An Arkansas traveler refers to an old time barn dance; in the dance, a vendor from Arkansas selling tin ware is depicted.
Pure dance movements that make up a piece of work containing no plot; often the dance movements suggest a particular subject or mood.
Adagio is any type of dance that is paced to slow music. It also refers to a section of the classical pas de deux in ballet. (The pas de deux in classical ballet is made up of an opening adagio; a lady is supported by a man while doing turns and balances. This is then followed by a solo by both individuals; next comes a fast coda that involves a dance by the partners together.)
In ballet, this is a step completed off the ground. A rond de jambe en l'air is an example of this.
An alegrias is a Spanish Gypsy dance. The dance refers to the action of the bullfight and is frequently danced a woman without the support of a partner.
An allegro is a dance that contains either a moderate or fast tempo. It is often followed by the adagio, and is typified by jumps or fast turns.
In ballet, an allonage refers to an elongated line, especially the horizontal line of an arabesque which involves a dancer placing one of his/her arms toward the front and the other arm towards the back.
An Argentinean tango is a dance that began in the West Indies. Only the lowest classes danced the tango; gradually, the dance became more and more popular. Nowadays it is a common sight to see couples dancing the tango in Argentina. Because of its sensuality, at one point the tango was forbidden by the pope!
An assemble in dance refers to a jump completed from one to both feet; frequently the dancer lands in fifth position.
An attitude refers to a dance position that involves a single leg raised either to the front with the knee bent or to the back; usually a dancer’s arm is raised as well.
A bailatino is a combination of Latin dances; in these dances, no partner is required.
Baion refers to a kind of Samba rhythm from Brazil that is slow; during the 1950’s the Baion became popular.
In dance, balance is a step that shifts from one foot to another (often in ¾ time).
Balance refers to the skill of a dancer maintaining his/her body in an upright and steady position. Balance may occur either when the dancer is still or when the dancer is moving.
Balboa refers to a type of Swing that became trendy in California during the 1950’s.
The term ballerina refers to a female dancer. The female that plays the leading role in a dance is referred to as the prima ballerina.
Ballet consists of classical theatrical dancing derived from the danse d'ecole. Ballet’s structure and vocabulary were set during the 1700s in France.
Ballet blanc refers to a ballet that involves women clothed in white tutus (as seen in the 2nd and 4th acts of Swan Lake).
Ballet de cour, le (court ballet) refers to either mythological or allegorical themes played out for entertainment by the aristocracy during the 16th and 17th centuries. The spectacles involve a mixture of mime, recitatives and music.
Ballo refers to dances and the accompanying music originating in Italy during the 15th and 16th centuries.
Ballon refers to the skill of a dancer that involves maintaining a suspended position in the air throughout a jump; the term may also refer to one’s elasticity while jumping.
Ballroom dances refers to social dances. Often ballroom dances are done by partners. Examples of ballroom dances include the mambo, samba, cha cha, fox-trot, waltz, tango and the rumba.
Barn dances originated during the colonial times in the United States; the dances were created from the dance movements of England’s country dances. Barn dances were danced in the barns and halls of the colonials in order to socialize with one’s neighbors.
A barre refers to a wooden bar extending around a ballet studio’s wall positioned at waist height. An individual uses the barre in order to fix or adjust his/her balance often during the first part of class.
Basse danse is a serious court dance that is performed in duple time. It was a dance that was common during the 15th and 16th centuries.
Beguine refers to a particular type of Rumba that is thought to have originated in either Cuba or Martinique.
Black bottom refers to a black couple dance that is thought to have originated in the 1920’s.
Bolero refers to a dance that started in Spain. The dance often includes Spanish singing with a very slow Rumba rhythm.
The term Boogie Woogie refers to an African American jazz dance. An individual holds one’s knees close together and then shifts the hips from one side to the next while the person moves forward. At first the Boogie Woogie was a particular type of music. Nowadays however it is also a certain type of dance common in Europe. The Boogie Woogie originates from the Rock ‘n’ roll style popular in the 1950’s.
Brazilian musicians changed the “cool jazz” of the United States into a softer, more gentle samba rhythm known as the Bossa Nova. Bossa Nova became well-known around the world when the single “Girl from Ipanema” became a hit in 1964.
The Boston Jive is a type of Swing dance that contains similarities to the Lindy, but it also contains kicks.
The term refers to a number of quick, short steps performed with one’s feet kept close together.
Brise is a type of jump that consists of a jump off of one foot that in turn is “broken” through beating one’s legs while in the air.
Buck dancing stresses percussive rhythms using the movement of the heel and toe. It is different from “shuffle” clogging style in that one bends his/her legs more.
The cabriole is a leap in ballet that involves the beating of the lower leg at an angle against the upper leg prior to the dancer touching the ground on the lower leg.
The cachucha is a type of Spanish dance that occurs in either ¾ or 3/8 time with castanets.
The cakewalk is a type of African-American dance that involves partners strutting and performing high kicks and quick steps.
“Calypso” refers to music typical of the England ballads performed by the people of Trinidad. Several steps were made for this type of music in 1956 (probably because of the singing of Harry Bellafonte) because the music became so popular. The steps are similar to the steps found in Martinique Beguine or the Cuban Bolero.
The Can Can is a dance that began around the 1830s. In a short time, the Can Can became an energetic dance performed in the music halls of France for social events. Black silk stocking legs were kicked high in the air – a wild and extreme thing during this time period. It is thought that the Can Can started as a variation of the Quadrille or Polka.
The Canyengue is at the root of the tango. It goes back to the 1900s. The title means “walk with cadence” and comes from Africa. The dance is a sensual, rather upbeat performance. It contains short steps and a strong beat. Overtime the musical signature of 4x8 was changed to the tango’s musical signature of today of 4x2.
The carioca is a term referring to a native of Rio de Janeiro; the term also is shorthand for the Brazilian dance called the Samba Carioca. During the dance, people join together in chains or cues (called cordoes) and move their bodies back and forth to the Samba-Carioca and the Marchas. The dance is performed at the Carioca Carnival.
A type of Swing dance style originating performed in the states of Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Georgia. Usually the dance is performed to the music of The Embers, The Drifters, the Tarms, and a variety of “Motown” artists. The dance is similar to West Coast Swing – containing similar coaster steps, shuffles, slot movement… The tempo of the music is slow to medium and is danced by a wide variety of ages.