Thursday, July 28, 2011

Style of Dance

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This is a promenade position for dance or specialized dance forms, such as ballet, tap dancing, and square dancing.

- Amalgamation

"A combination of two or more figures". More generally: a sequence of figures that a couple wants to dance.

- American Smooth

A category of dances in American Style ballroom competitions. It includes waltz, tango, foxtrot and Viennese waltz. Previously Peabody was also included.

This category loosely corresponds to the Standard category of International Style ballroom. However, Smooth differs from Standard in its inclusion of open and separated figures, whereas Standard makes exclusive use of closed positions.

- American Rhythm

A category of dances in American Style ballroom competitions. It includes Cha-cha-cha, Rumba, East Coast Swing, Bolero, Mambo. Sometimes it may include Samba and West Coast Swing.
This category loosely corresponds to the Latin category of International Style ballroom.

- American Style

The term describes a particular style of ballroom dances developed in the USA that contrasts with the International Style. In a narrower sense, it denotes the group of dances danced in American Style ballroom competitions. The group consists of two categories: American Smooth and American Rhythm.

-- Backleading

In social dancing strongly relying on leading and following, this term means that the follower executes steps without waiting for or contrary to the lead of the leader. This is also called anticipation and usually considered bad dancing habit. An exception would be to avoid a collision with another couple the leader hasn't seen (this is usually just to stop the leader performing specific steps rather than the follower actively executing steps).
Sometimes this term is used in the meaning of hijacking, which is not exactly the same.

--- Body flight

Body flight is a property of many movements in dances such as the waltz and foxtrot. It refers to steps taken with momentum in excess of that necessary to arrive at a point of static balance over the new position, which suggests a carry through to another step in the same direction. Steps in these dances naturally flow one into another, in contrast to the tango and to the Latin and rhythm dances where many steps arrive to a point of static balance.

--- Body contact

Body contact is a style of closed position in partner dancing ("closed position with body contact"); it is also a type of physical connection.

--- Body support

Support of the partner's body is largely avoided in ballroom dancing. The exception would be "lifts" - often featured in some forms of swing dancing, and ballroom showdance presentations, but banned in ordinary ballroom competition and rarely seen in social dancing.

--- Call

A call in square dancing is a command by a caller to execute a particular dance figure. In round dancing, calls are called cues. See "Caller" for the explanation of the difference. Voice calls may be complemented by hand signs. See also Voice cue.

--- Caller

A caller or a cuer is a person that calls/cues dance figures to be executed in square dances and round dances.

--- Center

When indicating a direction of movement during a dance, the term "center" means the direction perpendicular to the LOD pointing towards the center of the room. If one stands facing the LOD, then the center direction is to their left.
The term Center may also be used as shorthand for the center point of balance.

--- Center point of balance

Together with the center of gravity (COG), center point of balance (CPB) helps the dancer to better understand and control his movements. CPB differs from the two other centers in two respects. The exact location of the COG is always well-defined, however it significantly depends on the shape the body assumes. In contrast, the CPB during normal dancing (heads up, feet down on the floor) is always at the same place of the dancer body, although defined in a loose way: it is said that the CPB is in the general area of the solar plexus for the gentlemen, and navel for the women. The reason to distinguish this point lies in the following simple observation. If you put your feet together, you may move your head or your hips pretty far away from your area of support without losing your balance. But if you move your CPB just 2-3 inches away from the equilibrium position, you will feel a strong urge to step in this direction. Therefore awareness of your CPB, both consciously and instinctively, gives you a better control of the overall dance movement and connection with your partner.

Chassé

"A figure of three steps in which the feet are closed on the second step".

-- Closed dance figure

The term has at least two meanings: regarding dance position and regarding footwork.

A figure performed in closed position.
A figure in which at the last step the moving foot closes to rest at the support foot. Examples are box step in American Style waltz or natural turn in International Style Waltz.

-- Closed position

The ordinary position of ballroom dancing in which the partners face each other with their bodies approximately parallel. In Standard and Smooth the bodies are also offset about a half body width such that each person has their partner on their right side, with their left side somewhat unobstructed. Contrast promenade position and open position.

-- Connection

A means of communication between dancers in the couple. Physical and visual types of connection are distinguished. Sometimes referred to as resistance or tone, it involves slightly tensing the upper-body muscles, often in the context of a frame, thus enabling leader to communicate intentions to follower. See compression and tension, two basic associated actions/reactions.

-- Contra body movement


Refers to the action of the body in turning figures; turning the opposite hip and shoulder towards the direction of the moving foot.

-- Contra body movement position

Contra body movement position occurs when the moving foot is brought across (behind or in front) the standing foot without the body turning. Applies to every step taken outside partner; occurs frequently in tango and in all promenade figures.

- Compression

The term has several meanings.
Compression is a type of physical connection, opposite to leverage, in which a stress exists at the point(s) of contact directed towards the contact point(s). The term is frequently used, e.g., in swing dance community.
Compression is lowering the body by bending the knees in a preparation for a step. The term is mostly used in describing the Rises and falls technique of ballroom dances of Standard (International style) of Smooth (American style) categories: waltzes, tangos, foxtrots.
Compression is a hip action in Latin dances.
An action to achieve a graceful sway.

- Cuban hip motion

Cuban motion is characterized by a rhythmic swaying of the hips caused by the bending and straightening of the knees (though the knees remain "soft" —slightly bent— at all times). It is a style of movement which should be present in Latin American dances, including bachata, mambo, salsa, rumba, merengue, samba and cha-cha-cha. It tends to be easier to dance and more noticeable when the music is slow.

- Cue

Voice cues help match rhythmic patterns of steps (or other moves) with the music. There are different types of voice cues.

The most common example is the usage of "quick" and "slow" words: "quick-quick-slow" (pronounced as "quick quick slo-o-o-ow") immediately tells you that the third step takes twice the time of the first one (and of the second one).
Some East Coast Swing instructors cue the basic step as "shuf-fle-STEP, shuf-fle-STEP, rock BACK", to indicate both the rhythmic pattern of the figure (1&2, 3&4, 5, 6) and the syncopated character of swing music: every second syllable is stressed.
Still another example: the Box Step of American style Rumba may be cued as "forward-...-side-together, back-...-side-together", to indicate the directions of (leader's) steps and their timing.
Finally, for more advanced dancers voice cues are actually names of dance figures and standard variations:
"Two walks, link, closed promenade" (tango).
"Open telemark, natural fallaway, whisk, quick wing" (waltz).
"Dile que no!... setenta!... Dame dos con una!..." (salsa rueda)

Cues are an important element of round dances. In square dances they are called calls and called by a caller .

-- Dancesport

An official term to denote dance as competitive, sport activity.

Dance formation
1. Formation or dance formation is a team of dance couples.
2. Formation of a dance team is the specification of

- positions of dancers or dance couples on the floor relative to each other and
- directions the dancers face or move with respect to others.



-- Dance move

--- Dance pattern
Dance moves or dance steps are the building blocks of many dances. More complex dance moves are called dance patterns, dance figures or dance variations. They are usually isolated, defined, and organized so that beginning dancers can learn and use them independently of each other. Dance moves tend to emphasize the concepts of lead and follow and connection. In most cases dance moves by themselves are independent of musicality, which is the appropriateness of a move to the music (for a notable exception, see Bharatanatyam). Generally, they are memorized in sets of eight counts.
The names of moves may be somewhat arbitrary and vary from person to person and city to city. For example, in Lindy Hop, circles are also called "rhythm circles" and "reverses".
Dance moves may blur into each other. For example, the Lindy Hop move swing out from close can also be thought of as a groucho to open.
Each dance emphasizes its own moves, but often moves are shared by several dances.


--- Dance step

In a strict sense, a step, or a footstep, is a single move of one foot, usually involving full or partial weight transfer to the moving foot. However foot actions, such as tap, kick, etc., are also sometimes called "steps". For example, in a description: "step forward, replace, together" all three actions are steps.

Sometimes it is important to define the exact limits of one (foot)step, i.e., exactly when it begins and ends. In describing the detailed technique in Standard and Smooth dances (Waltz, Tango,...) it is agreed that in figures where the moving foot doesn't stop at the support foot a step begins (and the previous step ends) at the moment when the moving foot passes the support foot. Notice that according to this agreement such steps do not begin/end precisely at the "counts" 1, 2, etc. which normally match musical beats.

In a broader sense, step means dance step, i.e., a dance figure, e.g., basic step, triple step.


--- Direction of movement
In ballroom dancing (as well as in other types of partner dance), directions of (progressive) movement, in particular, directions of steps, can be indicated either in relation to the room or in relation to the body position. Directions of turns, although there are only two of them, may also be indicated in several ways.
See Direction of movement.

--- Direction of step

These are described in one of the following ways.

By compass points: Assuming that the dancer faces North at any moment, one may say, e.g., "take a step North-West".
By clock: Assuming that the dancer stands at the center of a clock with hands and faces 12, one may say, e.g., "take a step at two o'clock".
With respect to the line of the supporting foot, the next step may be placed
forward,
back,
sideways,
diagonally forward,
diagonally back,
forward and across,
back and across.


-- Figure

"A completed set of steps" More explicitly: a small sequence of steps comprising a meaningful gestalt, and given a name, for example 'whisk' or 'spin turn'.

-- Follower

In partner dancing, the two dance partners are never equal. One must be the Lead and the other will be the Follow.
The Lead (conventionally the male in a mixed sex couple) is responsible for choosing appropriate steps to suit the music (if it is an improvised dance), and leading the Follow by hand pressure and signals to complete the chosen steps smoothly and safely. If the dance is a set (pre-choreographed) routine, the Lead is still responsible for initiating each move, which ensures smooth coordination between the two dancers.
The degree to which the Lead 'controls' the dance (and, by implication, "controls" the Follow) depends on the dance style and dancer sensitivity, the social context in which the dance exists, the experiences and personalities of each partner, and a range of other factors. Some partner dances such as Lindy Hop involve an open position which encourages each partner to improvise alone, yet others, such as Argentine Tango may involve a "close embrace" or closed position which require Follows to follow the Lead more comprehensively.

For many individual dancers, exploring the limits of the Lead-Follow relationship adds to the dance, where this relationship might better be understood as a conversation between partners, with each contributing to the style and mood of the dance through their connection. For other partners, the lead's complete control of the follow, and the follow's relinquishing a greater degree of creative or expressive autonomy is more personally comfortable or satisfying.

-- Footwork

In a wider sense the term footwork describes dance technique aspects related to feet: foot position and foot action.

In a narrow sense, e.g., in descriptions of ballroom dance figures, the term refers to the behavior of the foot when it is in contact with the floor. In particular, it describes which part of the foot is in contact with the floor: ball, heel, flat, toe, high toe, inside/outside edge, etc. In the Smooth and Standard dances, it is common for the body weight to progress through multiple parts of the foot during the course of a step. Customarily, parts of the foot reached only after the other foot has passed to begin a new step are implied but not explicitly mentioned.

- Formation

Formation or dance formation is a team of dance couples.
Formation of a dance team is the specification of

positions of dancers or dance couples on the floor relative to each other and
directions the dancers face or move with respect to others.

-- Formation dance

Formation dance is a choreographed dance of a team of couples, e.g., ballroom Sequence Or Ballroom formation dance/team.

-- Full weight

Full weight or full weight transfer means that at the end of the step the dancer's center of gravity is directly over the support foot. A simple test for a full weight transfer is that you can freely lift the second foot off the floor.

--- Frame

Dance frames are the upper body positions of the dancers. A strong frame provides connection with your partner and conveys intended movement. A strong frame is where your arms and upper body are held firmly in place without relying on your partner to maintain your frame nor applying force that would move your partner or your partner's frame.
Major types of dance frames are Latin, smooth, and swing.

- Guapacha

Guapacha timing is an alternative rhythm of various basic cha-cha steps that are normally counted "<1>, 2, 3, cha-cha-1" whereas "cha-cha-1" is counted musically "4-&-1". In Guapacha, the step that normally occurs on count "2" is delayed an extra half-beat, to the "&" of 2, making the new count "<1>, -&-3, 4-&-1".

- Handhold

Handhold is an element of dance connection: it is a way the partners hold each other by hands.

- Heel lead

Landing on the heel of the foot in motion during a step before putting weight on the remainder of the foot. As in normal walking, much of the swing of the foot is accomplished with its midpart closest to the floor, emphasis shifting to the heel only as the final placement is neared.

- Heel turn

A heel turn is an action danced by the partner on the inside of turn in certain figures in Standard or Smooth. During the course of rotation, the dancer's weight moves from toe to heel of one foot while the other foot swings to close to it, then forward from heel towards the toe of the just closed foot. Follower's heel turns feature body rise coincident with the first step, which leads her foot to close next to the standing one rather than swing past. In contrast, when the leader is dancing a heel turn the rise is delayed until the conclusion of the turn, as he can better lead the amount of turn from a more grounded position. The heel turn is distinguished from other members of the family of heel pull actions which do not require complete closure of the feet. Follower's heel turns are commonly found in the double reverse spin and the open or closed telemark, and the natural and reverse turns of international style foxtrot, while leader's heel turns form the basis of the open or closed impetus.

- Hijacking

In social dancing strongly relying on leading and following, this term hijacking means temporary assuming the leading role by the follower. Also known as stealing the lead. Compare to backleading.

- International Standard

A category of dances in International Style ballroom competitions. Sometimes in the context of competitions it is called Ballroom or International Ballroom, confusing as it might be. (In England, the term "Modern" is often used, which should not be confused with "Modern Dance" that derives from Ballet technique) It includes waltz (also called "slow waltz"), tango, foxtrot, quickstep, and Viennese waltz. This category loosely corresponds to the Smooth category of American Style ballroom.
- International Style
The term describes a particular style of ballroom dances that contrasts with American Style. In a narrower sense, it denotes the group of dances danced in International Style ballroom competitions. The group consists of two categories: Standard and Latin.

- International Latin

International Latin is category of dances in International Style ballroom competitions. It includes Samba, Cha-Cha, Rumba, Paso Doble, and Jive.

- Jack and Jill

Jack and Jill (J&J) is a format of competition in partner dancing, where the competing couples are the result of random matching of leaders and followers. Rules of matching vary. The name comes from the popular English nursery rhyme, Jack and Jill. In venues with same-sex dance partners, the ambiguous name "Pat and Chris" has been used.
In dance competitions J&J is included as a separate division (or divisions, with additional gradations). J&J is popular at swing conventions, as well as at ballroom dance competitions in the USA.

- Latin (dance)
As applied to dances, Latin dance is any type of social dance of Latin American origin.
Latin dance is a general label (and a term in partner dance competition jargon) that refers to various forms of ballroom dance and folk dance, and can include a wide range of dances originating in Latin America (including Puerto Rico and Cuba).
Ballroom examples include the cha-cha-cha, rumba, samba, mambo, danza, merengue, tumba, bachata, bomba, plena, paso doble and bolero.[citation needed] Some also consider tango and Argentine tango in this list, although they differ from the rest in their overall style and in dance competition may form their own category or categories.[citation needed] The salsa style, originating among the Latin American population of Spanish Harlem in New York City, is also often considered Latin dance.
Latin folk dances of Argentina include the chacarera, gato, escondido and zamba. Typical Bolivian folk dances are the morenada, kullawada, caporales and the recently created tinku. In Colombia one of the typical dances is the cumbia.

- Latin hip motion

A characteristic type of hip motion found in the technique of performing a step in Latin and Rhythm dances. Although most visible in the hips, much of the effect is created through the action of the feet and knees. Sometimes it is also called Cuban hip motion, although because of the divergence in dance technique between American Rhythm and International Latin some prefer to distinguish the two, with the term "Latin motion" reserved for International Style, while the "Cuban motion" reserved for American Style and Club Latin dances. The most notable distinction (in a simplified description) is that in the International Style "Latin motion" the straightening of the knee happens before the full weight transfer, while in the "Cuban motion" the straightening of the knee happens after the full weight transfer. As a result, the Cuban hip motion results in a more fluid leg movement, whereas the Latin hip motion results in a more staccato leg movement.

- Lead stealing

A body lead occurs where the leader initiates a lead by moving their body, which moves their arm(s), and thus transmits a lead to the follow. 'Body lead' means much the same as 'weight transfer'. An arm lead occurs where the leader moves their arm(s) without moving their body, or moves their body in a different direction to their arm. While an 'arm lead' without the transfer of weight (or movement of the body) on the part of the leader is often a marker of an inexperienced or poorly taught dancer, the process of leading and following, particularly at an advanced level, often involves the contra- and contrasting uses of weight transfers and 'arm moves'. As an example, a leader may lead a follow back onto their right foot through the leader's own weight transfer forwards onto their left foot, yet at the same time turn the follow's torso to the left from above the hips.
The Lead has to communicate the direction of the movement to the Follow. Traditionally, the Lead's right hand on the follow's back, near the lowest part of the shoulder-blade. This is the strongest part of the back and the lead can easily pull the Follow's body inwards. To enable the Lead to communicate a step forward (backward for the Follow) the Follow has to constantly put a little weight against the Lead's right hand. When the Lead goes forward, the Follow will naturally go backwards.

An important leading mechanism is the Lead's left hand, which usually holds the Follow's right hand. At no point should it be necessary for any partner to firmly grab the other's hand. It is sufficient to press the hand or even only finger tips slightly against each other, the Follows hand following the Leads hand.
Another important leading mechanism is hip contact. Though not possible in traditional Latin dances like Rumba, Cha-cha, Tango Argentino because of partner separation, hip contact is a harmonious and sensual way of communicating movement to the partner, used primarily in Standard or Ballroom Dances (English / slow Waltz, European Tango, Quickstep etc) and Caribbean dances.

- Leader

The Lead (conventionally the male in a mixed sex couple) is responsible for choosing appropriate steps to suit the music (if it is an improvised dance), and leading the Follow by hand pressure and signals to complete the chosen steps smoothly and safely. If the dance is a set (pre-choreographed) routine, the Lead is still responsible for initiating each move, which ensures smooth coordination between the two dancers.
The degree to which the Lead 'controls' the dance (and, by implication, "controls" the Follow) depends on the dance style and dancer sensitivity, the social context in which the dance exists, the experiences and personalities of each partner, and a range of other factors. Some partner dances such as Lindy Hop involve an open position which encourages each partner to improvise alone, yet others, such as Argentine Tango may involve a "close embrace" or closed position which require Follows to follow the Lead more comprehensively.

For many individual dancers, exploring the limits of the Lead-Follow relationship adds to the dance, where this relationship might better be understood as a conversation between partners, with each contributing to the style and mood of the dance through their connection. For other partners, the lead's complete control of the follow, and the follow's relinquishing a greater degree of creative or expressive autonomy is more personally comfortable or satisfying.

- Leading and following
For the Lead and Follow to interact with each other, communication needs to occur between the dance couple. Since it's not practical to discuss moves, physical contact is the most effective means. More advanced dancers will take many cues from each other through this connection, with the Follow using it to communicate feedback to the Lead just as the Lead uses it to suggest moves to their partner. The most accomplished dancers use connection as a line of communication which allows the lead to incorporate the follow's ideas, abilities, and creative suggestions into their own styling and selection of moves.

In many partner dances, the lead's steps differ from the follow's. In face-to-face positions, the follow generally "mirrors" the lead's footwork. For example, if the lead begins on their left foot, the follow will begin on their right foot. In choreographed pieces and other situations where the follow is in a tandem position or shadow position, the lead and follow will use the same footwork. Usually both partners move together as a unit, but in some dances the partners move in opposite directions - together and apart again.

In partner dancing, dancers seek to work together to create synchronised or complementary movements. The lead is largely responsible for initiating movement, whereas the follow's role is to maintain this movement (though they may choose not to). Many dancers describe this process as involving the initiation of momentum or 'energy' (by the lead) and then the subsequent maintenance, exaggeration, decreasing or dissolving of this momentum by both partners. This momentum or energy may be manifested as movement (in its most obvious form), or in a range of more complex interactions between partners:

Compression (where each partner 'compress' the energy by bending joints and moving towards or 'into' their partner, to varying degrees);
Leverage (where one partner - usually the lead - exploits the development of compression or connection to shift their follow's weight or to 'ground' (develop 'compression' downwards, with the contact their feet make with the floor) themselves more thoroughly before initiating movement);
Tension (is the opposite of compression - partners moving away from each other but still in contact).
- Leverage

The term describes type of physical connection, opposite to compression, in which a stress exists at the points of contact directed away from the contact points. Predominantly used in the swing dance community.

- Line of dance

Line of dance (LOD) is conceptually a path along and generally parallel to the edge of the dance floor in the counterclockwise direction. To help avoid collisions, it is agreed that in travelling dances dancers should proceed along the line of dance.

Line of dance is a useful line of reference when describing the directions of steps taken, e.g., "facing LOD", "backing [or reverse] LOD". See also center, wall. Reference to line of dance is based on the direction faced by the leader rather than the follower.

Line of Dance is also a ballroom dance inspired clothing company that specializes in casual dancewear. Started by Chris Lynam in 2004, and then incorporated in 2010, Line of Dance Inc. now ships casual ballroom dancewear throughout the English speaking world.

- Line of foot

An imaginary straight line passing through the foot in the heel-toe direction.
[edit] Measures per minute
Measures per minute, or MPM, refers to the tempo of the music according to the number of measures or bars occurring in one minute of music. This can vary from as low as 25-27 MPM for international style rumba to as fast as 58-60 MPM for international style Viennese waltz.

- Musicality

Musicality is a noun that means sensitivity to, knowledge of, or talent for music. The word also refers to the quality or state of being musical (aka melodiousness.) A musical person has the ability to perceive differences in pitch, rhythm and harmonies. One usually differentiates between two types of musicality: To be able to perceive music (musical receptivity) and to be able to reproduce music as well as creating music (musical creativity).

Musicality may also refer to fitting a dance to the music being played, with the goal of relating the dance to the music's rhythm, melody, and mood. Dancers usually step on the beats of the music, and may vary the size of their movements with the volume of the music. This is especially true in choreography, where dancers plan a routine of dance moves, sometimes with a specific song in mind. This is also a key characteristic of improvised swing dancing. Unlike most ballroom dances which tend to use the music as a metronome to guide the dance, Lindy Hop and West Coast swing view matching your dancing to the spirit/mood of the music is the highest goal achievable.

- No foot rise

In descriptions of the footwork of step patterns the abbreviation NFR stands for no foot rise and means that the heel of the support foot remains in contact with the floor until the weight is transferred onto the other foot. See "Rises and falls" for details. The rise is felt in body and legs only.

- Open dance figure

The term has at least two meanings: regarding dance position and regarding footwork.

A figure performed in open position.
A figure in which during the last step the moving foot passes the support foot. Examples are feather step in Foxtrot or open left turn, e.g., in Tango.

- Open position

Open position is any dance position in couple dances, in which the partners stand apart in contrast to closed position. They may face inwards or outwards, and hold one or both hands or stand independently.
[edit] Outside partner position

A step into outside partner position occurs when the moving foot of the forward travelling partner moves on a track outside of their partner's standing foot when it would ordinarily move on a track aimed between their partner's feet. Due to the offset of the hold, this generally applies to a step with the right foot. (The term left side outside is often used for the rare occurrences when the left foot crosses to pass outside, as in the Hover cross). Steps into outside partner position are also required to be in contra body movement position, and are often preceded by a step with a strong side lead. The term "inline" is occasionally used when it is necessary to clarify that an outside partner position is not involved.

- Physical connection

A dance connection by means of physical contact. Types of physical connection are body contact, compression, leverage.

- Pinched shoulder

Pinched shoulder is the position seen when promenade position is incorrectly danced with an outward rotation of the upper bodies, rather than a rotational stretch in each body. It is characterized by one or both partner's having their trailing elbow behind the line of their shoulders, with a resulting break in the arm line at the trailing shoulder.

- Progressive dance

A dance that significantly travels over the dance floor, generally in the direction of the line of dance. Examples are waltz, foxtrot, polka, samba, Argentine tango. Compare spot dance, slotted dance.

- Promenade position

The promenade position is described differently in various dance categories. See also counter promenade position.
In ballroom dances their common trait is that the dance couple moves (or intends to move) essentially sidewise to the leader's left while partners nearly face each other, with the leader's right side of the body and the follower's left side of the body are closer than the respective opposite sides. Steps of both partners are basically sidewise or diagonally forward with respect to their bodies. Normally the dancers look in the direction of the intended movement.
In square dances it is a close side-by-side position in various handholds with the general intention to move together forward, "in promenade".
Replace

In brief descriptions of dance figures, replace means replacing the weight to the previous support foot while keeping it in place. For example a "rock back" figure may be described as "step back, replace". Notice that it doesn't require to "replace" the moving foot to the place from where it come in the previous step.


- Shadow position
Both partners face the same general direction, one of them squarely behind or slightly shifted sideways ("in the shadow"). Handholds vary. Variants: sweetheart position, cuddle position.

- Side lead

A body position or action during a step, sometimes also called Same side lead. Side leading refers to a movement during which the side of the body corresponding to the moving foot is consistently in advance as a result of a previous contra body movement or body turns less action. A step with side lead will often precede or follow a step of the opposite foot taken into contra body movement position (in which the leading side is that opposite the moving foot) without requiring intervening rotation of the body.
Due to the offset position of the partners in the hold, a left side lead may be quite pronounced whereas a right side lead will be more subtle if taken in closed position.

- Slot

In slotted dances, the dance slot is an imaginary narrow rectangle along which the follower moves back and forth with respect to the leader, who is more or less stationary. As a rule, the leader mostly stays in the slot as well, leaving it only to give way for the follower to pass him.
[edit] Slotted dance
A dance style in which the couple's movements are generally confined to a slot. The most typical slotted dance is west coast swing. Some other dances, e.g., hustle and salsa, may be danced in slotted style. Compare spot dance, travelling dance.

- Smooth

A category of dances in American Style ballroom competitions. It includes waltz, tango, foxtrot and Viennese waltz. Previously Peabody was also included.
This category loosely corresponds to the Standard category of International Style ballroom. However, Smooth differs from Standard in its inclusion of open and separated figures, whereas Standard makes exclusive use of closed positions.

- Spot dance

A dance that is generally danced in a restricted area of the dance floor. Examples are rumba, salsa, east coast swing. Compare travelling dance, slotted dance.

- Spotting

A technique used during turns. The dancer chooses a reference point (such as his or her partner or a distant point along the line of travel) and focuses on it as long as possible. When during the turn it is no longer possible to see it, the head flips as fast as possible to "spot" the reference point again. This technique guides the body during the turn, makes it easier to determine when to stop turning, and helps prevent dizziness.

- Standard

A category of dances in International Style ballroom competitions. Sometimes in the context of competitions it is called Ballroom or International Ballroom, confusing as it might be. (In England, the term "Modern" is often used, which should not be confused with "Modern Dance" that derives from Ballet technique) It includes waltz (also called "slow waltz"), tango, foxtrot, quickstep, and Viennese waltz. This category loosely corresponds to the Smooth category of American Style ballroom.

- Stationary dance

A dance that is generally danced in a restricted area of the dance floor. Examples are rumba, salsa, east coast swing. Compare travelling dance, slotted dance.

- Stealing the lead

Sometimes the follow steals the lead and they reverse roles for some time. This is called hijacking (also known as lead stealing). Hijacking requires experience and good connection, since without proper timing it may look like sloppy dancing. A signal for hijacking is typically an unusually changed (mostly, increased) stress in the connection from the follow's side. "Unusually" means more than typically required for the execution of the current step (by these partners). For a follow to hijack, they must be sure that the lead will understand or at least guess the follow's intentions.

- Step

In a strict sense, a step, or a footstep, is a single move of one foot, usually involving full or partial weight transfer to the moving foot. However foot actions, such as tap, kick, etc., are also sometimes called "steps". For example, in a description: "step forward, replace, together" all three actions are steps.

Sometimes it is important to define the exact limits of one (foot)step, i.e., exactly when it begins and ends. In describing the detailed technique in Standard and Smooth dances (Waltz, Tango,...) it is agreed that in figures where the moving foot doesn't stop at the support foot a step begins (and the previous step ends) at the moment when the moving foot passes the support foot. Notice that according to this agreement such steps do not begin/end precisely at the "counts" 1, 2, etc. which normally match musical beats.

In a broader sense, step means dance step, i.e., a dance figure, e.g., basic step, triple step.

- Standing foot

Same as Supporting foot.

- Supporting foot

It is also called support foot, a foot which bears the full (or nearly full) weight at the beginning of a step or while the other foot does some action (tap, ronde, etc.). Compare moving foot.

- Sway

The term sway has a specific meaning in the technique of ballroom dancing. Basically, it describes a body position in which its upper part gracefully deflects from the vertical.

-- Syncopation

In dancing, the term has two meanings: The first one is similar to the musical terminology. The second one is making more (and/or different) steps than required by the standard description of a figure, to address more rhythmical nuances of the music. The latter usage is considered incorrect by many dance instructors, but it is still in circulation, a better term lacking.

- Tension

Describes a physical connection, opposite to compression, in which a stress exists at the point(s) of contact directed away from the contact point(s) between partners. People frequently resort to describing the actions as "push" (compression, towards partner) and "pull" (tension, away from partner) to get the idea across. See also leverage.

- Three Ts

Technique, Timing, Teamwork. The criteria for evaluation of dance mastery in Swing dancing community.

- Timing

The relation of the elements of a dance step or dance figure with respect to musical time: bars and beats.

- Toe lead

Landing on the toe of the foot in motion during a step before putting weight on the remainder of the foot.

- Track of foot

The trajectory of the moving foot visualized as a narrow imaginary track, forward and backward of the foot rather than a line. For the standing foot, its track is determined by its current orientation on the floor which may be noted on the inside of turns where the feet often point in differing directions.

- Travelling (progressive) dance
A dance that significantly travels over the dance floor, generally in the direction of the line of dance. Examples are waltz, foxtrot, polka, samba, Argentine tango. Compare spot dance, slotted dance.

- Visual connection

A dance connection by means of visual awareness of partners in a couple. Visual connection by no means should replace the physical connection, and some consider it to be an inferior form of connection. However it does have its proper usages. Most important are the coordination of styles (arms, etc.) and when dancing without physical contact. An important example of the latter is spotting the partner during turns, especially free spins.
This type of connection is essential for "Shine Position Patterns", commonly found in latin dances like the Cha-Cha, Mambo, and Salsa as well as "Side By Side Position Patterns".

- Voice cue

Voice cues help match rhythmic patterns of steps (or other moves) with the music. There are different types of voice cues.

The most common example is the usage of "quick" and "slow" words: "quick-quick-slow" (pronounced as "quick quick slo-o-o-ow") immediately tells you that the third step takes twice the time of the first one (and of the second one).
Some East Coast Swing instructors cue the basic step as "shuf-fle-STEP, shuf-fle-STEP, rock BACK", to indicate both the rhythmic pattern of the figure (1&2, 3&4, 5, 6) and the syncopated character of swing music: every second syllable is stressed.
Still another example: the Box Step of American style Rumba may be cued as "forward-...-side-together, back-...-side-together", to indicate the directions of (leader's) steps and their timing.
Finally, for more advanced dancers voice cues are actually names of dance figures and standard variations:
"Two walks, link, closed promenade" (tango).
"Open telemark, natural fallaway, whisk, quick wing" (waltz).
"Dile que no!... setenta!... Dame dos con una!..." (salsa rueda)

Cues are an important element of round dances. In square dances they are called calls and called by a caller .

- Wall

When indicating a direction of movement during a dance, the term "wall" means the direction perpendicular to the LOD pointing towards the wall of the room (possibly imaginary). If one stands facing the LOD, then the wall direction is to their right.

3 Responses so far.

  1. I like the post, all the information on dance forms is there. Seems like you worked really hard for your writeup. Great Work!

  2. Saru,,thx for ur attention, im appreciate that.. :)Saru,,thx for ur attention, im appreciate that.. :)

  3. Obat Kuat says:

    postingan yang sangat menarik,,,,,

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