Ballroom dance terms

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Last updated: November 28, 2017
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First submittedNovember 27, 2017
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a series of steps used to create a dance figure or pattern
the counterclockwise movement of dancers around the dancing area in such dances as the waltz, foxtrot and tango
line of direction
movement characteristics associated with a particular dance, established by tradition or borrowed from the native country of origin of the dance
the foot on which the weight of the body rests, also called the standing foot
supporting foot
a dance that resulted from combining the characteristic step of the shag, the lindy and the jitterbug
swing dance
the displacement of the normal accent of music used
a dance that does not normally progress around a large area, but stays in one place
spot dance
the speed of playing music as determined by metronome
a dance and also a step sequence common to various dances, in which three changes of weight are made in two beats of music
a controlled shifting of weight from one foot to the other, either forward and backward or from side to side
balance step
a change from the basic foundation pattern of a dance. also a deviation from the basic musical rhythm
popular dancing performed in public or private ballrooms, halls, gymnasiums, etc.
ballroom dance
to touch or tap the free foot to the floor without transferring weight onto it
the established combination of footwork that is the framework or foundation of a particular dance
basic figure
the rhythm established by the base instruments of the orchestra. Ballroom dances are preformed "to the beat" not to the melody of the music
a position in which partners stand face to face without holding hands as they dance, standard position for most rock'n'roll dances and is used in some latin dances
challange position
a figure in which the feet in a boxlike pattern
a turn in place made on the ball of the foot, in either one step of a series alternating from foot to foot
the number of beats in each bar of music.
a sequence in music or dancing, expressed in the melodic line. it always conveys an idea or thought
a step similar to a normal walking step, but with the toe touching the floor before the heel is placed down
dance walk
guiding the direction of the dance and the order of the figures performed
a complete transfer of weight onto one foot
a complex system of ballroom dance developed in England, in which rigid rules and step patterns are strictly observed
international dance
remaining in the same position
step in place
a pause or hold in place for a determined number of counts
a movement in which the free foot passes close to the standing foot, this prevents the straddling effect that results from keeping the feet too far apart while dancing with a partner
follow through
the response of the woman to the man's lead
a sequence of steps used to create a pattern
the note in a series of musical pulsations that has an additional force placed on it
accented beat
any accentedbeat of the music
"a place where records are stored" where rock'n'roll dancing is done to records instead of a band
in the direction opposite that in which the hands of a clock rotate; to the left. dances such as the waltz, fox trot, and tango always progress in this direction around the dancing area
in the direction in which the hands of a clock rotate: to the right. it is usually applied to a turn made by either couples or individuals
a method of producing a "swinging" rhythm in music by shifting the normal accent to the following note
a box step
square step
the rhythmic structure of music, indicating number of beats or time units per measure
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