| Bob Curran (Instructor) | Jeannie Woolman (Instr/Choreog) |
| Trevor & Josephine Batten (Instr/Choreog) |
Critical Revisions Provided Courtesy Of:
| Pete McCracken (Instructor) | Charlotte Skeeters (Instr/Choreog) |
& Paul Bottomer (Four Times World & European Argentine Tango Champion)
Some differences of interpretation in respect of step patterns contained within the glossary remain unresolved. These differences may either be due to corruptions of dance patterns or may legitimately fall within the parameters of artistic licence.
"&" The ampersand symbol in dance descriptions is used to denote 1/2 (half) a beat of music or a quick count in between standard beats of music
45 Feet together, weight on left, Touch Right heel forward at a 45 degree angle and replace together. The term "45" is widely used by Australian Choreographers. ACROBATIC A move where a dancer's body, leg or foot passes over your partner's head (Check your Liability Insurance). AERIAL A move where a dancer's feet or foot is raised above your partner's shoulder or waist (Check your Liability Insurance). ACROSS LEFT Move your Right foot across in front of your left foot ACROSS RIGHT Move your Left foot across in front of your right foot ANGLE see DIAGONAL ANKLE ROCK Shifting your weight from one foot to another whilst your ankles are crossed. Also called by ANKLE ROLL in Australia. ANKLE ROLL See ANKLE ROCK APPLEJACK (R) With the weight on the heel of your left foot and ball of your right foot, twist right heel to left instep while turning both toes out and return to centre position (L) With weight on heel of right foot and ball of left foot, twist left heel to right instep while turning both toes out and return to centre position. BALL CHANGE A change of weight from the ball of one foot to the ball of the other foot BOOGIE see HIP BOOGIE BOOGIE WALK Move your free leg by lifting your hip and stepping forward BOOT HOOK See HOOK BOX STEP See JAZZ BOX and also explanatory description Jazz Square in Section 5.0A. BPM Beats Per Minute. Calculated by determining the number of beats in a 60 second timeframe. For further information on BPM and BPM counters see Section 12 of the FAQ. BREAK A Change Or Reverse Of Direction BRONCO With weight on your left, touch right toe to right side. Hitch right knee in front of left knee. You can slap your right knee with your left hand if you wish. This term is widely used in Australia. BRONCO TWIST Another Australian Dance Term: (R) With weight on your left heel and ball of your right foot twist heels to the right side and return to centre position. (L) With weight on your right heel and ball of your left foot twist heels to the left side and return to centre position. BRUSH A smooth swing of the leg to the front or back. As the leg swings, the foot lightly brushes the floor. Since a brush takes one count and leaves the foot in the air, another move/count is required to return the foot to the floor BRUSH UP An Australian term used to describe a right or left foot step move as follows. For a Brush Up (R): Feet together, touch Right heel forward at a 45 degree angle, lift to left shin, touch heel forward at 45 degree angle and replace together. BUMP Dancers bump hips to the side or with their partner See also HIP SWIVEL BUTTERFLY See HEEL SPLITS BUTTERMILKS See HEEL SPLITS CAMEL WALK Move the knee of your weighted leg forward by raising your heel off the floor and then returning it to the floor (A KNEE POP). Then follow this by stepping forward with your free leg whilst keeping your knee straight. Australian Variation: Step forward at 45 degrees onto right foot thrusting right hip forward, drag left foot together with hand clap straightening body. CAPE POSITION Woman stands to the right of the man. The man holds the woman's left hand with his left hand in front of the woman's left shoulder. The man crosses his right arm behind the woman and holds her right hand with his right hand in front of the woman's right shoulder. The man's arm is held just above the woman's shoulder. The couple face the line of dance. Also called by SWEETHEART POSITION, OPEN SOCIAL POSITION, PROMENADE POSITION or SIDE OPEN POSITION. Variation Of The Sweetheart/Side-By-Side Position Dancers are side by side with the lady to the right and "slightly in front of the man". The man's right arm extends across the lady's back with the right forearm resting lightly on the lady's right shoulder and the man's right fingertips touching the lady's right fingertips with her right hand raised to shoulder level, palm facing forward. The lady's left arm is extended to the left in front of the man with her left hand (palm down) resting in the man's left hand (palm up) almost "directly in front of the man's belt buckle". In this position, with the lady slightly in front of the man and with a space between partners, the lady has room to turn, spin or step sideways without bumping or interfering with the man. CBM Contra Body Movement CENTRE Both feet together with toes pointing forward. CHA CHA STEP A CHA CHA STEP involes a Contra hip movement (Cuban Hip) and is more of a weight change than a foot movement, although foot movement can occur. A CHA CHA CHA and a SHUFFLE are not interchangeable. They are two distinctly different steps done in the same rhythm (1 & 2 or 3 & 4). However, the terms CHA CHA CHA & SHUFFLE are sometimes confusingly used to mean the same thing so be warned! See also SHUFFLE For additional explanatory information see also Shuffle and Cha Cha Section 5.0A. CHA CHA CHA See CHA CHA STEP & SHUFFLE For additional explanatory information see also Shuffle and Cha Cha Section 5.0A. CHANGE OF WEIGHT Moving the weight from your weighted leg to your free leg CHARLESTON A 4-count step pattern. The pattern is step forward with the left foot, kick the right foot forward, step back on the right foot, touch the left toe behind, or vice versa, while swivelling the feet in and out. CHICKENS See HEEL SPLITS CHUG A scoot forward or sideways on one foot while the other foot is held in a raised position. Also called a SCOOT, SKOOCH or a HOP. CLOSE To bring the feet together without a change of weight COASTER STEPS Rock forward on your right foot, rock back on your left foot and then do a small cha cha cha backwards (R,L,R). Simply reverse this for a left foot Coaster Step. CONTRA DANCE A progressive social dance to live old-time reels & jigs in sets made of several minor sets of two couples each. A 64-beat dance of square dance-like figures is performed in the minor set, after which each couple progresses to make new minor sets, and the dance repeats. For further information see Section 12A. In Line Dancing the term "Contra Line Dance" is used to describe a dance in which two lines of dancers face each other. The term "Contra", a Latin prefix, literally means against or opposed to. The French and German equivalents being "Contre" and "Kontra" respectively. CONTREDANSE French Country Dance reaching its height of popularity in the 18th Century. COUNT Used to describe the "Counting" of foot movements, weight changes or beats of music. CPB Centre Point Of Balance CROSS The free foot will step across in front or behind the opposite foot. A CROSS STEP is most generally accepted as stepping across "In Front" of the other foot. If the foot goes behind the other foot, the most accepted call is a "HOOK" (don't confuse with a boot hook where the foot is raised in front of the other shin). CROSS-BALL-CHANGE See SAILOR STEP description (Section 5.0A) CUBAN HIP See CHA CHA STEP CW Clock Wise (To Your Right!) CCW Counter Clock Wise (To Your Left!) DEWEY STEP See JAZZ BOX and also explanatory description Jazz Square in Section 5.0A. DIAGONAL A Diagonal or Angle denotes an angle of 45 degrees from the forward or backward point of starting the dance. DIG A hard touch of the heel or toe of the unweighted foot to the floor as if "digging" a shallow hole with the foot DRAG Slowly move your free foot next to your supporting foot. Also called by DRAW. See also SLIDE STEP. DRAW See DRAG & SLIDE STEP DOROTHY CLICKS Just Like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz click your heels twice. With weight on the toes of both feet, quickly swivel heels out and back together with a click. These clicks are quick. Two clicks to one beat of music. ELECTRIC KICKS Essentially a "Hip Hop" movement involving both steps & weight changes: 1. Step back on your right foot 2. Rock forward replacing weight on your left foot 3. Step forward on your right foot 4. Rock back replacing weight on your right foot DOUBLE ELECTRIC KICKS: 1. Step back on your right foot & at the same time lift your left foot up &. Step forward on your left foot & at the same time lift your right foot up 2. Step forward on your right foot & at the same time lift your left foot up &. Step back on your left foot & at the same time lift your right foot up 3. Step back on your right foot & at the same time lift your left foot up &. Step forward on your left foot & at the same time lift your right foot up 4. Step forward on your right foot & at the same time lift your left foot up FAN BRUSH A brush where the free leg swings diagonally across the weighted foot then sweeps around in a circular motion back to the free leg side before moving on to the next step FANS (TOE) With weight on the heel of one or both feet move toe(s) to side and return to centre. This movement is like the opening and closing of a fan Australian Variation With feet together, turn right toe out to right side, twist both heels to the right, twist both heels back to the centre position and bring right toe together to centre position. FAST LANE A dance floor is usually divided into concentric lanes, with the outside lane being described as the "FAST" lane. This is usually occupied by Two Step and Waltz dancers. Depending on the size of the dance floor there may also be an "INNER" lane for slower dances (Schottische). If you are doing a slow dance, stay in this inner lane and let other dancers pass you on the outside. The closer you go to the center, the slower you may go. Line and Swing dancers are usually located in the "CENTRE" of the floor. For further information see Dance Floor Etiquette. FLARE Keeping heel on the floor move toe out to the side and then back in FLICK Lifting your foot whilst bending the leg at the knee FREEZE A Universal Challenge By A Law Enforcement Officer. It Means Exactly What Its Says. STOP & DO NOT MOVE. See Also HOLD. FRIEZE Another term widely used by Australian Choreographers. Better known as a GRAPEVINE. For a Frieze to the Right: Step right foot to right, cross left foot behind right foot, step right foot to the right & hitch the left knee or touch left foot together. Simply reverse the above for a Frieze to the left. GRAPEVINE A three step pattern (usually) used to move sideways across the dance floor. The pattern is characterised by the grapevine like path the feet trace on the dance floor. The step is performed by stepping to one side, leading with the foot on the side of the direction of travel, followed by crossing the opposite foot behind the lead foot, followed by bringing the lead foot back to a normal position. If the pattern is continued, then the opposite foot is crossed in front of the lead foot. In dance steps, the direction of travel is called with the term, example GRAPEVINE LEFT. Also called by VINE & in Australia by FRIEZE. See Also GRAPEVINE & TOUCH Section 5.0A HEEL-BALL-CHANGE This step move is usually perfomed in place: 1. Touch heel forward &. Quickly change weight to opposite foot 2. Quickly change weight back to starting foot HEEL FAN With feet together move the heel of one foot out to the side and then back together HEEL SHIFTS Starting with your feet together and weight on the balls of your feet move both your heels to the right or to the left. HEEL SPLITS A separating of the heels by swivelling on the balls of the feet, which are together at the start of the Heel Split. Also called by BUTTERMILKS, BUTTERFLIES, CHICKENS, HEEL SPREADS, PIGEONS, PIGEON TOES, SCISSORS, SPLITS, SWIVELS, SWIVETTES, TEXAS SPREAD. HEEL SPREADS See HEEL SPLITS HEEL STOMPS Raise the heels of both feet off the floor by bending at the knees and then return heels to the floor. Usually counted as "&1" and performed to one beat of music. HIP BOOGIE A swinging motion of the hips from front to back or from center to front or back. Also swinging one hip in the same manner to produce a diagonal motion. The appropriate hip is called with the step. Also called by BOOGIE HIP BUMP See HIP SWIVEL HIP SWING See HIP SWIVEL HIP SWIVEL A swinging motion of the hips from side to side. Also called by HIP BUMP, HIP WIGGLE or HIP SWING. HIP WIGGLE See HIP SWIVEL HITCH A lifting of one leg with the knee bent so the lower leg hangs straight down. This can be combined with a scoot or a turn. See Also Hitch Section 5.0A HITCH KICK A Kick and a Ball Change to the counts of 1 & 2 HOLD No movement whilst waiting for the next step or beat of music HOME The Home Position Is Left Foot Beside Right Foot ie. Your Original Starting Place HOOK The unweighted foot is swung in front or back of the weighted foot so as to form a hook shape at the knee and is held in this position usually for the duration of the count, eg. Lift your heel up bending your knee and almost touching about mid shinbone on the opposite leg. You will see some people touch their kneecap or even overshoot their leg altogether, but it is still a hook. A Hook is often used as part of a 4 count Combination move, for example: 1. Touch your right heel forward 2. Hook your left foot over the right knee 3. Touch your left heel in front 4. Step together This Step Pattern is called by BRUSH-UP in Australia. HOP A simple jump into the air from the weighted foot and landing on the same foot JAZZ BOX A three, four or five step box pattern involving at least one step across a weight bearing foot See also explanatory description Jazz Square in Section 5.0A. JAZZ SQUARES See JAZZ BOX (See also Jazz Square Section 5.0A) JUMP Leaping into the air off both feet and landing on both feet JUMPING JACKS 1. Jump into the air landing with feet apart &. Jump into the air landing with feet together KICK BALL CHANGE A quick three step pattern usually done in two beats of the music characterised by a small kick forward of one foot. That foot is immediately set back down beside the stationary foot and weight is transferred to the ball of the kicking foot while slightly lifting the stationary foot and immediately transferring the weight back to the stationary foot This Step Move is amply demonstrated by the following, submitted by Paul Bottomer Four Times Latin American Dance World Champion. The Kick Ball Change is a 3 step movement that occurs over two beats of music requiring a split beat rhythm of 3/4, 1/4, 1 (Three quarters, One quarter, One). Either foot may be used: Step 1 The lower leg is flicked forward from the flexed knee Step 2 The free foot (having flicked) is moved under the body and slightly further back than the standing foot. Only the ball of the foot is used. Step 3 The opposite foot is then lifted just clear of the floor and the weight replaced onto it. See Also Kick Ball Change Section 5.0A KNEE POP Move your left or right knee forward and then backwards by raising and lowering your heel from and back to the floor LINE OF DANCE (LOD) Line Of Dance/Direction In Which You Travel. The imaginary line around the dance floor followed when doing speciality dances, two-steps and waltzes. The LOD is usually Counter Clockwise around the dance floor. Dances which travel clockwise around the dance floor are described as travelling "against the line of dance". LOCK STEP Step forward and slide the unweighted foot up to the opposite side of the weighted foot ending with the ankles crossed LOUIE LOUIE With feet 12 inches apart and with your weight on both feet, swivel your heels apart then, with your weight still on the balls of both feet, swivel your left heel to your right and your right heel to your left (your left heel should be slightly in front of your right heel). Bend your knees slightly during this step move. MILITARY PIVOT See STEP TURN (See Also Military Pivot Turn Section 5.0A) MILITARY TURN See STEP TURN (See Also Military Pivot Turn Section 5.0A) MONTEREY TURN See MONTEREY SPINS/TURNS Section 5.0A. NC2S Nightclub two-step, sometimes called "California" or "L.A." two-step, is a slow, soft, romantic dance that has a simple "Quick Quick Slow" (QQS) rhythm with a moderate accent on the downbeat (odd numbered dance counts) and a very strong accent on the backbeat (even numbered dance counts). It's typically counted "One and TWO, Three and FOUR" and is performed to "light rock" music. The dance was developed in the early 1980's by Buddy Schwimmer, a prominent California dance pro and has achieved reasonable but not overwhelming popularity in the ballroom community over the last decade. For further information see Section 12A. OPEN SOCIAL POSITION See CAPE POSITION PIGEON TOES See HEEL SPLITS PIGEONS See HEEL SPLITS PIVOT See STEP TURN POINT To point your free foot to the left, right, forwards, backwards or crosswise POLKA See SHUFFLE POPCORN Usually done to two beats of music. Roll your knee whilst keeping the ball of your foot in place. For example for a POPCORN LEFT: 1. Roll your left knee in a semi circle to your left 2. Roll your left knee in a semi circle beck to the centre Simply reverse the above for A POPCORN RIGHT PROMENADE POSITION See CAPE POSITION PROMENADE See SHUFFLE PUSH STEP A STEP-BALL-CHANGE move to the left, right, forwards or backwards. QUICK STEP This is two steps to one beat of music. This step will drive you crazy in Cha Cha's and shuffle steps found in most all the dances. See also Two Step. RHYTHM BREAK A Deliberate Break In The Music Accompanying The Dance. Sometimes Dances Are "Cut At The Break" And Will Finish At That Point. However Some Dances Have Been Choreographed To The Whole Music "Track" Including The "Breaks". In These Circumstances It Is Customary To "Acknowledge The Break" And Then Continue With The Dance ROCK STEP A step either forward or backward followed by a weight transfer back to the foot that remained in place ROLLING GRAPEVINE A grapevine type pattern which incorporates a -turn or more throughout the entire motion of steps RUNNING MAN 1. Step forward on your right foot &. Scoot backwards on your right foot whilst lifting your left knee 2. Step forward on your left foot & Scoot backwards on your left foot whilst lifting your right knee up 3. Step forward on your right foot & Scoot backwards on your right foot whilst lifting your left knee up 4. Step forward on your left foot SAILOR STEP (See Sailor Step Section 5.0A) SCISSOR STEP (See Scissor Step Section 5.0A) SCISSORS See HEEL SPLITS SCOOT See CHUG. SCUFF A gentle kick forward while scuffing the heel on the dance floor SHADOW POSITION The man stands behind the lady, both facing the same direction. The man holds the ladies right hand in his right hand and her left hand in his left hand SHIMMY A left to right or right to left movement of the shoulders and upper body. Essentially a style move. Sometimes refered to as SHIMMIES. SHUFFLE A quick three step pattern characterized by a short step forward with one foot, sliding the other foot alongside the first and another short step forward with the first foot. The lead foot is called out in the step, for example SHUFFLE LEFT would be a L-R-L pattern. This step move is usually done to two beats of music. Also called by CHA-CHA-CHA, CHA CHA STEP, TRIPLE STEP, PROMENADE or POLKA See also Shuffle and Cha Cha. SIDE OPEN POSITION See CAPE POSITION SKOOCH See CHUG. SLAP A slap of a foot or knee with the opposite hand SLIDE STEP To slowly bring the free foot back together with the weighted foot by sliding, or dragging, it along the floor. Do not lift the foot off the floor. Also called a Drag or DRAW. SPLITS See HEEL SPLITS SQUIGGLE To Walk Your Foot To The Side In A Toe, Heel, Toe Motion STAMP Similar to a stomp though not as loud and without a weight transfer STEP Transfering your weight from one foot to the other STEP PIVOT See STEP TURN STEP TURN A step forward with the weight on both feet followed by a swivelling on the balls of the feet either a [ or turn. The step is led with the opposite foot from the intended direction of rotation, for example a Left Step Turn would lead with a step forward on the right foot then swivel to the left. Also called a PIVOT, MILITARY PIVOT, MILITARY TURN & STEP-PIVOT. STOMP A loud stomp of the foot on the floor with a weight transfer to the stomping foot. However, the weight could be evenly distributed over both feet if a further step move is to follow immediately after the Stomp STRUT STEP A step forward onto the heel first then in exaggerated fashion slap the ball of the foot down and transfer weight to that foot. This step takes two counts, or beats, of the music. Also called a WILLIE WALK. See also TIPTOE STEP. SUGAR FOOT A two count pattern of touching the toe of the right foot to the instep of the left foot then touching the heel of the right foot to the instep of the left foot or touching the left toe and heel to the right instep SWEETHEART POSITION See CAPE POSITION SWITCH A small hop executed while one foot is forward. During the hop, the forward foot is returned to the "home" position and the opposite foot is "switched" to the forward position SWIVELS Heel swivels, heel splits, heel spreads, heel scissors, pigeon toes, heel fans, etc. Usually called either HEEL SPLITS OR HEEL SWIVELS (See Line Dance Step Descriptions for Swivel and Scissor Step in Section 5.0A). SWIVET For a SWIVET to the right: On the ball of your left foot and the heel of your right foot, swivel your left heel to the left and your right toes to the right. Simply reverse this for a SWIVET to the left. During the SWIVET your heel and toes should be moved at approximately a 45 degree angle. SWIVETTES See HEEL SPLITS TAP A touch of the heel or the toe to the floor in a given direction without putting weight on that foot. Also called a TOUCH TEXAS SPREAD See HEEL SPLITS TIPTOE STEP A step onto the toe/ball of the foot first then in exaggerated fashion slap the heel down and transfer weight to that foot. This step takes two counts, or beats, of music. See also STRUT STEP. TOE FAN See FANS (TOE) TOE SPLITS With your heels in place, fan the toes of both your feet out and then back together TOGETHER Moving your free foot next to the foot in place TOUCH See TAP TRIPLE STEP See SHUFFLE TURNING Changing your position in a CW or CCW circular direction TURNING VINE See GRAPEVINE TWIST With both feet together, move your heels in a given direction by placing your weight on the balls of your feet TWO STEP A dance pattern either quick, quick, slow-slow or quick, quick, slow- quick, quick, slow. Generally any eight or six count dance step combination that has a forward progression. Usually danced to C&W tracks within the 180-212 BPM range. See also Quick Step & Dave's Two Step Notes. VAUDEVILLE HOP See Section 5A VINE See GRAPEVINE WALTZ A triple-time dance pattern employing a 1 2 3, 4 5 6 step combination with a generally forward progression. Usually danced to C&W tracks within the 90-112 BPM range. The Waltz (a Ländler folk dance) originated in Austria-Germany in the 18th Century. WASHBOARD RUB See Washboard Rub Section 5.0A WEIGHT CHANGE See CHANGE OF WEIGHT WILLIE WALK (WILL HE WALK) See STRUT STEP WILLIES A pigeon toed step forward with the weight on the balls of the feet WOOLY BULLY Kick your right foot forward; cross your right ankle in front of your left shin; pivot 1/2 turn to your left on the ball of your left foot & at the same time bring bring your right foot back beside your left knee (your right foot should remain raised with the knee bent for the previous three counts). Step back onto your right foot; sccot forward on your right foot with your left knee bent and raised. Step forward onto your left foot; bring your right foot forwardand cross your right heel in front of your left shin; pivot 1/2 turn to your left on the ball of your left foot & at the same time bring your right foot back beside your left knee; step back onto your right foot. Scoot forward on your right foot with your left knee bent & raised. ZYDECO Zydeco dancing is a style of music and dance that originated in the Louisiana Creole population. The Zydeco dance is based on 8 counts. Schematically the whole 8 beat series could be given as: Foot(Beat): L(1) - L(2) - R(3) - L(4) - R(5) - R(6) - L(7) - R(8) (Repeat). For further information see Section 12A.