Make your own free website on


Parallel Position (Left, Right)

Two of the most prominent American teaching systems define Parallel Position differently:

School #1 defines Parallel as being the same as Outside Partner Position, with man and lady facing each other, slightly offset.

School #2 defines Parallel as being the same as Shadow Position, with man and lady facing the same direction, slightly offset.

Paso Doble A dramatic French-Spanish Flamenco-style march danced in 2/4 time, with man portraying the matador in a bullfight, the lady as his cape. Paso Doble is usually danced to España Cani, the Spanish Gypsy Dance.
Pattern A small group of individual steps or movements.
 Pencil Turn A spin on one foot, with the free foot held next to the standing foot in first position.
Pendulum Motion Movement of the body or part of the body which emulates the swinging action of a pendulum: A lower portion of the body travels at a faster rate of speed than a portion of the body above.
Phrase (1) A self-contained musical statement which has a definite beginning, middle and end ; A musical passage or sentence. In dance music, the length of the phrases is often consistent and predictable, (such as 2, 4, or 8 measures), but odd-measure phrases are not uncommon.

(2) A self-contained piece of choreography that has a definite beginning, middle, and end ; A dance passage or sentence. Choreography is normally either phrased to fit specific musical passages, or to match common general song structures.

Pitch The inclination of the body forward or backward.
Pivot (1) The turning of the supporting foot against the floor (general context).

(2) A turn in the direction of the forward foot, taken following a forward or backward progressive movement, with weight held over one foot.

Pivoting Action (1) Any movement or action which includes the turning of a weighted foot (general context).

(2) A turn in the direction of the forward foot, taken following a forward progressive movement, where the majority of rotation occurs as the weight is leaving the supporting foot.

Point (Foot) (1) To extend the foot in such a way that it is placed at an angle roughly parallel to the leg.

(2) An extended position of the foot which is acheived when the toe or ball is still in contact with the floor, but the heel is not.

flex.gif (8502 bytes) Figure (1) and (2): Pointed Foot

Pointing... Refers to the alignment of the feet when diffferent from the direction the body is facing or moving.
Poise The pitch of the body and placement of the body weight relative to the feet.
Polka A fast and lively Bohemian dance of Polish origin, danced to traditional German "oom-pah" music in 2-4 time. The basic movement is characterized by  three steps and a hop.
Positions of the Arms The five positions of the feet as defined in Ballet, such as First Position (arms down, at sides), Second Position (arms extended to side), and Fifth Position (arms raised above head).
Positions of the Feet (1) Indication of the placement of the feet relative to each other.
Examples: LF Forward, RF Side, LF Diagonally Back.

(2) The five positions of the feet as defined in Ballet, which are:

  • First Position (together)
  • Second Position (apart, side-by-side)
  • Third Position (heel to instep)
  • Fourth Position (apart, one foot forward)
  • Fifth Position (toe to heel)

See also: [ Technical Tips: Foot Positions ]

Posture The positioning of the different body parts relative to one another. Good posture is acheived by vertically aligning the different "blocks of weight" of the body (head, shoulders, abdomen, and hips), allowing for the natural curve of the spine with minimal distortions.

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

Press Line A body position seen in Paso Doble and occasionally Tango, where the weight is split between the feet, but favoring the front foot. The front leg is bent with the foot arched high on the ball, while the back leg is straight with the foot flat on the floor.
Professional Dancer A person who seeks financial gain from the teaching or performing of dancing.

See also: [ Amateur Dancer ]

Progressive Movement Movement which travels forward or backward through space.
Progressive Rotation Movement which is both progressive and rotational in nature. Examples of progressive rotation are Pivots, Chainé Turns, and the Viennese Left Cross Turn.
Projection Extention of the body position, posture, movement, energy and volume to a performance level.
Promenade Position A V-shaped dance position where both man and lady move forward and in the same direction, toward the open end of the "V".
Pronate To roll the foot so that the top angles inward (inside edge to the floor). Pronation is a common technique in Latin and Rhythm styles.

ss3.jpg (4951 bytes)

See also: [ Supanate ]

Push & Pull Tension applied to a connection through the manipulation of body weight toward it (Push) or away from it (Pull).

Submit a word that does not appear on this list:




Copyright © 1997 Jonathan W. Atkinson and Ballroom
Reproduction by any means, including printing or copying of content, files, media clips, or html code is not allowed without permission from the copyright holder. For more information, see Terms and Limits of Usage.