Ballroom Dance Terminologies to Learn as Beginners

Ballroom dancing is such an amazing way to express one’s self.

You will find people from all walks of life somewhat interested in or full-on passionate about it.

Have you ever thought of actually enrolling in a dance class?

Perhaps you are currently enrolled in one, but you’re still trying to find your way through everything.

If yes, then this read would prove to be helpful to you.

Here, we will list down several ballroom dance terminologies to help you understand the world of ballroom dance better.

Basic Ballroom Dance Terminologies (Video)

Ballroom Dance Terminologies

People who are fascinated by ballroom dancing could see the dance floor as their playground or school.

They see it as their playground in the sense that they can do what makes them happy.

On the other hand, some view it as their school in that they can learn greater things and discipline as they continue their practice.

However, those who are just starting their journey may find it quite confusing, especially since there are several dance terminologies that only those acquainted with this practice understand.

Here are some of the most common ballroom dance terminologies:

  • Amalgamation – mixing two or more patterns and movements.
  • Arm Styling – the movement or position of your arms that define style and character.
  • Axel – jumping while landing on the same foot.
  • Ball Change – the act of transferring your weight from one foot to another.
  • Break – refers to as simple as the music being stopped.
  • Body Rise – bracing your leg’s muscle with relaxation afterward.
  • Bow – bending slightly toward the waist as a sign of respect and acknowledgment.
  • Center – the balance point of your body.
  • Change Step – three progressing steps that are usually done with the basics of the box step.
  • Chase – the act of running after your partner.
  • Close – an act as simple as putting your feet back together.
  • Cuban Motion – shaking the hips while alternately bending and straightening the knees.
  • Curachas – side breaks.
  • Dancer’s Compass – dancers do need to follow some movement flows. This is actually the actual diagram where they study things out.
  • Dancing Position – standing directly in front of your partner only being a few inches apart.
  • Fan – one foot freely doing the circular motion.
  • Feet Apart – just the opposite of the Close position; separating both legs and feet.
  • Figure – regulated pattern of the dance movement.
  • Flex – probably the best word in the list, which means to relax a part of your body.
  • Floor Craft – leader’s showmanship that he can control the dance floor and everyone gets to follow his or her instructions.
  • Flick – an act where the pointed toe together with the flexed knee gives a sharp kick backward.
  • Foot Rise – using your ankle to elevate the body.
  • Frame – body posture, or the way you carry yourself.
  • Free Spin or Free Turn – free-spirited independent turn.
  • Freeze – to stop from any movements.
  • Holds – partners do hold hands.
  • Inside Turn – follower turns under the left or right arm of the leader.
  • Isolation – everything on your body is in a freeze position except for one part as per instructions.
  • Line of Dance – the dance floor is being dominated by the counterclockwise flow of movements.
  • Link Step – steps that combine two or more figures.
  • Lilt – soft and down movement of feet.
  • Lunge – transferring the weight of the bent leg to the other extended leg.
  • Natural Opposite – copying your partner’s exact movement except that you are doing it in the opposite direction.
  • Natural Turn – smooth right turn.
  • Open Break – both partners do break continuously.
  • Open Facing Position – both partners are standing distantly from each other while maintaining eye contact.
  • Promenade Position – imagine you and your partner stands on each of the ends of the letter V.

This term simply instructs them to meet at the V’s center point.

  • Reverse turn – a left turn.
  • Rise and Fall – from the words themselves, this means immediately reaching for your toes after the jumping.
  • Rock– Forward-backward-forward movement of the body while having the feet apart.
  • Shine – partners do the dance without physically connecting with each other.
  • Slide – sliding the free foot towards the weighted one.
  • Slow – taking more beats from the music.
  • Spotting – Ballroom might cause you dizziness with a lot of turns.

This is a technique that you focus on one spot until you can no longer do so.

This would help with the dizziness.

  • Sway – body’s movement toward left or right.
  • Syncopate – injecting personal touch or creativity by adding or subtracting steps from the planned choreography.
  • Tap – tap the floor lightly.
  • Tempo – the speed of the music.
  • Variation – mutated steps derived from the common ballroom steps.
  • Wave – series of links far from your partner.

It may look like the longest list that you would probably ever have in a lifetime to remember, but mind you, that is just the beginning.

No world-class ballroom dancer ever reached where he is now if he never focused on studying the basic ballroom terminologies during his early career.

There would be times when you mix up these terminologies in your head.

Indeed, it can be overwhelming, but do not be frustrated.

You wouldn’t be the first person ever to feel the greater benefits that ballroom has to bring all because you chose to study ballroom dance terminologies.

As you go on, you’ll begin to see that your endurance, flexibility, creativity, and even social connectivity flourish.

You’ll be surprised that your health is in good shape too.

Finally, you’ll also notice that your discipline and concentration are higher than they used to be.

Final Words

It is fulfilling to know that your passion turned out to be the greatest wealth you’ll have, and that is health.

These ballroom dance terminologies do have its domino effect.

It continually affects every aspect of the dance, the dancer’s attitude towards things, and lastly, his performance.

Ballroom dancing is a passion that goes beyond.

Whichever phase you are now with your ballroom career, when you do know the real purpose behind why are you studying ballroom, then this list would feel like a little shorter and easier to remember.

You’ll suddenly see how fast you can catch up with the terminologies when you study it with action.

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