Ballroom Technique


The position of the feet in relation to the room.

Use facing or backing when the feet and body are in line.

Use pointing when the foot is in a different alignment to the body.

Amount of turn

Measure between the alignment of the feet positions.


The correct distribution of the weight of the body when dancing.

Basic Figure

A figure that is considered to form a part of the basis of a particular dance.


When the moving foot is being taken from one open position to another open position, the word Brush is used to indicate that this foot must first close up to the fool supporting the weight of the body, but without the weight bring changed.


A figure of three steps in which the feet are closed on the 2nd step.

Chasse Turn or Closed Turn

A turn that is danced with a Chasse or with the feet closing on the 2nd or 3rd step.

Eg Chasse Reverse Turn

Contrary Body Movement (CBM)

A body action.

The turning of the opposite side of the body towards the moving foot, either forward or backward.

Generally to initiate turn.

Contrary Body Movement Position

A foot position where the foot is placed across the front or back of the supporting foot, either in front or behind.

To maintain body line.

Fallaway Position

A position used in advanced variations in which the man and lady move backward in Promenade Position.


A completed set of steps.


Foot work refers to that part of the foot that remains in contact with the floor.

Waltz, Foxtrot and QS refer to Heels and Toes (where Toe includes Ball).

Heel Pivot

A turn on the hell of one foot only, in which no change of weight occurs. The Heel Pivot might be termed a "compact Chasse,ā€ and is used instead of a Chasse in the last part of the Quarter Turns in the Quickstep.

Heel Pull

This is a type of Heel Turn used by the man in some backward Natural Turns. The feet may be kept apart instead of closed, and the weight is more forward than in a Heel Turn.

Heel Turn

A turn on the inside of the stepping foot, the closing foot being kept parallel to it throughout. The weight is transferred to the closing foot at the end of the turn. It should be noted that, although the major part of the turn is on the heel, it is actually commenced on the ball of the foot. This will occur naturally and is shown in the charts.


A figure or part of a figure in which progression is temporarily suspended, and the weight retained on one foot for" more than one count.


A part of a figure in which the moving or turning of the body is checked, while the feet remain almost stationary.

Line of Dance

The normal line of forward progression along each of the four sides of the room.

Natural Turn

A turn to the R.

No foot rise

No foot rise occurs when stepping back on the inside of most turns when the heel of the supporting foot will remain in contact with the floor until full weight is taken on to the next step. The rise is felt through the legs and the body only.

Open Turn

A turn in which the third step passes the second step instead of closing. The lady's counter part to a man's Open Turn is usually a Heel Turn.

Outside Partner

A step taken forward by a partner on the right of both the other partners feet.

In such steps the bodies must keep close contact, the outside movement being achieved by stepping rather across the front of the body. The partner's step would be described "Partner Outside," and must be taken across the body at the back. Thus all such steps are placed in C.B.M.P. In some advanced variations the outside step is taken on the Left side of the partner.

Partner in Line

Partner Square

Square to Partner

Terms used 10 indicate that the couple are standing in the normal dance position, i.e. facing each other and with the man's and lady's feet approximately opposite each other.


A turn on the ball of one foot, the other-foot' being kept in front or behind in C.B.M.P.


The position of the body in relation to the feet.

Promenade Position

The position in which the man's R. side and the lady's L. side are kept in close contact, and the opposite sides of the bodies turned out to form a "Vā€ shape. The feet are usually turned to the same direction as the body.


A term used in timing steps. A quick step always occupies half the time of a slow step.

Reverse Turn

A turn to the L.


The word "Rhythm" is used in a broad sense, and usually refers to the accented beats of the music which recur regularly and give character to the music.

Rhythm, however, is something much more subtle than this. It might be likened to colour. There are basic colours from which the expert can produce an infinite variety of beautiful shades. Similarly we have basic rhythms in all our dance music. The expert musician will produce numerous subsidiary rhythms from these, thus giving the music an entirely different character, which the expert dancer will endeavour to express in his dancing.

Rise and Fall

The elevation and lowering that is developed through the feet, legs and body.

Side Leading

Taking the same side of the body either forward or backward with the moving foot.


A turn taken over two feet

eg spin turn, outside spin


This usually refers to one movement of the foot, although from a "time value" point of view this is incorrect. In the case of a walk forward or backward, for instance, the time value of the step is not completed until the moving foot is drawn up to the foot supporting the weight, ready to commence another step. Thus, when instructed to rise at the end of a step the dancer should not commence to rise until the moving foot is passing the foot supporting the weight of the body.


Sway normally is the inclination of the body towards the inside of the turn.

Eg steps 2 & 3 of a Waltz Natural Turn


 A turn on the ball of one foot.


This indicates the speed of the music. The approved speeds for the standard dances are:

Waltz               30 bars a minute   

Quickstep         50 bars a minute

Foxtrot            30 bars a minute   

Tango              33 bars a minute

VW                  60 bars a minute

Time Signature

The number of beats in each bar of music.


A varied and more advanced figure, additional to the basic figures.

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