10 Essential Dance Terms: Your Comprehensive Guide

Beginner’s Journey into Dance Terms

Dance, an art form filled with passion, discipline, and elegance, speaks its unique language. The dialect of dance terms echoes with every movement, step, and rhythm.

Section 1: Ballet’s Linguistic Expressions

Plie (plee-ay): A French term indicating a bending motion, it signifies bending at the knees in ballet.

Releve (ruh-leh-vay): Denoting ‘to rise’, this term represents rising onto the balls of the feet or going up to full pointe.

Pirouette (peer-o-wet): This term refers to a full turn of the body on one foot, on point or demi-pointe.

Section 2: Vocabulary of Modern Dance

Contract: In the sphere of modern dance, this term signifies the rounding of the spine by engaging the abdominal muscles.

Release: It is the counteraction of contract. It means restoring the back to its normal position.

Fall and Recovery: This concept, introduced by Doris Humphrey, entails a controlled fall from the center of balance and its recovery.

Section 3: Tap Dance Terminology Explained

Shuffle: A fundamental tap dance move involving a brushing or striking action of the foot in various directions.

Ball Change: A two-step sequence where weight is alternated from one foot to the other.

Time Step: A rhythmic pattern integral to tap dancing.

Section 4: Hip-Hop Dance Terms Unraveled

Breakdancing/B-Boying: A vibrant form of street dance incorporating intricate body movements, coordination, style, and aesthetics.

Popping: A technique that involves rapid contraction and relaxation of muscles to cause a jerk in the dancer’s body.

Locking: This style is marked by abrupt pauses or ‘locks’ in movement.

Section 5: Ballroom Dance Lingo

Box Step: A fundamental pattern in numerous ballroom dance styles, named for the square shape traced by the steps.

Chasse (sha-say): A triple step dance move used in various dance forms, named after the French word for ‘to chase’.

Dip: A move where one dancer supports the other while they execute a backbend.

Exploring these dance terms allows us to appreciate the intricacy, grace, and artistry of dance in its myriad forms. From Ballet’s pirouettes to hip-hop’s popping and locking, understanding these terms deepens our appreciation of the skill and athleticism involved in each performance.

So, whether you’re an experienced dancer or a novice in this mesmerizing world, this essential dance terms with pictures will help you navigate and comprehend the language of dance with confidence and fluency.

comprehensive guide to dance terms

In conclusion, each dance style is a distinct expression of human emotion and creativity. As we delve into their respective vocabularies, we uncover layers of precision, discipline, and passion that make each dance form a spectacle to witness.

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