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Dance glossary of ballroom and Latin dances and dance terms

In this dance glossary you will find definitions for dances and dance terms used on this site and in the ballroom dance community. Terms are sorted alphabetically, making this a handy reference for beginning and advanced dancers alike. Common Abbreviations are listed in their own section.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M
N | O |
P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Common Abbreviations


DanceSport - The official name given to the sport of competitive ballroom dancing. Relates to the more athletic form of ballroom dancing as recognized by the Olympic Committee.

dancer’s compass – a diagram that shows floor movement directions, such as “forward line if dance,” “diagonal wall, “diagonal center,” etc.
See 'Dancers Compass' video >>

Dancer's Compass

Developpédeveloppé - A movement in which the working leg is drawn up to the knee of the supporting leg and from there smoothly out to a position in the air, usually at 90 degrees (i.e., parallel to the floor).
See 'Definitions of Dance Terms' video >>

dig - To touch the ball or heel of the free foot to the floor with a strong emphasis.

Dragdrag - A drag is a theatrical type of dance movement in which the follower is scooted along the floor surface by the leader. The leader may effect the drag either through leverage or through compression.
See 'Definitions of Dance Terms' video >>

drop - A theatrical type of movement in which the follower's body weight is partially or completely Dropsupported by the leader while at least one part of the follower's body remains in contact with the floor.

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