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A special single-dance division of Dancesoprt in which couples dance an exhibition-style piece to their own selection of music. The dance may incorporate lifts and/or drops, and is not limited to the pre-defined dance styles such as Smooth or Latin.


A definitive ending to a musical phrase.

Canter Timing
(Canter Rhythm)

A rhythm used in 3/4 music where two steps are taken over the course of 3 beats; the second beat is skipped.


The position of the arms and top line while in dance position.


(1) The place on the body just below the abdomen and above the groin. Balance is determined primarily by the placement of the center in relationship to the feet.

(2) The middle of the dance floor. In the Alignments section of the charts, the Center is determined to be the direction exactly opposite the Wall.

Center Point of Balance (CPB) The place on the body just below the abdomen and above the groin. Balance is determined primarily by the placement of the CPB in relationship to the feet.

Cha Cha

An exciting, syncopated latin dance which originated in the 1950's as a slowed-down Mambo. The Cha Cha gets its name and character from its distinct repetetive foot rhythm.

Chainé Turn

A turn or chain of turns which are continuous and directional in nature, in which one full turn is made with each two steps.


A strong checking action taken forward and across in Promenade Position, with the man's right and lady's left foot.

Challenge Position

A dance position where the man and lady are apart and without contact, facing each other. Also known as or Apart or Shine Position.

Change of Weight

The full transferrence of body weight from one foot to the other.

Change Step

A movement used in the ballroom swinging dances which consists of three steps, the feet closing on the third step. The Change step is most frequently used to change back and forth between Left and Right Box Turns ( Closed Turns ).

The Chase

A Cha Cha figure where the man and lady dance variations of the Progressive Basic movement in an Apart dance position. The lady will either follow the man visually, or improvise freely on her own until the man picks her up into a connected dance position.


A series of 2 or 3 consecutive lateral steps, where the feet are closed on the second step.

Chassé Turn

A turn consisting of 3 steps, where the feet are closed on the second or third step.
Example: Left Box Turn, Right Box Turn.


A pronounced discontinuation of movement through the feet.


(1) A compilation of moverments which make up a dance or dance routine.

(2) The creation of movement which makes up a dance or dance routine.


(1) A mucial instrument included in the rhythm section of many latin bands, commonly used in the playing of Mambo music.

(2) The common, underlying two-measure rhythm of Mambo music, played as follows (accented beats are highlighted in black):

measure 1:

1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &

measure 2:

1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &

In music notation:
clave.jpg (83906 bytes)

To listen to the Clave rhythm, click here:

Closed Division

A division of competition which involves the dancing of figures specific to a syllabus, to the exclusion of variations and choreography.

Closed Facing Position

(Latin & Rhythm) A dance position where partners face each other slightly apart, with the normal hold.

Closed Figure

A figure which ends with one foot closing to the other, with a change of weight.
Example: Left Box Turn, Promenade.

Closed Finish

The last part of a figure which ends with feet together, such as steps 4-6 of a Waltz Twinkle.

Closed Position

(Smooth & Standard)

(1) Specifically refers to the normal hold where man and lady are in body contact, facing each other but slightly offset.

(2) In the broader sense of the term, Closed Position (As opposed to Open Position) can be any variation of dance position where partners maintain body contact, such as Promenade or Outside Partner.

Close Facing Position

(Latin & Rhythm) A dance position where partners face each other, either slightly apart or in body contact.

Closed Turn

A turn consisting of 3 steps, where the feet are closed on the second or third step. Example: Left Box Turn, Right Box Turn.

Coaster Step

A triple step in which the first step is taken in the opposite direction of the third, and the feet close on the second step.


To complete the changing of weight to the standing foot by drawing the moving foot underneath the body.


A group of consecutive patterns and choreography.


An small, individual unit of movement.


The lowering of the center resulting from the bending of the knees, for the purpose of commencing movement.


(1) A means of communication between partners, either visually, or as an actual physical point of contact.

(2) Tension applied to a physical point of contact through the manipulation of body weight toward or away from it.

Continuity Movement

The continuous passing of the feet from one step to the next, without closing or chasse action. The concept of continuity-style movement is usually specific to the ballroom swing dances, and pertains to the third or last step in a measure. In American Style competitive dancing, continuity is not allowed in the Bronze Level.

Contra-Body Movement (CBM)

The turning of the body against the standing foot, in the direction of the moving leg. Contra Body Movement is used to commence turns in the ballroom dances. Also known as: Contrary Body Movement, Contra Body Motion.

Contra-Body Movement
Position (CBMP)

The foot position achieved by placing the moving foot along the path of the standing foot, either in front or behind.

Contra Position
(Left, Right)

Dance position where man and lady are both moving toward each other's left/right side, both using the same foot.


The ability to maintain balance and stability throughout the body while dancing.

The Conversation

An out-of-date term to describe basic Promenade patterns.


Spanish word meaning, "cut". The word Corte is used to describe a number of different figures, including the American style Tango Corte (Lunge), the International style Tango Back Corte, and the Waltz Reverse Corte and Hover Corte.


The corresponding part to a pattern danced by the partner.

Counter Promenade

A V-shaped Dance Position with the lady on the man's left side.


Tension applied to a connection through the opposition of of the partners' body weight.

Cross-Body Lead

An American Style basic figure in which the man turns perpendicular the lady, leading her to dance forward on a path which crosses in front of his body.

Cross-Body Position

Dance Position where man and lady are at right-angles to each other, lady moving in front of man from his right to his left side.

Cross Turn

A turn consisting of 3 steps, where the feet are crossed on the second or third step.


Spanish word meaning, "cross": A step taken with one foot crossed tightly over the other, either in front or behind.

Cuban Motion

The rotation of the hips around the spine acheived by the alternate bending and straightening of the knees. Specific to American Style Rhythm dancing.

Cuban Walks

Forward or Backward walks taken with Cuban-style hip motion.


A basic International figure consisting of side breaks to the left and right. Also used in American Style, but under the alias Side Breaks or 2nd Position Breaks.

Cuddle Position

A variation of the Shadow Position where the man and lady are in very close contact. Usually, the hands are connected in the following way: Man's LH to Lady's RH, and Man's RH to Lady's LH. Also known as Flirtation Position.

Cut Time

The time signature of 2/4. Each measure contains 2 beats. Samba and Tango are examples of music written in Cut Time.

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