Glossary of Dance
Glossary uses predominantly The NTA approved terminology
Regional and world variations are included for
ACCENT - Emphasis on a particular step or
move in a pattern, or, in music, the emphasis on a certain beat in a measure.
ACROSS - Movement across the Line Of Dance
ACROSS LEFT - The Right foot will cross in front
of the Left foot.
ACROSS RIGHT - The Left foot will cross in front of
ADD - See Tag
ADVANCED A dancer with the ability to perform
intricate moves and patterns and improvise freely within them.
ALIGNMENT - the alignment of the body part with
respect to the torso. See Floor
AND- Used when 2 movements are to he done
simultaneously, i.e.: 1. Step forward and clap hands.
& (ampersand) - The upbeat that precedes
or follows the whole downbeat. &1 precedes the beat, 1& follows
the beat. Unlike the usage of the term
"and", the ampersand is used when "Step and clap" means two
separate movements (on the downbeat and the other on the up-beat) and is
notated in step descriptions as:
forward on Left foot
AND STEP Signifies weight change
with a movement. For instance, in
describing the first three steps in a
Grapevine right, the description would read:
to the right with Right foot.
Left foot behind Right and step.
to the right with Right foot.
Without the "and step" the Left foot would still
be dangling behind the Right foot and, unless you can fly,
executing Step 3 will be quite difficult.
ANKLE ROCK - Feet are crossed and ankles are in a
locked position. Shift weight one or
more time from
forward foot to trailing foot and back maintaining the locked ankle position.
APART - Movement away from partner.
APPLEJACKS - A foot traveling movement in place
weight on Left heel and ball of right foot, swivel Left toe to the left and
Right heel to the left
are in a "V" position, toes pointed outward.
Left toe and Right heel back to centre.
weight on Right heel and ball of left foot, swivel Right toe to the right and
Left heel to the right
= in a "V" position, toes pointed outward.
Move can be done with opposite weight changes. Also see Traveling Applejacks
ARCH - A curvature of the torso initiated
by lifting the ribcage. Also See
Partner Dance Positions Arch
ATTITUDE -The free leg is turned out, and
extended backward with a bent knee
BACK - To the back of the dancer.
BACKWARD - The area behind the dancer.
BALANCE - A state of equilibrium or body
stability. To keep the centre of the mass over the support base.
BALANCE STEP- A maneuver usually performed in waltz
time, wherein there is a stride forward, or back, and the weight his
held on the stepping foot for the following two beats. For example: 1. Stride forward on Left foot
2, 3. Hold for two beats
BALL CHANGE - A quick change of weight from the
ball of one foot to the other foot.
This move is usually preceded by
either a kick or a heel touch.
BALLROOM - See Partner Dance Positions
BANJO - See Partner Dance Positions -
BAR-In sheet music a vertical line that
separates measures. In music jargon a
"bar" is a measure of music,
hence "12 bar blues" means there are 12 measures
in a verse. See Measure
BASKET - See Partner Dance positions - Wrap
BEAT - The pulse of music. The basis for describing step descriptions
BEGINNER –A dancer at the introductory stages
of dance. .
BEHIND - The free foot will go behind the
BODY ALIGNMENT - The position of the feet to the
room. Includes: Down ' LOD, Backing
LOD, Facing wall,
Facing centre, Facing
diagonally to wall, Facing diagonally to centre,
Facing diagonally to wall against LOD,
Facing diagonally to centre
BODY RISE - The rise of the body as controlled
by bracing the leg muscles or stretching the spine.
Used in C/W Waltz and Polka. See Rise
(Rise & Fall)
BODY ROLL - Done forward, backward or
sideways. A movement where different
parts of the body move in
order respectively. a.k.a. "Ripple"
BOOGIE - The free hip and leg lifts and moves
circularly in the direction of the non-weighted leg.
BOOGIE ROLL - Similar to Forward Cuban Motion,
using a bent knee, but the hip stays back
BOOGIE WALK - While moving forward, the
non-support hip and leg moves forward using a circular
movement transferring weight to moving leg.
BOX STEPS - A maneuver, usually completed in 8
beats, which forms a box on the floor.
forward on Left foot
Right foot next to Left
to the left on Left foot
Right foot next to Left
back on Right foot
Left foot next to right
to the right on Right foot
Left foot next to right
BPM - Beats Per Minute. see Tempo.
BREAK - 1. Reverse direction.
2. The 6 count pattern in Swing is called a break pattern.
3. In music, the instrumental section within
TURN - Also called Step
Turn. A phrasing variation on the
Military Pivot wherein the step forward
and the turn is done on the first beat. The weight change occurs on the second beat
forward onto Right foot while pivoting 1/2 turn CCW
down in place onto Left foot
BRUSH - On a Brush the free leg swings
forward or back with the sole of the foot brushing the floor as it moves. See scuff.
BUMP - Dancers bump hips to the side or
with their partner.
BUTTERFLIES - See Heel Splits or Toe Splits
BUTTERMILKS - See Heel Splits or Toe Splits
BUZZ - A turn in one spot. Also called a Paddle Turn. See Paddle Turn Footwork
CAMEL WALK - A two beat maneuver in which a step
forward is made on the first beat. On
the second beat,
the forward foot does a knee pop while the trailing foot slides up to and under
the upraised heel of the forward foot
CANTER RHYTHM - 3/4 time. An uneven pattern using one long count (1, 2) and one short count
Two steps taken to 3 beats of music.
CATHEDRAL - See Partner Dance Positions -Arch
CCW - See Counterclockwise
STEP -Three steps done to two beats of music. Count 1&2
- Left, Right, Left (LRL), or Right, Left, Right (RLR)
and is used with Cha Cha rhythm.
CHANGE OF WEIGHT - Shifting weight from the supporting
foot to the free foot. See And Step
CHARLESTON (Traditional) – A 4 count step pattern
swiveling the feet in and out. Example:
forward on Left foot with heel swiveled inward
Left heel outward
Right foot forward while swiveling Left heel inward
Left heel outward
back on Right foot with Right heel turned outward
Right heel inward
left toe back while swiveling Right heel outward
Right heel inward
CHARLESTON KICK - Traditional Charleston without
swivels; a.k.a. Charleston. Example is
Left toe back
CHASE - A figure where one partner pursues
CHASSE’ - Pronounced Shah-say. A series of side steps. The free foot never passes the supporting
May be done forward or backward
One who authors a dance or a sequence of movements in dance
A planned sequence of dance movements in dance
CHUG with weight on ball of one foot lift
the opposite foot and scoot forward.
For Hip-Hop a Chug is a movement
with the weight on the ball of one foot while using the opposite foot to push
off and complete a turn without moving
the weighted foot
COASTER STEPS – A Syncopated maneuver in which the
starting foot steps in a given direction, then the traveling
foot closes with the starting foot and then the starting foot steps in the
- A Maneuver similar to an “unwind” in that it starts with the crossing
of one foot over to the other side of
the other foot and placing the weight
fully onto the balls of both feet. The
turn, or unwind, is excluded. However,
legs end up in an opposite crossed position on completion. A corkscrew can either be a 3/4 turn or a
full turn in duration.
Upon completion a full corkscrew turn, the trailing foot is usually lifted off
the floor to relieve pressure on t he hips and
to facilitate an easy transition into the next step
COTTON EYED JOE
POSITION - See
Partner Dance Positions – Side By Side,
COUNT - A call used to count the rhythm of foot
movements and weight changes, or to count the beats of music.
CRADLE - See Partner Dance Position - Wrap
CROSS – The free foot will step across in
front or behind the opposite foot. See
Across Left and Across Right
CROSS BACK - See Partner Dance Positions -
CROSS BALL CHANGE - See Sailor Shuffle
CROSS SHUFFLE - See Gallop
CUBAN MOTION – A discreet but excessive hip
movement achieved by bending and straightening the knee with carefully
timed weight transfer. The foot is
moved delaying weight transfer. Knee of
the moving leg bends inward
CUDDLE -See Partner Dance Position – Wrap
DIAGONAL, - 45 degrees out from centre.
DIG -To place the ball or the heel of the
free foot to the floor with a strong emphasis.
DIP - A slight of the support knee (pile)
to a sitting position with the free leg extended forward.
The thighs are parallel. Also called
DOUBLE FOOT BOOGIE - A Four beat pattern of toe &
(Heel & Toe)
swivels described as follows:
weight on heels swivel toes outward diagonally
weight on toes, swivel heels outward diagonally
weight on toes, swivel heels inward
weight on heels, bring toes together
DOWNBEAT - The accented basis in measure music.
There are four of these in a 4/4 measure.
They are the numbers when counting 1&2&3&4&
or &1&2&3&4, while the ampersands are the upbeats.
DRAG - Bring free foot slowly together to
the supporting foot
DRAW - See Drag
ELECTRIC KICKS - This a Hip Hop manoeuvre and is done
forward on right while kicking left foot backwards slightly off floor
back on left foot while kicking Right forwards slightly off floor
back on right while kicking Left forwards slightly off of floor
fwd on left while kicking right backwards slightly off floor
Double Electric Kicks is the above 4 beat manoeuvre dons twice
FALL AWAY - See Partner Dance position-
FAN - See Heel Fan or Toe Fan
FAN KICK - A high, straight leg kick where the extended
leg makes a circular sweep.
FIGURE FORE (FOUR) - The, The free leg moves as a
pendulum in front of the weighted foot and is kept off the floor.
The toe is pointed downward.
FLARE - A low kick on or near the floor
FLEA HOP - A skip or scoot sideways in the
direction of the non-support leg. The
hip moves upward
FLICK - A lift of the foot bending at the
FLOD - Line of Direction, Line of Dance, or
Forward Line of Dance on the dance floor.
The direction that the dance is
normally flowing in.
The term FLOD is most often used when there are a number of direction
changes in a step description.
FLOD is usually counter clockwise around the dance
floor. Against FLOD is RLOD
(Usually anti-clockwise around the dance floor.) See ILOD, OLOD,
FLOOR ALIGNMENT - See FLOD, ILOD, RLOD, OLOD,
FOLLOW THROUGH - The non-support foot passes by the
weighted foot before changing directions
FOOT BOOGIE A four beat pattern of toe / heel
swivels (right or left) with one foot staying in as follows:
Right Foot Boogie
Left in place, swivel Right toe to right
Right heel to right
Right heel to centre
right toe to centre left
Left Foot Boogie is opposite above,
FOOT PARTS - Parts of the foot used in dance
edge of the toe
edge of the toe
edge of the ball
edge of the Ball
edge of the heel
edge of the heal
edge of the flat foot (instep)
Outside edge of the flat foot
FOOTWORK - The use of the five positions of the
feet in dancing.
together 2 Feet Parallel
to instep – instep to heel 4 Forward or back
to heel, Heel to Toe
FRAME - Dance posture for the purpose of
maintaining balance, posture & appearance.
FREEZE - A step - no movement. See Hold.
FRONT SIDE - The area half way between the front
and the side.
GALLOP a.ka. Cross Shuffle - A sideway
syncopated manoeuvre wherein one
foot crosses over the other and
Steps and then the trailing foot pushes off towards the direction of
travel. The leading foot hen steps
towards direction of travel to complete the manoeuvre. For example:
Right foot over left and step
off to the left slightly with Left in place
to the left on Right.
GRAPEVINE - A continuous traveling step to the
side with crosses behind and/or across in front.
VINE is an abbreviation. The Grapevine is a
3-count move to either side. The 4th count is an optional ending,
such as a brush, kick, scoot, etc. Any more than 3 counts is called a WEAVE. See Weave
GRIND WALK - Also called a Heel Twist and a Suzie
Q. 1. The right heel is extended
forward across left foot
with the right toe pointing toward the left. 2. Keeping the weight on the right heel
twist the right toes to the
right as the left foot steps to side left.
HAMMERLOCK - a.k.a. Hammer. See Partner Dance Positions - Pretzel
HEEL BALL CHANGE - Touch heel forward on Count 1,
quickly change weight to opposite foot on” & Count”,
followed by a quick weight change back to starting foot on Count 2. This move
is done in place.
HEEL BOUNCE The simultaneous raising of both heels
(either together or slightly apart) and lowering them to the floor.
a.k.a. Heel Raises, Executed on beats
HEEL FAN Feet are together, the heel of one
foot move to the side & back together.
HEEL CLICKS – Fast heel spreads (splits) counted
& 1 & 2, clicking the heels slightly together on the down beet
HEEL SPLITS - Feet together with weight on the balls of both feet
Push heels apart on count 1. Bring heels together on count 2.
A FAST HEEL SPLIT takes one beat of music and is counted
as & 1 or 1 & See toe splits.
Also known as Scissors,
Butterflies Buttermilks, Spits. Pigeon Toes, Heel Spreads, Texas Spread etc
HEEL STOMP - Lift both heels off the floor by
bending the knees. Return the heels to
the floor with emphasis.
See Heel Bounces
HEEL SWIVELS - With feet together and weight on the
balls of the feet shift both heels either right or left and back to centre.
HEEL TOUCH -,See Touch
HIP BUMPS - Move hips out and back.
HIP LIFT- The hip lifts the leg by rotating the
hips around the axis or the hips lift sideways
HEEL SWITCHES - A syncopated movement in which the
weighted and un-weighted feet switch places from heel
touches to home position. Example: Usually done in multiples as below.
Right heel forward.
right to home.
2 Touch Left heel forward.
Left to home
HEEL TWIST - See Grind Walk
HITCH - A lifting of a leg without executing
HITCH HIKE –Upper body movement either thumb
points back over shoulders, usually while stepping back.
HOOK - The free foot moves as a pendulum in
front or back of the weighted foot and is kept off the floor.
HOOK COMBINATION is a 4 count move using
free foot over opposite knee
HOP - A spring into the air from one foot landing
on the same foot.
HORSESHOE - See Partner Dance Positions -Side By
- Inside Line Of Dance. Dance facing centre of dance floor
IMPROVISE - To add moves and variations within
an original Choreography, i.e. rolling turns during Grapevines, etc.
JAZZ SQUARE - a.k.a. Jazz
Box. A dance pattern with 4 weight
changes as follows.
Left foot over right and step
back on Right foot
to the left on Left
right next to left
Right over Left and step
back on Left
to the right on Right
Left foot next to Right
JUMP - Spring into air off both feet and
land on both feet
JUMPING JACKS - jump landing with feet apart on
Count 1 Jump landing with feet together on Count 2.
These can be done quickly by jumping apart on Count 1 and
back together on Count &.
KNEE POP - The non-supporting knee is 'popped'
forward as the heel is lifted. As the
heel is lowered and knee returned
is to straight position. May be done as a Double knee pop with feet
together or slightly apart
KICK - A leg lift movement in any direction
taken from the knee, The knee does not completely straighten.
KICK-BALL CHANGE – Kick foot out on Count 1, quickly change weight to Opposite foot
on “& Count”,
followed by a quick weight change back to starting foot on Count 2. This move is done in place
LEAP- A transfer of weight from one
foot to the other. Push off with a
spring and land on the ball of the other
foot, letting the heel come down. Bend
knee to absorb the shock.
LOCK - A tight cross of the feet
LOCK STEP - Step forward and slide opposite foot
up to first foot with ankles crossed.
– Line of Dance
LOUIE, LOUIE - a.k.a. Louis Louie Swivels. A manoeuvre
done with one foot forward of the other and weight
On balls of both feet. The knees are bent slightly and both
heels swivel inward and then back to centre.
LUNGE - A weight transfer to a bent leg with
the other leg extended.
MASH POTATO - a.k.a. Mashed Potatoes. A syncopated maneuver traveling rearward
which involves the stepping back
(usually behind the other foot) with the heel turned slightly inward, and then
the quick swiveling of the heel on the
weighted foot outward.
right slightly behind left with right heel turned slightly to the left
Swivel Right heel to the right & Step back on Left slightly behind Right
foot with left heel turned slightly to the right
left heel to the left
This pattern may continue for as many beats as desired. Sometimes there is a variation in the middle
of the pattern as follows
& 1&2 Same as above
as & 1 above
feet in place, swivel both heels inward
both heels outward
MEASURE- in 4 /4 time (most CIW music), a grouping
of four accented beats (3 beats for waltz time.)
MILITARY PIVOT - A 1/2 turn maneuver using two beats
of music where upon the first beat is a step forward with one foot,
and the other beat is a 1/2 turn on weighted foot while shifting the weight to
the other foot.
MILITARY TURN - A 1/4 turn maneuver using two beats
of music where upon the first beat is a step forward on one foot,
and the second beat is a 1/4 pivot on
the weighted foot while shifting the weight to the other foot.
MINUET - Performed as a partner dance waltz
move. A maneuver where the man and lady
are facing each other
holding one or both hands. On beats
1-2-3, they close together holding hands about chest high.
On 4-5-6 they back away from each other, lowering the hands down to waist
MIXER - A dance or dance pattern during
which couples change partners.
- Outside Line of Dance – Dancers
face the outside of dance floor
OUT OF PHRASE - When the number of steps in a dance
pattern are not equal to the number of beats or
measures of music, or verse.
PHRASE - In music, a division of a composition,
usually consisting of two, four, or eight measures.
Also See OUT OF PHASE. In dance to execute the Correct
Movements to a number of measures.
PIROUETTE - To do a complete turn on one foot
PIVOT - Turn by putting weight on the balls
of one or both feet keeping feet in place
PLIE (plee-ay) -The body lowers with weight over both feet
POPCORN - This movement is done by roiling the
knee while keeping the ball of foot in place using two beats of music.
POPCORN LEFT Roll Left knee in a
half circle to the left then back to centre
POPCORN RIGHT - Roll Right knee in a half circle to
right then back to centre
POLKA - Three steps done to two beats of
music. See Shuffle,
POINT - Point the free foot forward, backward,
sideways or Crossways without touching the floor. See Touch
PREP - A lead in move or step, a set up
used as preparation for a turn or a change of dance position
PUSH STEP - A ball change pattern moving to the
side, forward or backwards.
RAMBLE - A pattern traveling sideways (right
or left) by alternating weight on both heels then both toes (or vice versa)
and fanning both feet to the direction of the ramble.
RIPPLE - See Body Roll.
RISE - RISE. & FALL - The coming up on
the toes by bracing the ankles and stretching the spine Used in C/W Waltz,
BODY RISE - The rise of the body as controlled
by bracing leg muscles or stretching the spine. Used in C/W Waltz and Polka
RLOD – Reverse Line Of Dance
ROCK - With feet apart, shift weight from
Left to right foot or from Right to Left foot.
This movement is a weight change
so you will not be changing the position of the feet although they may tilt
slightly off of the floor.
ROCK STEP - A usually done in two beats of
music, initiated by stepping
in any direction on the first beat
while bending the knee slightly, and by using a rocking motion, returning the
onto the other foot on the second beat.
ROCKING MANEUVER - Two weight changes in opposite
directions, usually done while feet are already in place.
ROCKING CHAIR - A 4- Beat manoeuvre where one foot (either right or left) remains as an anchor
point while the
dancer rocks forward and back (or vice verse) on the other foot. For example:
forward on Right
back on left foot in place
back on Right
forward on Left in place
RODEO KICKS -A two beat Kick with either foot, the
first kick forward and the second kick to the side it is
common to follow these kicks with a Triple -Step in place or
a Sailor Shuffle
ROLL - The indicated part of the body
circles right or left
ROLLING TURN - A 3/4 to Full turn while progressing
in any given direction usually requiring 3 to 4 steps.
RONDE' - a.k.a. Ronde-de-jamb. A movement where the un-weighted leg moves
from one leg position to another in a
circular arc in either a CW or CCW direction. Moving foot does not have to be in contact
with the floor and is never
raised higher than the knee.
ROTATION - To rotate or turn.
ROUTINE- A choreography in which the steps and
moves are performed to exactly fit the phrasing of a certain rendition
of a song. The routine usually has a fixed pattern but
will be altered with Tags' and/or truncations in order to match
the phrasing of the song used. See Tags, Truncations
RUNNING MAN - This is a movement being used in Hip
forward on Right
back on Right while lifting Left knee
forward on Left
back on Left while lifting Right knee
forward on Right
back on Right while lifting Left knee
forward on Left foot
SAILOR STEP - A dance pattern. A shuffle step starting with a cross
behind. The name derives from the
type a sailor does when he first hits dry land. The style is
accomplished by leaning in opposite direction of the crossing foot.
Also called a Sailor Shuffle.
Left behind Right
Lean to the left throughout
Right behind Left
Lean to the Right throughout
SCHOTTISCHE - See Partner Dance Positions-Side by
SCISSOR STEPS - A 3 beat crossing maneuver initiated
with a side step and completed with a crossover step.
to the right on Right foot
Left foot next to Right
Right foot over Left and
Weight is distributed evenly on both feet; legs slide past
each other sideways, forward or backward.
SCOOT - A scoot is a slide of the weighted
foot forward, backward or sideward, raising the opposite leg with a bent knee.
SCUFF - Also see Brush, On a Scuff the free
leg swings forward with the heel scraping the floor with accent, after which
the foot is lifted slightly
SEMI-OPEN - See Partner Dance Positions -
SHADOW - See Partner Dance Positions-Tandem
SHIMMY - Upper body movement. Rapidly move shoulders alternately forward
Left shoulder moves forward while Right shoulder moves
backwards and vice versa.
SHINE - See Partner Dance Positions -
SHRUG -A roll of one or both shoulders
either backwards or forwards in a circular motion.
SHUFFLE - A direction movement beginning with
one foot then the bringing of the opposite foot together with the
starting foot and then stepping again with the starting foot
in the initial direction
These steps are taken to 2 beats of music, counted 1 &2
SIDE -The area to the side of the dancer.
SIDE CAR - See Partner Dance Positions-
SKATERS - See Partner Dance Positions
SKIP - See Scoot
SLAP - Use one hand to slap the opposite
foot or knee.
SLIDE - Moving an un-weighted foot in any
direction keeping foot in contact with the floor.
SPIN - A full or 3/4 turn executed on one
foot in one beat of music
SPLITS - See Heel Splits or Toe Splits
STAMP - See Stomp Up
STARTING POSITION - The position required to begin a
dance. Also we Partner Dance Positions
STEEPLE - Sea Partner Dance
Positions - Arch
STEP - The transfer of weight from one foot
STEP PATTERN - See Choreography
STOMP - Strike the floor with the complete foot
causing a stomping noise.
STOMP DOWN - The weight may end up evenly
distributed on both feet
STOMP UP - No weight applied; the foot may
rebound ready to use again depending on the next movement
STRIDE - A term used in Waltz descriptions
for the slightly longer step occurring on the first and fourth count of a Waltz
as these counts are the heavy downbeats in the Waltz rhythm.
STROLL - A forward step followed by a cross
behind, and another forward. Usually
moving diagonally forward
STRUT - A strut takes two counts and
is two movements, Step forward on the heel with toe remaining in the air
On the next beat the toe goes down.
STUDIO - See Partner Dance Position-
SUGARFOOT - The alternate touching of the toe
and then the heel of the un-weighted foot next to instep of
Of the weighted foot
SUGARFOOT SWIVELS - The alternate swiveling of one foot
(see Ramble) in the direction of the
un-weighted foot while the un-weighted foot touches the toe
and then the heel
Left heel to the right while touching Right toe next to left instep
left toe to the right while touching Right heel to left instep
SWEEP - The foot brushes front diagonally
across the standing foot and is carried around in an Arc to the side
before it is lowered. a.k.a. Fan Brush
SWEETHEART -See Partner Dance Position - Side-By
Side, Wrap, Dancing Skaters, Tandem
SWING - The free foot is raised and moved
forward, backward, or crossways
SWITCH - Return one foot together with a hop
while at the same time putting the opposite foot out
SWIVEL - With feet together, move the heels
or toes in the given direction by putting the weight on the opposite
part of the foot
SWIVEL LEFT - Start with feet together. Keep toes on floor and move both heels to
the left. Now leave the heels on the
floor and move both toes to the left. Keep repeating as many times as
necessary. First heels then toes, then
SWIVEL RIGHT - Same as Swivel Left but move toward the right
SWIVET- Performed either right or left. Move is done on the ball of one foot and
heel of the other.
A Right Swivet: On the ball of left foot and heel or Right
foot swivel left heel to the left and Right toes to the
A left Swivet: On the ball of Right foot and heel of Left
foot, swivel Right heel to the right and Left toes to the left.
Swivet to about 45°
SYNCOPATION - A manoeuvre that employs steps
between the downbeats. Example: Shuffle, Kick-Ball Change.
TAG a.k.a. Add – A repeated (or an entirely different) choreography
for a section of the existing dance pattern
Inserted where required in order to allow to dance to be
phrased to, or comply with, the phasing of a certain
rendition of a song. Also see Routine.
TAMARA - See partner Dance Position - Pretzel
TANDEM - See Partner Dance Positions -Tandem
TEMPO - The speed of the music.
Usually measured in Beats Per Minute (BPM)
TIME - the number of beats per measure
TIME SIGNATURE -A fraction at the Beginning, and
sometimes within, music notation that signifies the number of
beats per measure and the duration of the notes, the upper number
identifies number of beats in one measure,
while the lower number identifies which kind of note gets one beat.
= Four beats per measure, a quarter note
gets one beat.
= Three beats per measure, a quarter note
gets one beat.
= Six beats per manure. an Eighth note
gets one beat
TOE FAN - Feet arc, the toes of one foot move
to the side and back together.
TOE SPLIT - With heels in place, fan both toes
out and back together - See Heel splits
TOE TOUCH -See Touch
TOGETHER - Move free foot next to opposite
TOUCH -The heel or toe touches the floor in
a given direction without putting weight on that floor
TRAVELING APPLEJACK - A pattern traveling sideways
bringing the toes together leaving the heels apart,
Then bringing the heels together leaving the toes
apart. Weight is on one toe and the
opposite heel, then reversed
to result in sideways travel - See Applejacks
TRIPLE STEP - Three steps, L-R-L or R-L-R, taken
in place within two beats of music.
TRUNCATION - A sequence of steps purposely
eliminated from the fixed pattern of choreography in order to fit
the remaining pattern exactly to the phrasing of certain Rendition
of a song. Also see Routine.
TURNING - changing position in a circular
TWIST - With feet together, move the heels
in the given direction by putting weight on the balls of the feet.
UNWIND -A manoeuvre, which starts with the
crossing of one foot in front of and to the opposite side of the other.
A turn is then executed with the feet in place, which then
in effect unwinds, and returns the legs to a normal
position. An unwind
can be either 1/4 or 1/2 turn in duration. If the turn is more than 1/2, the manoeuvre then
Corkscrew. See Corkscrew.
UPBEAT - The unaccented beats in a
measure of music. There are four of
these in a 4/4 measure.
They are the &,
when counting 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & or & 1 & 2 & 3 &
VARIATION - Any movement of footwork that is
different from the original footwork.
VARSOUVIENNE - See PARTNER dance
Positions – Side by Side
A syncopated crossing pattern as follows:
& Step Slightly
back and to the left on Left foot.
1 Cross Right foot over
Left and step,
slightly to the left on Left while turning body diagonally to the right
right foot forward and diagonally to the right
Note: Beats “& 1”
may vary in that " Right foot may Cross behind the Left. In this instance
the steps on the previous
"&” would be directly to the left.
VAUDEVILLE RIGHT - A syncopated
crossing Pattern as follows:
& Step slightly back and to the left on Left.
1 Cross Left foot over Right and step.
& Step slightly to the right on Right while turning
body Diagonally to the left
2 Touch Left foot forward and diagonally to the
“&1” may vary in that the left foot cross behind the Right. In this
the steps on the previous “& "
would be directly to the right.
VAUDEVILLE STEPS - One or more combinations of both
vaudeville Right and vaudeville left (or vise versa) manoeuvres.
VINE - See Grapevine, Weave
WAGON WHEEL - Like the spokes in a wagon wheel, to
turn around on a spot in any dance position using two or
more people. Cotton Eyed Joe
is often danced in this formation.
WEAVE - A manoeuvre to the right or left
accomplished with two or more side steps and two or more crossing steps
The crossing alternate between crossing behind and crossing
in front of the side steps. Also see
WEIGHT CHANGE - Shifting body weight from the
supporting foot to the free foot. - See And Step.
WESTERN POLKA - See Partner Dance Positions - Side
WHIP- An abrupt turn away from previous
patterns – Also a dance pattern in Swing and Lindy Rhythm
WHISK - A Waltz pattern in three beats using
a forward or backward step left, followed by a side step right,
And a cross behind left
WILLIES - Step forward with toe pointing in and
weight on the balls of the feet.
WILLIE WALK - See Strut
WOOLY BULLY - Kick Right foot forward; Cross Right
ankle in front of Left shin; Pivot 1/2 turn left on the ball of Left
while bringing the Right foot back beside the Left knee
(Right foot remains raised with knee bent for the previous 3 counts).
Step back on to the Right.
Scoot forward on right with Left knee bent and raised. Step forward onto Left Bring right forward
and cross Right heel in front of Left shin Pivot 1/2 turn
left on the ball of the Left while bringing Right back beside Left knee:
Step back onto Right foot.
Scoot forward on Right with Left knee bent and raised.
WRAP AROUND - See partner Dance Position - Wrap.
YOKE - See Partner Dance Positions - Bow
ZIGZAG - 1.
To move diagonally across the Line of dance as you alternate directions.
The longest distance between two straight lines.
~ partner DANCE POSITIONS ~
CLOSED - Partners face each other slightly offset. The man holds the lady's right hand in his
(shoulder height). His right hand is
placed on the lady's left shoulder blade, with the fingers and thumb held
The lady rests her left hand on the
man's upper arm, or slightly behind his right shoulder, with thumb and fingers together.
a.k.a. Ballroom, Studio
2. COUNTRY / WESTERN CLOSED - Partners
Face, with toes pointed towards each other. The man holds the lady's right hand
in his left (shoulder height). His
right hand or wrist rests on lady's left
shoulder, or on the back of her shoulder.
The lady's left
hand rests on the man's upper right arm, or slightly behind his shoulder, with
fingers and thumb held together.
INDIAN - Dancers are in
single file. Lady is in front. Use a double handhold. Their joined hands are on
- The man may also be in front of the lady using this handhold.
4. Reverse Indian - Dancers are in single
file. Lady is behind man. The man uses a double handhold.
Their joined hands are together, placed
behind the man's hips.
Note: The lady may also be in front of the man
using this handhold.
Left or Right (Right is assumed)
For a Right Wrap, couple is facing in the same direction. The lady is slightly in front of the man on
his right side, with her left
foot slightly in front of his right foot, using a double hand hold, the man’s
right arm is wrapped behind the lady's back.
Their joined hands rest on her right hip.
His left arm is crossed in front of the lady.
For a Left Wrap, couple is facing in the same direction. The lady is slightly in front of the man on his
left side, with her right
foot slightly in front of his left foot.
Using a double handhold, the man's left arm is wrapped behind the lady's
Their joined hands rest on her left hip.
His right arm is crossed in front of the lady a.k.a. Cuddle, Cradle, Basket, Sweetheart.
6. DANCING SKATERS - (Elbows
are always equal in both right and left positions.)
couple faces the same direction; the lady is slightly in front of the man's
right hip. The man's right arm is
behind the lady's back. Their right
hands rest on the lady’s right hip. The
lady's right hand may also be held behind her back.
Their left hands are held in front of the man at chest level.
couple face the same direction, the lady is slightly in front of the man's left
hip. The man's left arm is
crossed behind the lady's back. Their left hands rest on the lady's left
hip. The lady's left hand may also be held
behind her back. Their right hands are
held in front of the man at chest level. a.k.a. Sweetheart
7. SKATERS - RIGHT: The couple face the same
direction. the lady is on the man's right. The man holds the lady's right hand
in his right hand, and her left hand in
his left hand. The arms are crossed
right over left and are held at about waist level.
Left: The couple face the same direction, the
lady is on the man's left. The man
holds the lady's right hand in his right hand,
and her left hand in his left hand. The
arms are crossed right over left and are held about waist level.
REVERSE RIGHT: The couple face the same direction,
the lady is on the man's right. Their
arms are crossed behind their backs.
The right hands are on the lady's right hip, the left hands on the man's left
hip. a.k.a. Cross Back.
Reverse Left: The
couple face the same direction, the lady is on the man's left. Their arms are crossed behind their backs,
The right hands are on the man's right hip, the left hands on the lady's left
hip. a.k.a. Double Reverse
ARCH - Right: Partners face in the
opposite direction. The right arms are
hooked at the elbows. The left hands are joined
above their heads in an arch. The right hands may be joined and held at
the right sides.
Left: Partners Face in
the opposite direction. The left arms
are hooked at the elbows. The right
hands are joined
above their heads in an arch.. The left hands may be joined and held at the
left sides. a.k.a. Steeple, Cathedral, Hook.
9 SIDE BY SIDE - (Elbows are held at an equal level in
both right and left positions.)
Right: The couple face the
same direction, lady is on the man's right side. Her left foot is slightly in front of his right foot.
The right hands are held slightly forward of the lady's right shoulder. The
left hands are slightly forward of the lady's left shoulder.
Left: The couple Face
the same direction, lady is on the man's left side. Her right foot is slightly in front of his left foot.
The left hands are held slightly forward of the lady's left shoulder. The right hands are held slightly forward of
right shoulder a.k.a. La Varsouvienne, Horseshoe, Schottische,
Western Polka, Cotton Eyed Joe, Jody, Sweetheart
10. BOW - Right: Partners face the same direction; lady is to the man's
right. Using a double handhold, his
left arm is
crossed behind his neck. His right arm
is crossed behind the lady's neck.
face the same direction; lady is to the man's
left. Using a double handhold, his
right arm is crossed
behind his neck. His left arm is
crossed be hind the lady's neck. a.k.a. Yoke,
11. PRETZEL Right: Partners face the opposite
direction using a double hand hold, her tight hand is in his left hand,
her left in his right hand. The lady is
slightly in front of the man on his right side. The man's left arm, and the lady's right,
are held up, elbows down. His right
arms, and lady’s left arm, are crossed behind the lady's back.
Left: Partners face the
opposite direction using a double handhold, her right hand in his left hand,
her left in his right hand.
The lady is slightly in front of the man on his left side. The man's right arm, and the lady's left,
are held up, elbows down.
His left arm, and lady's right arm, are
crossed behind the lady's back. a.k.a. Hammerlock,
12. OPEN - Partners
face each other. Hand Holds for Open
Single Man's left hand is joined with lady's right
hand. The free hands are held close to
OPEN POSITION CROSS: Man’s right hand is joined with the lady's
right hand (as in a hand shake)
The free hands are held close to the body.
Double: The lady's right hand is in the man's
left hand. The lady's left hand is in
the man's right hand.
Open Position Crossed Double: The
lady's right hand is in the man's right hand.
The lady's left hand is in the man's left.
Either hand may be on top. However,
Right hand is on top is the most common.
13. CHALLENGE- Partners face each
other. They are standing apart. There is no body contact. a.k.a. Shine.
14. PROMENADE - From Closed dance position, the man and
the lady step forward in a "V" position down the line of dance.
a.k.a. Conversation, Semi - open.
15. SWING - The couple stand in Promenade dance position. His right hand is on the lady's back on her
left shoulder blade. The joined hands are held lower, about the lady’s waist
level, in a cup & pin position.
16. OPEN PROMENADE -
Right: The couple are in Open Dance
Position. The lady is to the right of
the man. The lady's left hand is
the man's right. They are facing the
same direction, both traveling down the both traveling
Line of dance
Left: The couple are in Open Dance
Position. The lady is to the left of
the man. The lady's right hand is held
left. They are facing the same
direction, both traveling down the line of dance.
Right: From Closed Dance
Position (Traditional or Country/ Western) the man steps forward and slightly
to his left
(outside) to place the lady into Right Parallel Dance Position. They face each other, but the lady is to the
right side of the man.
Her right foot is slightly in front of the man's right foot. They should be the same width apart as they
were in the Closed Dance
Position. Although the couple have
moved slightly sideways, the man's left arm and the lady's right arm are still
in the same
place as they were in the Closed Dance Position.
Left: Traditional or Country/Western) The
couple face each other, but the lady is to the left side of the man, in Left
Parallel Dance Position. The lady's
left foot is slightly in front of the man's left foot. They should be the same width apart as
they were in the Closed Dance Position.
The man's left arm and the lady's right arm are in about the same
position as they
were in the Closed Dance Position; The lady should not be directly beside the
man. a.k.a. Banjo , Side Car
18. TANDEM The lady stands directly in front of the man. He holds her left hand in his left hand,
mid-chest to shoulder level.
His right hand is placed on her right hip, fingers together, pointing to her
left side. The lady places her right
hand on top of the
man's right hand, or under his right hand.
Their right hands may also be placed it the lady's centre waist.