Dictionary

Abbrev

Term

Definition

Bwd Backward
B Ball of foot A step taken where only the ball of the foot comes into contact with the floor, but with the heel only slightly off the floor.
BF Ball flat A step taken first on the ball of the foot, then lowering the heel to end with the foot flat on the floor.
Closed Hold (Latin) Man and Lady stand in Closed Position. The Man's left arm extends to the side, bending upward at the elbow so his hand is at least at the level of the Lady's eyes, if not higher. The Lady's right arm extends to the side, bening upward at the elbow so her hand rests in the Man's. The Man's right arm extends to the side, bending forward at the elbow so his hand passes under the Lady's left arm, and rests on the Lady's left shoulder blade The Lady's left arm extends to the side, bending forward at the lebow so her hand rests on the Man's right shoulder.Elbows should be held at or slightly below shoulder level.
CP Closed Position (Latin) Both dancers face each other between 1 and 2 feet apart, with the Lady slightly offset to the Man's right side. Closed Hold, Left to Right, Right to Left, or Right to Right hand hold may be used, depending on the figure.
CP Closed Position (Standard, not Tango) Both dancers face each other with the Lady slightly offset to the Man's right side. The Man looks slightly to his left, and the Lady to the left also. The Man's left arm extends to the side, bending upward at the elbow so his hand is at the level of the Lady's eyes. The Lady's right arm extends to the side, bening upward at the elbow so her hand rests in the Man's. The Man's right arm extends to the side, bending forward at the elbow so his hand passes under the Lady's left arm, and rests on the Lady's left shoulder blade. The Lady's left arm extends to the side, bending forward at the lebow so her hand rests on top of where the Man's upper arm meet his shoulder. Elbows should be held at or slightly below shoulder level for the Man, and at or slightly above shoulder level for the Lady. Although the front of the Man's body should be in contact with the front of the Lady's body, beginners may dance with a small distance between them.
CP Closed Position (Tango) As Closed Position in Standard, except: 1) The Lady is more offset; 2) The Man's R hand will be placed slightly further across the Lady's back, just crossing her spine. 3) The Lady's L hand will be placed just under the Man's R armpit with the palm facing downward, and the back of the hand near the thumb making contact with the underside of the Man's right upper arm.
For a more detailed explanation, see Tango Hold in our Technique section.
Com Commence
Contact Position (Latin) As Closed Position, but with the front of the Man's body in contact with the front of the Lady's body.
Cont Continue
CBM Contra Body Movement The twisting of the body that occurs when you step forward with the right foot and your left shoulder goes forward, or you step forward with the left foot and your right shoulder goes forward. This also occurs when stepping backward with the right foot, in which case the left shoulder goes backward, or stepping backward with the left foot, in which case the right foot goes backward. Used in walking for counterbalance, in dance this movement generates power for turns.
CBMP Contra Body Movement Position A forward or backward step placed in one line with, as if on a tightrope, or across the line of the other foot. When "across in CBMP," take one foot beyond the line of the other foot.
Contra Position Qv. Right Contra Position or Left Contra Position
Counter Fallaway Position As Counter Promenade Position moving backward
CPP Counter Promenade Position (Latin) As Closed Position, but with the Man opening his right side slightly away from the Lady, and the Lady her left side from the Man. In Paso Doble, a Counter Promenade Shape is typically used.
CPP Counter Promenade Position (Standard) As Closed Position, but with the Man's hips, knees, and feet turned up to 1/8 to the right, the Lady's to the left. The Man's head may turn to the right.
CPP Counter Promenade Position Shape (Paso Doble) In Closed Hold, the Man will raise his left arm over head from the shoulder, maintaining the curverature of the elbow and wrist, and turn the palm out so it faces upward.
Latin Cross A position where one foot is crossed behind the other, with the back leg strongly turned out, the knees slightly flexed with the back knee behind the front, the front foot flat, and the back foot high on the ball of the foot. This position may be achieved by crossing one foot behind the other, or by crossing one foot in front of the other.
Diag Diagonally
DC Diagonal Centre
DW Diagonal Wall
  Double Hand Hold Lady's R hand in Man's L hand, and L hand in Man's R hand. Man's palms may be face up with Lady's palms resting on top, as in L to R and R to L Hand Hold, in which case hands will be held at waist level. Alternately Man's palms may be facing toward Lady, and Lady's toward Man, in which case hands will be held slightly below chest level, elbows taken slightly to the side.
Elevation (Paso Doble) An upward stretch through the feet, ankles, knees, and body.
e/o end of
Fallaway Position As Promenade Position moving backward. In some instances, the Lady may hold her head to the left.
Fan Position The Man and Lady stand at a 90° angle each other, with the Lady slightly in front of the Man. The Man stands on his right foot, with the left foot to the side, and the Lady stands on her left foot, with her right foot held forward.  Only Left to Right hand hold.
F Flat foot A step where the whole foot remains on the floor from a previous step, and then weight is put back into the foot without having lifted the foot at all.
Fwd Forward
H Heel A step taken from the heel of the foot. If full weight is to be taken onto the foot, the rest of the foot will be lowered quickly, but (Latin) if only part weight is taken onto the foot, the rest of the foot will not be lowered.
HF Heel flat A step taken first on the heel of the foot, then lowering the heel to end with the foot flat on the floor
Heel Pull A type of Heel Turn, but where a small step to the side is made after turning on the heel, followed by a drawing inward of the free leg from the knee, with the inside edge of the foot or of the ball of the foot in contact with the floor.
HT Heel toe A step taken first on the heel of the foot, then rolling to the ball of the foot and ending by pushing off the ball of the foot.
HTH Heel toe heel A step taken first on the heel of the foot, then rolling to the ball of the foot, before rolling back to the heel again to push off from the heel. Used in Pivotting Actions.
Heel Turn A turn done over the heel of the standing foot, with the feet held tightly together but without weight on the free foot. After the turn, weight is taken onto the other foot, keeping the feet closed.
I/E Inside edge
Inverted Counter Promenade Position (Paso Doble) Man and Lady side by side, with the Lady on the Man's left, facing almost the same direction, but turning slightly away from each other. Left to right hand hold, or no hold.
Inverted Promenade Position (Paso Doble) Man and Lady side by side, with the Lady on the Man's right, facing almost the same direction, but turning slightly away from each other. Right to left hand hold, or no hold.
Lateral Hip Action The natural tilting of the hips that occurs when the feet are apart, but weight is taken from one foot to the other.
L Left
Left Contra Position As Closed Position (Latin), but with each partner turned slightly as if to pass the left side of the other's body. Closed Hold, or Right to Right hand hold may be used, depending on the figure.
LF Left Foot
Left Shadow Position Man and Lady both facing the same direction, with one partner slightly in front of the other, and the Lady and slightly on the Man's left side.
Left Side Leading If stepping forward on the left foot, the left side of the body turned forward. If stepping back on the left foot, the left side of the body turned back.
LSP Left Side Position Man and Lady both facing the same direction, side by side, with the Lady on the Man's left side. Left to Right hand hold or no hold may be used, depending on the figure.
LOD Line of Dance
Minimal Weight Less than half the weight is taken on to the foot
NFR No Foot Rise Occurring only when stepping backward, the step is taken TH, and although the body rises and the knee straightens, the heel does not lift from the floor until full weight is achieved on the following step.
Open CPP Open Counter Promenade Position As Counter Promenade Position (Latin), but with more distance between the couple, and where the Man holds the Lady with only one hand. L to R hand hold or R to L hand hold may be used, or the Man may place his right hand on the Lady's left shoulder blade and the Lady her left hand on the Man's right shoulder.
Open Position Facing and away from partner, approximately at arms length. Left hand holding Lady's right hand. Alternative holds: R to R hand hold, no hold, or double hand hold
Open PP Open Promenade Position As Promenade Position (Latin), but with more distance between the couple, and where the Man holds the Lady with only one hand. L to R hand hold or R to L hand hold may be used, or the Man may place his left hand on the Lady's right shoulder blade and the Lady her right hand on the Man's left shoulder.
O/E Outside Edge
OP Outside Partner A position where the right foot moves forward to the outside of the partner's right foot
OP on L Outside Partner on Left Side A position where the left foot moves forward to the outside of the partner's left foot
Split Weight A step where 50% of the weight is supported by each foot.
  Patacake Hold Used only in the Three Cha Chas Forward or Back. Man and Lady place the palms of their R hands together at chest level, as if pushing each other away, then switch and repeat on the L side (or vice versa). Whichever foot is closer to the partner is the hand that will be forward.
Physical (Lead) A type of lead where the Man uses his arms to indicate to the Lady to speed up, slow down, or change direction.
Pivot A turn on one foot with no change of weight. It may be a forward step, leaving the other foot back as turn is made, or a backward step, leaving the other foot in front. Up to 1/2 turn may be made
Pointing (Alignment) This refers to the alignment of the foot to illustrate certain positions where the body has turned less than the foot
PR Pressure
PP Promenade Position (Latin) As Closed Position, but with the Man opening his left side slightly away from the Lady, and the Lady her right side from the Man. In Paso Doble, a Promenade Shape is typically used.
PP Promenade Position (Samba) As Promenade Position (Latin), but where the feet, knees, and hips continue to turn away from the partner until those of both partners are facing in the same direction. The Man's right hand will cross further around the Lady's back, passing her spine, and the Lady's left hand will cross behind the Man's neck to rest behind his left shoulder.
PP Promenade Position (Standard) As Closed Position, but with the Man's hips, knees, and feet turned up to 1/8 to the left, the Lady's to the right. The Lady's head will also turn to the right.
PP Promenade Position Shape (Paso Doble) In Closed Hold, the Man will slightly lower his left arm from the shoulder, maintaining the curverature of the elbow and wrist, and turn the palm out so it faces forward.
Q Quick (Timing) One beat of music in 4/4 time, 3/4 time, or 6/8 time. In 2/4 time, half a beat of music. A Quick is always 1/2 as long as a Slow.
to Replace To step onto a foot after having taken that foot fully off the floor for a period of time directly prior. Cf. Transfer.
R Right
Right Contra Position As Closed Position (Latin), but with each partner turned slightly as if to pass the right side of the other's body. Closed Hold, or Right to Right hand hold may be used, depending on the figure.
RF Right Foot
Right Shadow Position Man and Lady both facing the same direction, with one partner slightly in front of the other, and the Lady and slightly on the Man's right side.
Right Side Leading If stepping forward on the right foot, the right side of the body turned forward. If stepping back on the right foot, the right side of the body turned back.
RSP Right Side Position Man and Lady both facing the same direction, side by side, with the Lady on the Man's Right side.Right to Left hand hold or no hold may be used, depending on the figure.
Rotational Hip Action Twisting the hips, so that one hip bone goes forward as the other goes back.
Settling Hip Action An action used to initiate hip movement, generated by sinking the body's centre of gravity over the foot, while keeping a straight standing leg and upright body position.
S Slow (Timing) Two beats of music in 4/4 time, or 1 full beat of music in 2/4 time. A Sow is always twice as long as a Quick.
Shadow Position Qv.  Right Shadow Position or Left Shadow Position
Shaping (Lead) A type of lead where the Man shapes his arms or upper body to communicate to the Lady.
S Straight (Sway) No Sway
Sway Sway is normally the inclination of the body away from the moving foot and toward the inside of the turn (Example: step 2 of Waltz Natural Turn)
TP Tandem Position Lady directly in front of or behind Man, both facing the same way
T Toe A step taken where only the ball of the foot comes into contact with the floor, but with the heel very far away from the floor due to strong pointing of the foot.
TH Toe heel A step taken first on the ball of the foot, then rolling to the heel of the foot to push off from the heel.
THT Toe heel toe A step taken first on the heel of the foot, then rolling to the heel of the foot, before rolling back to the toe again to push off from the toe. Used in Pivots.
to Transfer To step onto a foot without having removed 100% of the weight from that foot on the previous step. Cf. Replace.
Twisting Hip Action A type of turn over one foot where the turn is initiated by the hips, and the hips end up having turned more than the rest of the body.
Visual (Lead) A type of Lead where the Lady watches the Man determine her steps, typically mimicing his.
Weight Change (Lead) A type of Lead where the Lady feels the Man change weight from foot to foot through their connection, and does the same.
WF Whole foot A step taken where the entire foot comes into contact with the ground at once.