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(1) The foot position where one foot is placed on or over the path of the other.

(2) A step taken in the direction of the foot position described in #1.


A movement or type of movement (e.g. Pivoting Action, Lowering Action).


To set in motion (i.e. Activate the moving leg).

Alemana Turn

An underarm turn in which the lady turns to the right under the right hand, used specifically in International Rumba and Cha Cha.


A term used in this syllabus to describe an alternate name for a step pattern, variation, or grouping.
Alignment (1) The direction that the feet are pointing in relationship to the room and to the line of dance. Alignment can also indicate the direction of the movement.

(2) The positioning of the different body parts relative to one another. Proper aligmment is acheived by vertically lining up the different "blocks of weight" of the body (head, shoulders, abdomen, and hips), allowing for the natural curve of the spine.

See also: [ Poise | Posture | Technical Tips: Posture ]

Amalgamation A combination of two or more patterns or movements.

Amateur Dancer

A person who does not seek financial gain from the teaching or performing of dancing.

See also: [ Professional Dancer ]

American Style A type of ballroom dancing which evolved from social dancing and is now a fully recognized competitive style of dance. The 9 main American dances are divided into two groups:

(1) Smooth Style, consisting of

(2) Rhythm Style, consisting of

See also: [ Standard Style | Latin Style | Smooth Style | Rhythm Style | International Style ]

Amount of Turn The amount of rotation of the feet which occurs on one step, or between two consecutive steps. In the charts, rotation is measured in fractions of a full turn. Body rotation is indicated only when different from the feet.
Related: [ Alignment | Body Turn | Body Turns Less ]

Anchor Triple Step

A type of triple step where the feet stay anchored in one place.


Premature action taken by the follower, before signal is given by the leader.
Related: [ Following ]
Apart Any dance position where the man and lady have no points of contact. Since there is no physical connection, the use of apart position is limited to visual lead and follow, or open choreographed dance routines.
Appel An accented movement in place, where the body weight is dropped sharply onto a flat foot. The Appel usually marks the beginning of a strong directional movement.


A position of the body where the free leg is extended straight behind the body, usually lifted off the floor.

Arm Styling

Positioning and movement of the arms, reflecting the character of a dance or style of dancing.
Arc Turn
(Arch Turn)
An underarm turn in which the lady turns to the right under the right hand, or to the left under the left hand.
Related: [ Alemana Turn | Outside Turn ]


The part of the foot between the ball and the heel, which forms an arched shape when the foot is pointed.

Argentine Tango

A style of Tango which originated in the streets and salons of Buenos Aires, characterized by its passionate hold and complex leg and foot movements. Argentine Tango is danced socially and as an exhibition dance, but rarely in competitions.


The first complete level of the International system, representing the foundation of movements and basic dance concepts.


A body position where the free leg is raised with the knee bent.
Variations: Forward Attitude, Back Attitude.


An imaginary vertical line around which the body turns. There are three types of axis:
  1. Center Axis
  2. Side Axis
  3. Outside Axis

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