reach out in an ever
Rond Dejambe: “Round the leg,” the working leg draws a circular path. This may be executed on the floor or in an extended position.
Ronde: Flex supporting knee, extend free foot and point toe, and move free foot forward or back in an arc above the floor. Usually a bigger, higher movement (an "aerial ronde") than a flare or fan, but one can do a "floor ronde," which is another name for a fan.
Ronde De Jambe: A unilateral leg action in which the gesture leg is circled from front to back of the dancer’s body, or vice versa.
Routine: The specific choreography created for a piece of music.
Rumba: Danced in both International Latin and American Rhythm competition, it originated in Cuba based on rhythms brought over by slaves. The Latin version is slower than the Rhythm version. The rumba is considered the most romantic of the Latin dances and involves hip action over the standing leg. — For more, see the navigation bar at the upper left of each page.
Rumba Walk: Highly stylized Forward or Backward Walks done in the Rumba, characterized by stepping onto a straight leg.
Run: Sometimes, a step taken on one beat of music; a quick.
Running: Often, used as an adjective to describe a figure executed with an extra step, with syncopated timing, such as 1, 2/&, 3; in waltz or S,
Russian: Also called a toe touch jump in second position.
Salsa: One of the Latin Rhythms — see the navigation bar at the upper left of each page.
Samba: A progressive Latin Rhythm of Brazilian origin in 2/4 time, although round
Same Footwork: Both partners using the same feet, eg. both step with the left feet, then both right.
Sauté Which Incorporates Airborne Rotations. :
Scrutineer: A certified dance official who tabulates the judges’ scores from the competitive events.
Scuff: Forward movement hitting the heel of the foot on the ground.
Scuffle: Scuff followed by a spank.
Second Foot Position: Either foot is placed to the side of the other.
Second Position: The legs are externally rotated and separated by the distance of one foot, in the frontal plane.
Seconde, La: To the side (second position).
Semi: Closed Position is a succession of slow, soft, lyrical and continuous movements. Adagio creates the illusion that the positions flow from one into another.
Sequence: The order in which steps, figures, or dance actions are to be performed.
Sets The Head: neck, back, shoulder girdle, and port de bras in a codified relationship.
Shadow: A dance position in which partners are facing the same direction, one (usually the man) to the left and a little behind the woman. The man is "shadowing" or following the woman. Left hands may be joined, and the man's right hand may be placed on the woman's back, to facilitate lead and follow. See also left shadow and man's shadow.
Shake: A body movement usually described in more detail by the choreographer.
Shape: The use of sway, side stretch, and/or body rotation to focus your body more toward or more away from your partner. It is usually a small change in the relative positioning of your partnership to enhance or to extend a picture figure or to flow more smoothly into the next figure. It is a way to continue to "dance" through a section of music where you are not taking steps. Again, it is a small action, a feature of styling. If you don't do it, that won't interfere with your continuing to dance.
Shimmy: Shoulder shaking
Showcase: An unjudged dance exhibition.
Shuffle: Brush followed by a spank.
Side (sideward): Step to the side (in the direction of the free foot) and shift weight to that foot.
Side And Back: A step on the diagonal between a side step and a back step. Sometimes a distinction is made between "side and back" (a little more side) and "back and side" (a little more back).
Side And Forward: A step on the diagonal between a side step and a forward step. Sometimes a distinction is made between "side and forward" (a little more side) and "forward and side" (a little more forward).
Side By Side: Partners are beside each other and are usually facing the same direction.
Sidecar Position: One of many possible dance positions.
Silver Level: The second level of dance patterns in a syllabus following Bronze and before Gold. Silver Level is the first time a dancer may use continuity (open steps) in the American Style Waltz and Foxtrot.
Sissonne: A jump from two feet onto one foot in various directions.
Sixth Position: Feet in parallel, and together.
Skate: Move in a stylized manner by swiveling on the weighted foot toward the free, pushing off on that weighted foot, sliding forward and taking weight, and bringing the original weighted foot up to a touch position. With the left foot free, one would swivel left, "skate" diagonally or even side left, and touch. Then one would probably swivel 1/4 or more right and skate right. The Two Step figure consists of this step left and then right.
Skaters Position: One of many possible dance positions.
Skip: Step forward and with a soft knee, straighten leg, rise slightly off the floor, and return to the floor on the same foot. It is a step, hop. of the knee or knees.
Slap: Flap without weight transfer.
Slash: In abbreviated descriptions of dance steps (as opposed to complete sentences), a slash is used to indicate a split beat of music, two steps or actions occuring in a single beat, a kind of syncopation. For instance a cha half basic is "fwd, rec, sd/cl, sd;" In this 4 The dancer turns his or her feet and legs out from the hip joints to a 90
Slide: Move the free foot in a given direction with light contact with the floor and take weight. Same as Glide.
Slip: On lead foot and slightly lowered, begin a small, left a complete turn of the body on one foot, on point or demi
Slot: The rectangular area on the floor in which the couple dances. It is usually slightly wider than the woman's shoulders and several feet long. West Coast Swing is a rhythm that makes conspicuous use of a slot. Jive is a more circular rhythm and does not confine either dancer in a slot.
Slow: A step taken on two beats of music (in 4/4 timing, or one beat in 2/4); often danced as a step followed by a pause before the next step is taken. Also use conventionally to designate a figure performed over a longer time than is standard. usually a male dancer's step, although ballerinas may do them to depending on the choreography.
Slow Dancing: A general term meant for dancing to very slow, romantic music where the couple rocks from foot to foot, improvising their own moves, with a very close, cuddly hold. No dance lessons required.
Slow Two Step: One of the Latin Rhythms — see the navigation bar at the upper left of each page.
Smile: The raising of the corners of the mouth.
Smooth Style Ballroom: The term used in Dancesport events and in general to mean American Style Waltz, Foxtrot, Tango and Viennese Waltz.
Snap: Slide your middle finger from the tip of that thumb to the base of the thumb in a way to make a sharp sound.
Social Dancing: Ballroom, Latin, Swing and Nightclub dances done in dance halls, dance schools, etc. where the dancing is more relaxed and meant for the enjoyment of the dancers and not for show. for instance, tour en l’air, round de jambe en l’air. It is the opposite of par terre.
Soft: Holding or moving the body in a relaxed or non
Soft Shoe: Type of dance, originally done without shoes.
Solo: Dance the figure without contact with your partner.
Sombrero: A dance position in which partners face opposite directions with right hips adjacent, with right arms in front of partner at waist level, and with left arms curved up and inward, with left hands above the head (like a hat).
Soussus: Springing into fifth position relevé en pointe or demi
Soutenu: From demi
Spank: A backward brush of the ball of the foot.
Spin: Rotate on the ball of the supporting foot. The free leg is usually held under the body. The amount of turn varies up to a full turn and sometimes more.
Spiral: Rotation of the torso around the pelvis.
Spot: Dance the figure on one point on the floor, with no progression.
Spot Pivot: As a couple, pivot about one point; no progression. May involve any number of steps.
Spot Turn: As an individual (solo), turn or pivot about one point; no progression.
Spotting: The fixing of the eyes on one spot as long as possible during turns to avoid dizziness and to keep one’s orientation.
Spring: Take a step by moving suddenly and rapidly.
Staccato Action: Sharp, rapid movement in the feet, body, or head.
Stag: Leap in which the forward leg is in parallel passé and the backward leg is in attitude turned out.
Stamp: Step onto the entire foot with weight transfer.
Standard Introduction: A two measure wait or lead in and two measures for (in the appropriate rhythm) a step apart, point; step together to designated dance position and facing direction, touch;
Standard Style Ballroom: The name that replaced the term “Modern” to mean The International Style Ballroom dances
Starting Position: The position taken by a couple at the beginning of a dance or at the start of any figure in the dance.
Step: Step onto the ball of the foot without weight transfer.
Stomp: Stamp without weight transfer.
Stretch: The elongation of the body, generally one side more than the other. Stretch is accomplished by raising one hip and rib cage without collapsing the other side. The shoulder on the stretched side rises, but only as a consequence of stretch. One does not "lift" the shoulder. Right stretch produces left sway.
Stroll: Walk in a stylized manner with upper body sway—fwd R with right
Strut: Step with a swaggering upper body sway, proud, marching feel. You might step fwd R with left
Styling: The manner in which figures are danced. The details of movement and position that accompany the actual steps and that make the dancing more comfortable and more attractive.
Supporting Foot: The foot that is bearing the body's weight. One of the challenges in dance is to keep all your weight balanced over that foot. If you don't, you will be pushing your partner off balance or asking him or her to support some of your weight—not good. Teachers talk about the body as a pile of boxes
Sway: Lean or tilt the body from the ankle upward in a direction to the side. The hips lead the movement, and then the upper body follows. Stretch the opposite side of the body. Commonly used during turns when one sways toward the center of the arc to counteract a falling away from the turn. Also used to create "pictures"
Swing: Evolved from the jazz era.
Switch Leap: Swing one leg forward then back, lifting into a split leap.
Swivel: A change of direction and position made while the weight is on the ball of the foot. Involves no weight change. The rotation can be slight or up to 1/2 turn or more.
Swivel Walk: Step forward on ball of foot and rotate on that point of contact.
Syllabus: A collection of cue sheets and other educational material provided at a dance event.
Syncopate: To add or subtract steps within a specific number of beats performed by dancers to vary the normal step and to allow for personal expression and creativity.
Syncopation: Accenting the weak part of the beat.
Tag: The last steps, figure, or position taken at the end of a dance.
Tandem Position: One of many possible dance positions.
Tango (international): An International Ballroom dance that branched away from its original Argentine roots by allowing European, American, Hollywood, and competitive influences into the style and execution of the dance. Dance partners hold the classic dance position, with top line held away and legs and hips held close, unlike Argentine tango, in which heads and bodies may be close and legs held away. One of our Smooth rhythms — see the navigation bar at the upper left of each page.
Tap: Striking the ball of the foot without weight transfer.
Tap Dance Ball Change: Two quick changes of weight from one ball of the foot to the other.
Tempo: The speed at which music is played; the number of measures or bars per minute. Sometimes given as beats per minute.
Tendu: A “stretched” action of the gesturing limb from a stance position with flat foot to a pointed foot, with the toes keeping contact with the floor.
Terre, A: On the ground.
The Internationally Recognized Style Of Ballroom Dancing. Couples Must Remain In Closed Dance Position Throughout The Dances. The 10 International Style Dances Are Divided Into Two Categories:
The Leading Foot Slides Forward Into Fourth (or Side: ward into second), then with a spring off the floor, the stance limb draws up to it in the air, and the leading foot opens to land in fourth (or second).
The Number Of Beats Have Specific Terms: royale (from fifth position, the front leg beats in front and closes back), entrechat quatre (from fifth position, the front leg beats in back and closes front), etc.
Theater Arts/cabaret Division: A division at DanceSport Events that involve dramatic lifts and drops usually performed by strong, highly trained dancers requiring unusual flexibility and balance.
There Are Three Types: triple, double, and single, depending on the tempo of the music.
Third Foot Position: The heel of one foot is placed against the instep of the other.
Third Foot Position Rear: The instep of one foot is placed close to the heel of the other.
Third Position: The legs are externally rotated, and one heel is placed in front of the other.
Through: With the free foot being the inner or the one nearer your partner, bring that free foot between you and your partner and take weight. If you are in semi
Tilt: To lean or slant the body, usually sideways. Compare to sway.
Time: The number of beats per measure of music. Waltz music is 3/4 time or three quarter up.
Time Step: An eight measure movement, used to set the tempo.
Timing: The number of beats of music devoted to a dance step. The first step of most foxtrot figures is given two beats and is designated as a "slow." The second step is usually given one beat and is designated as a "quick." The second step of a chasse is given 1/2 beat and is designated as an "&." The timing of this whole figure might be "sq&q."
Tipple: A tipple is a tipping of the shoulders toward the direction of movement. In a tipple chasse, one might do the chasse down line of dance while briefly inclining the shoulders toward line with right side stretch.
Toe: The most forward part of the foot. A backward step might be taken, "toe
Toe Drop: Dropping the toe with weight on the foot.
Toe Spin: Rise to toe of supporting foot, commence turn, bring free foot to supporting foot, continue turning on toes; one weight change. As in a heel turn, delay the weight change. Counting the beats, you will step heel to toe on beat 1, spin on the right toe/ continue to spin on 2, and close to left toe/ and finally step forward on right toe on 3; feet in a straight line, heels touching. Second position
Toe Stand: Movement in which the dancer stand on the tips of the tap shoes
Toe Tip: Striking the tip of the tap shoe against the ground.
Together: From a position in which your are some distance from your partner, step toward partner and shift weight to that foot. Also used to refer to multiple steps. In a Two Step, you might "circle away" from your partner a short distance (3 weight changes). The cue "together" would ask you to two
Top Line: In a dance position, the line created by the head, neck, shoulders, arms, and hands.
Touch: Bring free foot to the supporting foot, and touch the floor at the instep or ball of the supporting foot. Do not step or take weight.
Tour: Turn of the body.
Tour En L’aire: “Turns in the air”.
Tour En L'air (tour On Lair) : a turn in the air
Tour Jeté: A jeté which incorporates an angular rotation of the body and switching of the legs in mid
Tourant, En: Turning.
Tourenl’air: A turn while jumping straight up in the air.
Trail Foot: Man's right, woman's left
Trail Hand: Man's right, woman's left
Trained In The Russian School, He Developed A Neo: classical technique known for rapid footwork and abstract choreography.
Transition: In a figure, an extra step or one fewer steps by the man or woman. A couple transitions from opposite footwork to same footwork or from same to opposite.
Traveling: Progressing or moving forward or in any direction. Sometimes used as an adjective to describe a figure executed with extra progression and/or with an extra step, or with syncopated timing, such as 1, 2/&, 3; in waltz or S
Triple: The portion of the standard timing of a rhythm consisting of three steps taken over two beats of music (Q&Q or QaQ) as is characteristic of Jive, Cha Cha, and other rhythms. Notice that the timing of these three steps is not even. The "Q&" divides one beat evenly, leaving the second beat undivided for a time value of 1/8, 1/8, 1/4 (in 4/4 time). The "a" is a shorter interval, and the time value of a "QaQ" triple is 3/16, 1/16, 1/4.
Triplet: Three sounds, usually a shuffle step.
Tumble: From a strong "up" or toe position, slip small forward L (W bk R) turning LF to closed position with slight right sway. Lower dramatically and change to strong left sway, checking. One weight change only.