Technique Of Terms
Position where the foot is in the air, with a relaxed knee. (Slight Bend,
foot pointing down, With attitude).
Usually in Latin-the lady turns under the mans raised arm as he steps back.
The direction the foot or feet are pointed,. Or the
direction one moves in relation to the room.
Amount of Turn
Generally measured from
the feet, but sometimes measured from the body.
This is when the man stamps his foot - A very strong definite and defined
Shape given to knee (Aerial)
distribution of the weight to the
The slight sway of the
body on certain steps, particularly turning steps which helps retain the
momentum of balance.
Bending slightly forward from the waist.
the foot from one “open position” to another “open position” the word
BRUSH indicates that the foot must be close, or almost close, to the foot
supporting the weight of the body but without change of weight.
From the promenade or
barn dance position, both step forward with the outside foot then step forward
with the inside foot and check or stop the forward movement with the inside
foot bending the knee slightly as the weight is taken up, replace weight onto
back or outside foot. From here the most common move is to bring the lady into
natural hold or you could syncopate by doing a back twinkle or change step.
Change of Place
Partners move to
opposite sides, eg :- man dances to outside lady dances to inside, change
Three steps taken in
any direction, closing the feet on the second step with weight, eg:- step left
foot close right foot to left foot step left foot.
A Chassé with the feet open on the 2nd step.
A step stopping the
normal forward progression, and then reversing the alignment.
Three steps in any
direction the foot on the third step with weight.
Partners finish facing
each other in Natural hold, eg:- from promenade position – man step right foot
forward and across in contra body movement position and promenade position
leading the lady to turn towards the man, step left forward and slightly to
the side, close right foot to the left foot.
Contra Body Movement
Turning the opposite hip or shoulder towards the moving
Contra Body Movement
When stepping forwards or backwards and turning the
opposite hip and shoulder towards the stepping leg without turning the body,
giving the appearance of Contra Body Movement.
In Ballroom hold facing diag. To wall down LOD, step your
feet forward and across your body to the right (lady right foot back and
slightly left) and check, (you should be facing diag to wall but your foot
should be pointing straight to the wall),
Replace the weight back onto right foot (lady left foot) and turning
left into promenade position, place your left foot (lady right foot) down line
Travelling Contra Check
In Ballroom hold facing diag. To wall down LOD, step left foot
forward (lady right foot back and slightly left) and across your body
to the right, (you should be facing diag to wall but you foot is pointing
straight at the wall), now almost close your right foot (lady left foot)
to your left foot (leave about six inches or 15 cm), now step your
left foot (lady right foot) to the side down the line of dance whilst
turning the lady so you are in promenade position, try getting up on your toes
when closing RF to LF.
Usually preceded by 1 to 3 of a reverse turn (Reverse
Corté) or spin turn, man step right foot back turning to the left, close left
to right foot without weight and hesitates. Lady, right foot back, short step
left foot to the side close right foot to left foot on 3rd beat.
Counter Promenade Position
A type of promenade position, to swivel and face against
LOD, but with the mans left hip in contact with the lady’s right hip.
A Latin step – mainly a side or back movement, the basic
idea is, with feet slightly apart, step the left foot to the side with weight,
leaving the right foot in place, now move your weight back to the right foot
and close the left foot almost to the right.
Curtsy (lady only)
Using the ball of
the moving foot, cross it slightly behind the other foot with relaxed knees.
Lower the body so that the knee of the back leg is in contact with the calf of
the leg that is in front.
This is a slow foxtrot figure – It can be danced in any
direction, usually starts down LOD and curves to face diagonal to the wall.
Man step right foot forward and curving to the right, step left foot forward
curving to the right step right foot forward outside of lady to check. Can
also curve left then down LOD man step right foot forward and curving the
left, step left foot forward curving to the left BLOD, step right foot back
outside left side of lady turning to left to head diag. To wall
Step forward and with feet apart, relax both knees, lower
body and then rise.
Used to change direction, last three steps are – facing
diagonal to the wall down LOD, step left foot forward, step right foot forward
and to the side turning to face diag, to the center down LOD, close left foot
slowly to the right foot without weight, then step forward left foot into next
Man and lady moving backwards in promenade position hold,
Mans R hip to Ladies L hip (See also Natural Fallaway)
Mainly slow foxtrot – normally a forward movement in
closed hold – lady four steps straight back whilst gents 1st and 2nd
steps are in front, 3rd is outside, on lady’s right side and 4th
back in front of, or square to, the lady. All this whilst you maintain the
closed hold and body contact, eg:- step right foot forward, step left foot
forward, step right foot outside lady’s right side, step left foot in front of
A quickstep figure, looks like two locks but isn’t –
position yourself in a natural hold on the outside of the lady (with lady on
your right hip), step right foot diagonally forward (lady left foot diagonally
back), cross left foot behind right foot, step right foot diagonally forward
(Use your hip to move the lady to the left in a swaying movement), step
left foot down LOD, cross right behind left foot, step left foot forward down
LOD. (Slow Quick Quick Quick Quick Slow).
Describes that part of the foot that is in contact with
the floor, and use of the heels and ball of the foot movement. Heel – Ball –
Four Medium length steps commencing with RF, curving from
diag center to diag wall over one bar of music. Usually followed by Natural
Turn on the heel of one foot and with no change of weight
step forward with the opposite foot.
Opposite to the Heel Pivot, that is, a change of weight
does occur, at the completion of the half turn and then step forward with the
A heel turn but the feet are apart at the end of the turn
and the weight is more forward
A figure or part of a figure on which
progression is suspended, and the weight is retained on the supporting
foot for one count.
The Manner in which a man and lady hold each other whilst
Placing one foot lightly over the supporting foot in
front or behind without weight, on rise, toe rests lightly on the floor, using
same foot either forward or back.
Part of a figure
in which the movement of the body is suspended momentarily, the feet remaining
almost in position. Commence in Natural hold facing diagonal wall, down LOD –
Step right foot forward, brush left foot almost to right foot and then to the
side and slightly forward to center down LOD.
Step left foot back diagonal to the wall down LOD – close
right foot to the left foot and turn, on your hells to the right (Heel Turn),
step forward left foot diagonal to the center down LOD, finishing in promenade
position. (Closed) On 3rd step, LF fwd DC turning R to back
agst LOD keeping Lady in closed ballroom hold.
A three step solo turn that is towards your partner.
A soft up and down movement.
Line Of Dance
Is the direction of movement in an anti-clockwise
direction around the outer edge of the dance floor.
A step that joins two other figures.
Three steps taken in any direction crossing feet on the
second step with weight, and step forward or back with opposite foot.
This figure is the same as a lock EXCEPT you are turning. Usually the
man is going backwards and turning to his right or the wall. You would start
off backing diag, to center down LOD and finish backing diag, to wall down LOD.
Alternately, you can finish in promenade position facing diag. To wall down
LOD. Ie step RF back DC, cross LF in front of RF, step RF back and slightly to
the right (starting to turn to PP), step LF to side and slightly
forward to end PP facing DW.
With a man facing to the center and the (same foot)
lady facing against LOD in ballroom hold, the man steps rigt foot to side down
LOD and the lady steps right foot back down LOD, both relaxing the right knee,
transfer weight back to the left feet and close right foot to the left foot.
Is to turn right or clockwise. Normally starts with man
facing diagonal to wall down LOD, and consists of 6 steps. Right foot forward,
left foot to the side across LOD, close right foot to left foot (now
backing LOD), turning to the right, step left foot back down LOD, right
foot to the side and close left foot to right foot to end facing diagonal
center down LOD.
Natural Spin Turn
This figure is in two parts – begins with 1-2-3 of a
natural turn, then finishes with a spin turn on the last three steps, facing
diagonal to wall down LOD, right foot forward, left foot to side across LOD,
close right foot to left foot (now backing LOD). Now, step left foot back down
LOD and commence turning strongly to the right, step right foot forward down
LOD still turning to the right, step left foot the side to finish facing
diagonal to center down LOD. You should have completed ¾ of a full rotation.
(started facing diag wall down LOD—finished facing diag center down LOD).
This figure, usually from the promenade position moves
diagonally towards the wall down LOD, then down the LOD, then backs diagonally
towards the center. Mans R Hip to Ladies L Hip. From promenade position man
step right foot (lady steps left foot) forward diagonally to the wall, turning
to the right – step left foot to the side (lady steps right foot),
still turning right step back right foot (Lady left foot) diagonally to the
center down LOD.
Counter Fallaway - Mans L hip to Ladies R
A Latin figure, danced either down or against LOD – man,
step right foot (lady left foot) forward down LOD and check, right
shoulder leading lady’s left hand in mans right hand (in extended hold
position) replace weight back to left foot, turning to the right, right
foot to side against LOD facing wall (lady facing center and partner.
In natural hold, face diagonal to wall down LOD, step
left foot forward and to wall on the outside of the lady (lady right foot
back and towards the wall) in a contra body movement position
Any step forward outside partner.
A ballroom figure, danced with a turn R and continues one turn
around. (3steps). Left foot backwards (very small step with toe turn in)
and pivot 3/4 of a turn to R (Lady turning on ball of right foot). Right
foot forward (outside partner) still turning to R, (Lady close LF to RF and
the weight should not be taken on the left foot until the body is facing
wall). Step to side left foot then continue to turning on the left foot
until body faces wall. Tempo is waltz 123, foxtrot SQQ.
A three-step turn that is away from your partner
A tango variation which has left foot forward, R to side
(lady heel turn), LF foot back and sideways (RF fwd and sideways down then
along the LOD end backing wall) , position held, L knee flexes. Tempo
Any step back with partner outside.
Is turning on the ball of one foot, whilst the other is
in contra body movement position.
Taken in any direction, point the yoe of the foot to the
floor without weight, no rise on the supporting foot.
Carriage of the body, or the position of the body in
relation to the feet.
Position of Feet
The position of one foot in relation to the other.
A position which the man’s left side and the lady’s right
are turned slightly outwards from each other whilst the mans right hip and the
lady’s left hip are in contact. giving the appearance
of a “V”.
Counter Promenade Position
The Opposite of Promenade Position. Gents left side in contact with lady’s
right side. The man moves to his right the lady to her left.
Danced in any direction in Promenade position. Mans R hip
to Ladies L hip. eg : man steps left foot (lady right foot) forward close
right foot to left foot, step left foot forward or …step – close – step.
Counter Promenade Position - Mans L hip to Ladies R hip.
Is to turn left or anti-clockwise. Man facing (lady
backing) diagonal center, down LOD, six steps to complete turn- step left foot
forward, right foot side and across LOD, close left foot to right foot to
finish backing down LOD, now step right foot back down LOD, left foot to side
along LOD, close right foot to left foot to finish facing diagonal to wall
The regular occurrence of an accented beat or beats in
Moving the outside foot with a circular movement of the
leg either forward or back.
Is the forward-backward-forward movement of the body with
feet apart. Can also be backward-forward-backward or turning. Whilst in Latin
there is a slight dragging of the feet on the forward or backward movement.
Not unlike a waltz movement. Danced in Natural hold,
start diagonal to wall down LOD-step left foot forward turning right, close
right foot to left foot, step left foot back turning to right, step right foot
to side sown LOD, close left foot to right foot still turning right, step
right foot forward turning right. (ie: side together step, side together
Used in Quickstep – consists of four steps starting with
the left foot back diagonal to wall down LOD, step forward turning right, step
2 & 3 outside lady and step 4 in line to end facing down LOD.
A set combination of figures.
This figure turns lady from promenade position to natural
hold. Adopt a promenade position, backing LOD – man slips right foot back,
well under body moving towards the center and pivots to the left on right foot
to face LOD, holding left foot forward in contra body movement position. Lady
turns to the left on ball of right foot to get square to man, then steps in
line with man and pivots left on left foot to end backing LOD holding right
foot behind in contra body movement position. man steps left foot forward into
Usually starts from promenade position – dropping the
hold, the man and lady complete a
full turn in three steps that progress either down or against the LOD and
turning, in either the same direction or opposite directions. Eg: the man
turns to the left and the lady turns to the right or both turn to the right or
both turn to left. 1-2-3. (You do not spin on the spot).
also Natural Spin)
Executed in ballroom hold and is similar to a Pivot but
only completes ⅞ ths of a full rotation and usually starts with the first
three steps of a natural turn. Can be under or over turned.
Used to reverse the direction of travel – adopt a
promenade position, step forward leaving the back foot in place, turn outwards
on the ball of the foot to finish facing the opposite direction. (Or back the
way you came).
An inclination of the body to the left or right.
Spiral or Twist Turn
A strong step that turns, but with both feet apart.
A turn of the ball of the foot, whilst the opposite foot
closes without weight and steps through.
Any three steps taken to two beats of music. (1 & 2-3).
Release the foot from the floor and tap the floor lightly with the ball of the
foot with a relaxed knee, releasing foot from floor immediately. The weight is
on the supporting foot, no rise.
of reverse turn – starts in natural hold like a reverse turn – step left foot
forward and commence to turn left, then step right foot to side across LOD
continuing to turn or spin on the ball of the right foot, (lady closes feet
and turns on heels), step left foot to side to finish with feet apart having
completed approximately ¾ of a turn.
is the more commonly used of the Telemark turns – steps are the same as the
closed Telemark except step three of the lady is a forward step to finish
facing towards LOD, in promenade position. (Telemarks can be over turned or
speed at which the music is played, the number of bars per minute
number of beats in each bar of music.
Travelling Contra Check
ballroom hold facing diag, to wall down LOD, step left foot forward (lady
right foot back and slightly left) and across your body to the right, (you
should be facing diag, to wall but your foot is pointing straight at the
wall), now almost close your right foot (lady left foot) to your left foot
(leave about six inches or 15cm), now step your left foot (lady right foot),to
the side down line of dance whilst turning the lady so you are in promenade
position, (try getting up on your toes when you close RF to LF.
figure is the same as the lock EXCEPT you are turning. Usually the man is
going backwards and turning to his right or the wall. You would start off
backing diag. To center down LOD and finish backing diag to wall down LOD.
Alternatly, you can finish in promenade position facing diag to wall down LOD.
Ie Step RF back DC cross LF in front of RF, step RF back and slightly to the
right (starting to turn to PP), step LF to side and slightly forward to end in
PP facing DW.
steps commenced on either foot and may be backward, forward or turning. eg:
forward twinkle – step left foot forward, close right foot to left foot and
step left foot back (change feet).
Waltz Viennese Natural
in natural hold, start diagonal to wall down LOD – step left foot forward
(around lady) turning right step right foot to side down LOD,close left foot
to right foot (facing down LOD), step right foot forward turning right, step
left foot to side down LOD, close right foot to left foot (backing LOD), step
left foot back turning right, step right foot to side down LOD, close left
foot to right foot, (facing down LOD), (ie: step side together, step side
Waltz Viennese Reverse
in natural hold, start facing down LOD – step left foot forward turning left,
step right foot to side down LOD, close left foot to right foot crossing left
foot in front of right foot (backing LOD). Step right foot back turning left,
step left foot to side down LOD, close right foot to left foot (facing down
LOD), (ie: step side together, step side together).
series of Links, but going outside your partner. Position yourself facing
diagonal center, step left foot forward turning left, right foot to side to
end backing diag. Wall (lady close LF to RF, heel turn), left back diag, wall,
right foot back turning to end backing LOD, left foot back LOD, right foot
step turn from promenade position. facing diagonal center – step right foot
forward (lady left foot forward) diagonal centre, step left foot forward
diagonal centre tuning left, (lady long step right foot to the side, across
front of man and turning left), still turning left, step right foot to side
backing LOD (lady turning left on right foot and to side with left foot), step
left foot back diagonal to centre, lady on outside right, step right foot back
diagonal centre, lady in line turning left, left foot to side and slightly
is NO backward movement in a whisk.
Usually commences with man facing (lady backing) diag to wall down LOD. The
man does not turn and the lady turns to the right on the 2nd step
(left foot). Man – stepping left foot forward, right foot forward and to the
side, crossing left foot behind right foot (lady stepping right foot back,
left foot back and to side, right foot behind left foot.) to end in promenade
Commonly follows a whisk. Man steps right foot forward commencing to lead lady
to mans left side – closing left foot towards right foot still leading lady to
mans left side, close left foot to right without weight. Lady left foot
forward commencing to curve around man, right foot, left foot forward still
curving around toward left side of man
figure, from promenade position – starting with feet closed, move the left
foot (lady right foot) back to the side, flexing the right knee (lady left
knee) and bending the body from the waist, in the same direction as the moving
foot, to form an “X”.
natural hold, facing diagonal to wall down LOD – step left foot (lady right
foot back) forward diagonal wall down LOD – starting to turn left step right
foot (lady left foot back) forward diagonal centre down LOD, step left foot
(lady right foot forward) back diagonal wall down LOD, step right foot to side
and forward (lady left foot to side and back) turning right to face diagonal
centre down LOD.