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Basic Steps in Ballroom Dancing

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Basic Steps in Ballroom Dancing

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This free streaming video introduces you to the vocabulary of basic dance steps used in ballroom dancing. Dance teachers often use terms such as triple step and coaster step without realizing that a beginner may not know what these terms mean. About twelve basic steps are defined in the video. Other free streaming videos in our series cover other “ballroom basics” such as turn technique, foot positions, the dance hold, and exhibition dance terms.

Definitions of basic ballroom dance steps & video script

Triple step - Triple steps are popular in swing dancing. The Triple Step is a three step sequence taken on two beats of music. If the first step of the triple step is taken on count 1, the second step is taken on the half beat between counts 1&2, and the third step is taken on count 2. The step timing is often called out as 1&2. Usually the triple step is two quick steps and one slow, called out as "quick-quick-slow", or, using numbers, as "one-and-two.”

Rock Step - Here we see a sequence of two steps called a rock step. The step timing is usually slow-slow.

Basic of East Coast Swing - The combination of two triple steps and a rock step form the basic step of triple timing swing or the East Coast Swing. The step timing is usually called out as 1&2, 3&4, 5,6.

Ball-Change - Here we see a sequence of two steps called a ball-change. Weight on the ball of the foot is changed to the other foot.

Kick Ball Change - A popular swing dance step is the kick-ball-change step, which can be used to replace the rock step. The timing is usually 1&2.

The Basic Step of the Carolina Shag - The combination of two triple steps and a kick ball change can be used in triple timing swing dances such as the Carolina shag.

Coaster Step - The coaster step is usually a back-together-forward triple step danced to the timing of 1&2 or quick, quick, slow.

Sailor Step - The sailor step has a side to side look. It is also a triple step danced to the timing of 1&2. The step is accomplished by leaning in the opposite direction of the crossing foot.

Anchor Step - The anchor step is a stationary triple step danced in third foot position to the timing of 1&2. It is popular in the west coast swing.

Grapevine - The grapevine is a continuous traveling step pattern to the side usually with alternating crosses behind and in front of the supporting foot.

Lock Step – The lock step is usually danced to triple step timing. During the step, the lower part of the legs cross such that the back leg becomes locked behind the leading leg until the leading leg moves forward. The lock step is often used in the triple step of the cha cha cha

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