Abdominal Muscles - A large group of muscles in the front of the abdomen that assist in the regular breathing movement and supports the muscles of the spine.
Asymmetrical Shapes - shapes that have two halves that are unequal in shape and size; lacking symmetry.
Axial Movements - movements that stay in one place (twisting, reaching, jumping in place, etc.).
Ball Change - A quick transfer of weight from one foot to another.
Canon - A movement pattern, or piece of music, in which the parts are performed overlapping one another.
Chaîné Turns - Chains, links; a series of rapid turns on demi-pointe done in a straight line or in a circle.
Choreographer - Person who creates combinations or entire dances.
Choreography - a dance with specified patterns of movements and rhythms.
Dégagé - disengaged; when the foot slides rapidly along and slightly off the floor, with the leg straight.
Demi – small movement
Directions – Forward, Backward, Sideway, Up, and Down.
Flexed Feet - Ankles in a flexed position so that the toes are pulled back toward the body.
Focus - choreographed focus that is either direct or indirect
Formation – A group of people arranged to create a certain shape, such as a line, circle, pyramid, etc.
Genre - A particular kind or style of dance, such as ballet, jazz, hip hop, modern folk, tap, etc.
Grand - large movement.
Grand Battement - large beating; when the whole straight leg is brushed through tendu and degage and sent up to a 90 degree or higher angle. The leg returns to the floor by brushing back through degage and tendu.
Grapevine – A variation of a walk; it travels to the side and can be performed at various tempos. It is executed by stepping to the right with the right foot, stepping behind the right foot with the left foot, stepping right with the right foot and then stepping in front of the right foot with the left foot. This sequence is repeated and can also be done to the left.
Hop - Jump off floor on one foot and land on the same foot.
Improvisation - to create and perform something spontaneously or without preparation.
Isolation - Separation of body parts. Making one body part work independently of another body part.
Jeté - Leap; a jump from one leg to another.
Levels - movements can be performed on and through three basic levels, which are high, medium, and low.
Locomotor Movements - movements that travel to a new place (running, skipping, walking, etc.).
Lunge - A movement where one leg is in a plié position and the other leg is extended.
Modern Dance - A highly individualized form of artistic expression which began as a rejection of traditional ballet concepts; there is not a single approach to technique.
Parallel Position - Feet and knees facing forward.
Passé - to pass; the foot meets the knee of the supporting leg from one position to another.
Pathways - patterns created in the air or on the floor by the body or body parts as a dancer moves through the space. Curved, straight, zigzag, and diagonal.
Petite - small movement
Pirouette - A turn executed on one leg and does not travel.
Pivot Turn - A turn in place on the ball on the foot.
Plié - a bending of the knee or knees.
Pointed Toes - Ankle must be extended and toes follow the line.
Port de bras - The carriage, placement, and movement of the arms.
Relevé - to rise up on the toes.
Rhythm – A sequence of movement or sounds of various duration.
Roll Down – A sequential curving of the vertebrae, starting at the top of the skull and ending with the pelvis upside down. This movement is reversed by contracting the abdominals and uncurling the spine back to an upright position.
Sauté - a jump off of both feet, landing in the same position.
Shape - A position of the body in space, such as curved, straight, angular, twisted, symmetrical, asymmetrical, etc.
Size - small, medium, and large movements.
Slide - Consists of a step and a dragging of the other foot.
Social Dance - Dance performed in a social setting; traditionally referred to as ballroom dance, but including all popular social dances performed with or without partners.
Spotting - A movement of the head where the eyes are focused on a particular spot in the direction of the turn, and the head is quickly snapped back at the last possible moment to re-focus on the same spot.
Symmetrical Shapes - shapes that have two halves that are exactly the same shape and size.
Tempo - The rate of speed at which the music is played or that the movement occurs.
Tendu - to stretch; the foot brushes along the floor to a pointed foot, the knees do not bend.
Three Step Turn - A complete turn in a straight line, using three steps.
Turnout - A position of the legs with the feet and knees turned outward from the hips.
Unison - Dance movement that takes place at the same time in a group.