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The Line of Dance is the counterclockwise flow of traffic around the dance floor. It represents the general direction of movement overall, and is only pertinent to dances that travel continuously around the floor, such as Foxtrot, Waltz, Tango, and Samba. Not all movements must travel along the Line of Dance; Some will move across it, weave in and out, or even move against it for a short period of time. But the overall movement should continue to progress in the direction of the Line of Dance.

Although there are hopefully 4 walls in any room, "The" wall that is referred to as an alignment is the wall that the dancers dance closest to as they move along the Line of Dance. When you are facing the Line of Dance, the wall will be at your right-hand side.

There are two centers in the room: (1) True Center, which is the actual center point in the room, and (2) Relative Center, which is the alignment directly opposite the current wall. No matter where you stand in the room, if you face the Line of Dance, the Relative Center will be at your left-hand side. Alignments, as they are written in the syllabus, always refer to Relative Center (which is usually referred to simply as, "Center".



Alignment refers to the direction that the feet are pointing in relationship to the room. The 3 major points of reference in the room are the wall, the center, and the Line of Dance.

Alignments are indicated by the direction or angle of (1) the feet, (2) the body, when different from the feet, and (3) the direction of travel, when different from the feet. The following diagram illustrates the most basic alignments:


Any alignment which is preceded by the word Facing indicates that the feet and body are turned in the same direction, with the body moving forward (diagonally or straight), or sideways. Non-directional steps are also indicated by the word "Facing".

Any alignment which is preceded by the word Backing indicates that the feet and body are turned in the same direction, but with the body moving backward (straight or diagonally).

Any alignment which is preceded by the word Pointing indicates that the feet are pointing to a particular alignment which is different than the body. Sometimes there is an additional note regarding the angle of the body, but if there isn't, it should be assumed that the angle of the body is retained from the previous step.

Any alignment which is preceded by the phrase "Moving Toward", or "Traveling Along", indicates that the direction of movement is different from the angle of the feet and/or body.

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