Welcome to the Dance Definitions Library
Browse A Variety Of Terminology Related To Different Forms Of Dance. Click on the Available Links for A Brief Demonstration.
Abe Kabbible : (Theatrical Term) – A commonly used movement in jazz dancing. Example here : Abe Kabbible
Accelerando : A gradual increasing of speed or tempo in music.
Active Foot : The free or working foot with the weight on the opposite or supporting foot.
Ad Lib : To dance as one wishes without regard to a set pattern of movements. To improvise. Ad Lib
Allegro : A musical term which means quick or lively.
Arsis : Weak beat, or the unaccented part of a measure of music.
Back Flap : Same as the more commonly used term “Back Brush Step.”
Back Flap, Heel Drop : Same as the more commonly used term “Back Brush Step, Heel drop.”
Balance’ : A basic ballet movement swaying from one foot to the other. This movement is used in various form of tap. Balance’
Back-Front : Same as ball change.
Ball Beat : A dropping of the ball of the foot.
Ball Change : A changing of the weight on the balls of the feet from one foot to the other; executed forward, to the side, or in place. Ballchange
Ball Tap : Same as Tap Ball.
Bandy Turn : Same as Bandy Twist.
Bandy Twist : A basic movement that Jim Bandy originated. He was a dancer of the Vaudeville days. Bandy Twist
Bar :: In common usage, A measure of music.
Barre :: Originally intended for ballet exercises but is used extensively in modern jazz classes, character dancing, and in some instances, tap classes.
Barrel Roll :: Or turn. A complete turn of the body with the arms extended in a windmill fashion.
Beat :: The regularly recurring and periodically accented pulse or throb which constitutes the unit of measurement in all measured music ; tempo.
Bells :: A clicking of the heels together while in the air ; Raise the L leg diagonally to the left side. Flex the knee of the R foot ; leap into the air while clicking the heels together and land on the right foot. Movement may be executed to either side.
Black Bottom :: Dance craze of 1926 which followed the Charleston containing the African American influence – strictly a theatrical form of dance and rarely ever used in social dancing.
Bombershay :: Theatrical term of which there were numerous variations. Bombershay
Boogie Woogie :: A primitive sounding percussive style of playing the blues on the piano, characterized by a persistent bass rhythm and fluid configurations of a simple melody often in contrary motion to the bass ; 8 beats to the measure and written in 12 measure phrases.
Bop :: A musical style accenting the off-beat.
Bounce :: A medium tempo in 4/4 time.
Break :: A two measure movement that follows a six measure movement to complete an eight measure phrase. Breaks are commonly associated with Time Steps but may be used in any format.
Since there are so many breaks, I will make a separate page.