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Dance steps

Dance steps

Learn how to do several steps and moves for ballet, tap, jazz, and cha cha.

Ballet Steps

The ballet dance has 5 basic positions; three of the positions, including the first, are 'closed'- significance that the feet touch each other and two positions are 'open'.

ballet poition

First Position
The balls of the feet are turned out entirely. The heels touch each other and the feet face outward, trying to form a straight line.
Second Position
Similar to first position, but the feet are spread apart to give a space of about 30 cm (12 in.) between the heels.

Third Position
The heel of one foot is against the instep of the other, with the feet turned outwards.

Fourth Position
The feet are placed similarly as third position, but one foot is advanced about 30 cm in front of the other, and both are turned outwards.

Fifth Position
With both feet touching, the toes of each foot reach the heel of the other.

Tap Steps

For tap techniques and steps, there is not generally agreed-upon terminology. Following are some basic steps:

Walk or step
The smallest unit of movement made with the foot - a common step as when walking around.

Another step in tap dancing is the brush. One leg (i.e. the left) is swung forwards and/or backwards, the other foot is "brushed out" by striking the ball of the foot (i.e. the right) on the floor in an extensive movement.

A step taken with the ball of the foot coming down first, then the heel, making two different sounds.

The foot is positioned upon the floor quickly, with the heel and the ball of the foot striking the ground at the same time.

This begins when one does a sugar in a circular movement, making sure to keep the hips turning. Two variation of the beautiful are: "high beautiful", it is when the tapper includes the hands, moving in a species of "kneading" movement over the head, chin up, and "low beautiful",  it is when one does the hand movement below the knees, in a somewhat bent over position.

The hop step compose in a jump done on one foot, landing on that same foot.

It is similar to a hop, but landing on the other foot from which you jumped.

It is similar to a spring, but the difference is onto a flattened foot, with the knee well bend.

Heel Drop
This begins by standing on the balls of one or both feet and then "dropping" the heel on the floor, with or without a variation of weight; it can also be done with the ball (ball drop).

Shuffle (straight)
A fast forwards and backwards movement just in front of you, usually done in the same time of one beat.

Tap (as a prefix)
The ball of the foot striking the ground before the most important movement is executed.

Side shuffle
This step is as with a straight shuffle, but taken next to you, with less of the tap striking the ground.

Back shuffle
A shuffle done with the foot behind you, with the thigh pushed back, and the foot slightly toed out.

Jazz Steps

Some jazz steps are:
The "jazz walk" consists of rolling throughout the ball of the foot before lowering the heel to the floor. The legs extend as far as possible, keeping one foot on the floor at all times. Jazz walks can be executed in many diverse forms.
The "jazz split" is a half-split on the floor in which the back leg bent upward from the knee. Sometimes the knee can be captured on the head can be arched back towards it. Dancers generally hop into the jazz split from a standing position.
Another well know jazz step is the "contraction." A contraction is accomplished by contracting at the torso, with the back curved external and the pelvis pulled forward.

Cha Cha Dance Steps

The cha-cha is an enjoyment, fast-paced Latin dance with a contagious rhythm.  There are two basic movements to the Cha Cha - the back basic movement and the forward basic movement. It consists of three fast steps with two slow steps.  Slow-slow (1, 2) and quick-quick-quick (3 & 4).  It is chock full of fast hip action and quick rotates and turns that make for an enjoyable full time on the dance floor.