danceterms

We have tried to put together the most comprehensive list of dance terms that we could find.  A lot of time has been enjoyed searching many resources to make this available to you.  Enjoy and share with others..  Thanks.

R = Right     L = Left     F = Foot     CT = Counts     PT = Point     X = Times
CW = Clockwise     CCW = Counter-clockwise    HH = Holding Hands    NHH = Not Holing Hands

Note: All steps are described starting with RF and can be reversed to start with LF – also, a cherkessia or a cherk may also be spelled as Turkessia or Turk

Arms Praise – Extending arms out at shoulder height elbows bent.

Balance – also referred to as a sway – (2cts) Bal. R, Bal. L,

Bounce Walk – Step then bend same knee (uses two beats of the music.

Box – (4cts) RF steps forward, LF crosses RF, RF steps backward, LF steps to L,

Hopping Box – (8cts) RF steps forward  & hop, LF crosses RF & hop,
RF steps back & hop, LF steps L & hop,

Brush – Skim over the floor surface with foot in a brushing motion.

Brush Hop – Same as above plus hop on same foot.

Chasse – (3cts) RF steps forward, LF steps next to RF, RF steps in place,

Pivoting Chasse – (3cts) RF steps forward, pivot ½ turn R,
LF steps next to RF, RF steps in place,

Chassidic Turn to R – RF stays in place while putting weight on LF then back on RF making a 4 point pivot turn to R to make a complete circle

Chassidic Turn to L  – LF stays in place while putting weight on RF then back on LF making a 4 point pivot turn to L to make a complete circle

Cherk – (2cts) RF steps forward diagonally L, picking up LF & LF steps in place,
(RF steps back to original place, add 1 extra ct.),

Cherkessia – (4cts) RF steps forward, LF steps in place, RF steps back, LF steps in place

Double Cherk – (6cts) R cherk to L, L cherk to R,

Crossover Step – LF to the side and RT crosses over LF.  May also be done to the R.

Coupe’ L – RF crosses over LF< LF steps in place, RF steps beside LF

Coupe’ R – LF crosses over RF – RF steps in place, LF steps beside RF.

Debka – (2cts) Both feet hop in place to face CCW, pivot ½ turn L, both feet hop in place to face CW,

David – also called a Leap – Leaping motion from one foot to the other,  R, L FWD or BWD

Double Terk – Same as Coupe’ L-R

Grapevine – Term used in international folk dancing basically like Mayim only without a specific amount of counts.

Harmonica – Same as Coupe’ L-R, but you hop on 4th count – (i.e – RF crosses LF, LF steps in place, RF comes back beside LF  – hop on RF.- do reverse for LF

Heel Step – Touch heel of foot to the floor.

Heel Slide Step – R heel touch floor as LF slides in back of  RF.  May also be done to the L.

Kibbutz – (4cts) RF steps R, LF steps behind RF, RF steps R, LF steps L with heel down & toes up,

Half Kibbutz – (2cts) RF steps R, LF steps in place with heel down & toes up,

Kibbutz Hop – (4cts) RF steps R, LF steps behind, RF step R & hop,

Klezmer – beginning position is weight on L and R perpendicular to L, R heel to right side (about length of foot – toes up slightly).  Step on R heel.  Drag L to join R. – Amr movements – Arms raised, elbows bent to form a “W”, hands at shoulder height and away form body (palms facing away form body – touching neighboring dancer’s palms – fingers up).  Arms moved up slightly with R and back to original position with L.  Keep hands flat.

Backward Hopping Mayim – (8cts) Face center RF steps back & hop, pivot ¼ turn L to face CW,
LF steps L & hop, pivot ¼ turn L to face outside,
RF crosses LF & hop, pivot ¼ turn R to CW,
LF steps back & hop, pivot ¼ turn R to face center,

Cross Mayim – (4cts) RF crosses LF, LF steps L, RF steps behind LF, LF steps L,

Open Mayim – (4cts) LF steps L, RF crosses LF, LF steps L, RF steps behind LF,

Outside Mayim – (4cts) Face center: Pivot ½ turn L to face out of circle,
CW: RF steps R, LF steps behind RF, RF steps R, LF crosses RF,

Grapevine – Mayim with any number of count,

Hopping Mayim – (8cts) CCW: RF steps forward & hop, LF steps forward & hop,
Pivot ½ turn L, Face CW: RF steps backward & hop, LF steps backward & hop,

Seven-up Mayim – (8cts) Cross Mayim 2x, kicking LF up while hopping on RF on 8th ct,

Half Seven-up Mayim – Mayim 1x, kicking LF up, while hopping on RF on 4th ct.,

Pivot – to turn quickly or slowly to the opposite direction.  (Rotage on ball of foot.

Polka (also known as the Hora step or Cha cha step or Pony step or step Ball Change))– (3cts) RF steps R, LF steps next to RF, RF steps in place, (very fast), can be done to each side or forward and backward.

Slide Steps – Moving one foot to the R, L, FWD or DWD and sliding the other foot to meet it.

Step – Full weight on foot.

Step Hop – Full weight on foot plus hop on same foot.

Step together – (2cts) RF steps forward, LF steps forward next to RF,

Step together Step –  (3cts) RF steps forward, LF steps forward next to RF, RF steps forward,

Step together Step together  –  (4cts) RF steps forward, LF steps forward next to RF, RF steps forward, LF steps forward next to RF,

Stomp – Forcefully bring foot to the floor.

2 Pt Turn – (2cts) RF steps R & pivot ½ turn R to face out,
LF steps L & pivot ½ turn R to face center,

3 Pt Turn – (3cts) RF steps R & pivot ½ turn R to face out,
LF steps L & pivot ½ turn R to face center, RF steps R,

4 Pt Turn – (4cts) RF steps R & pivot ½ turn R to face out,
LF steps L & pivot ½ turn R to face center, RF steps R, LF bal. L,

Slow 2 Pt Turn – (4cts) RF steps R & pivot ½ turn R to face out & pause,
LF steps L & pivot ½ turn R to face center & pause,

Hopping 2 PT Turn – (4cts) RF steps R & hop, pivot ½ turn R to face out,
LF steps L & hop, pivot ½ turn R to face center,

Hopping 4 Pt Turn – (8ct) Hopping turn in place RF, LF, RF, LF
(pivot ¼ turn R each step) (R hand raised),

Polka Turn – (12cts) RF steps R & pivot ¼ turn R, LF steps next to RF, RF steps in place,
LF steps L & pivot ¼ turn R, RF steps next to LF, LF steps in place,
RF steps R & pivot ¼ turn R, LF steps next to RF, RF steps in place,
LF steps L & pivot ¼ turn R, RF steps next to LF, LF steps in place, (hands raised),

Turn in Place –(8cts) RF steps R & pivot ¼ turn R, LF touches toes next to RF (arms wave R),
LF steps L & pivot ¼ turn R, RF touches toes next to LF (arms wave L),
RF steps R & pivot ¼ turn R, LF touches toes next to RF (arms wave R),
LF steps L & pivot ¼ turn R, RF touches toes next to LF (arms wave L),

Moshav Step – (4cts) RF step R, LF steps behind RF, RF steps R, LF steps behind RF,

Scissor Kicks – (8cts) RF hops in place, LF kicks forward,
LF hops in place, RF kicks forward,
Repeat 3x

Step Slide – (2cts) RF step R, LF steps next to RF (can be done as a Leap),

Yemenite – (3cts) RF steps R, LF steps back slightly, RF crosses LF,

Yemenite Hop – (4cts) RF steps R, LF steps back slightly, RF crosses over LF & hop,

Waltz – Step FWD, BWD, R or L, then balance 2 counts quickly in place

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