21 Essential Dance Terms with Pictures: An Enthralling Guide

Embark on the Journey of Dance

Dipping your toe into the swirling pool of dance is an experience rich with not only rhythm but also sentiment, tradition, and chronicle. Immersing yourself in the pulse of music and establishing various positions, steps, styles, and procedures is nothing short of enthralling. For novice dancers or enthusiasts eager to dive deeper into the dynamics of dance, gaining knowledge of different dance terms with pictures could serve as a valuable initiation.

Dance terms with pictures

Essential Ballet Terms Explained with Imagery

Plie (Plee-ay): A French term meaning ‘bent,’ it designates the act of bending one or both knees. It comes in two forms: Demi-Plie (minor bending) and Grand Plie (major bending).

Tendu (Tahn-doo): This term reflects ‘stretched.’ In execution, it involves straining the thighs, legs, and feet forward, to the side, or towards the rear of your body.

Pirouette (Peer-oo-wet): Signifying ‘whirl’ or ‘spin,’ this is one of the most visually impressive maneuvers where a dancer rotates on a single foot while maintaining an immaculate pose.

Vibrant Vocabulary of Jazz Dance with Visual Aids

Jazz dance world is filled with vitality, offering its own exclusive set of dance terms.

Explore the world of Jazz dance through this educational reference.

Ball Change: A fast transition of weight from one foot onto the other, usually performed in tandem with other steps or moves.

Jazz Squares: A pattern where the dancer takes steps that form a square – forward, to the side, backward, and to the other side.

Shimmy: A technique that includes the exercising of shaking the shoulders alternately.

Lively Latin Dance Vocab illustrated with Photos

From Samba to Tango, Rumba to Cha Cha, Latin dances radiate vigor, and their terminology echoes their flexibility.

Ocho (Oh-cho): Meaning ‘eight’ in Spanish, it signifies a figure-eight footwork pattern predominantly featured in Tango.

Volta (Vohl-tah): Originating from the Samba dance glossary, this term means ‘turn’ in Portuguese. It integrates a series of quick, successive turning steps.

Cucarachas (Coo-cah-rah-chas): Named after the Spanish word for ‘cockroach,’ this term symbolizes the swift changing of weight from one foot to the other, a distinctive feature in Rumba and Cha Cha dances.

Terms from Contemporary Dance Illustrated

Contemporary dance focuses on narrative and self-expression, utilizing a broad spectrum of movements.

Contract and Release: A method used to express emotion through the motion of contracting and subsequently releasing muscles.

Fall and Recovery: This technique allows the dancer to allow their body fall into a move, and then leverage the momentum to recover into another move.

Spiral: A dance maneuver observing the rotation of the whole body around its axis to form a spiral visual.

A Grand Finale: Embracing the Diversity of Dance

The extensive domain of dance terms with pictures is a thrilling territory to navigate. Unfolding the vast range of dance terms doesn’t merely encapsulate the steps and techniques but also showcases the cultural wealth and historical subtleties. Every term, be it plie or pirouette from ballet, ball change or shimmy from jazz, ocho or cucarachas from Latin dances, or contract and release or spiral from contemporary, carries a narrative. Acquiring a deeper understanding enhances the joy and precision of each dance move.

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