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Dance glossary - A


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Abstract dance
A plot less work composed of pure dance movements, although the composition may suggest a mood or subject.

Adage
A french word meaning gently, or at ease. Adage is a series of slow, controlled exercises or movements performed to slow music.

Alignment
The direction of the feet in relation to the line of dance.

American Rhythm
A category of dances in American Style ballroom competitions. It includes Cha-cha-cha, Rumba, East Coast Swing, Bolero, Mambo. Sometimes it may include Samba and West Coast Swing.

American Style
The term describes the particular style of ballroom dances developed in the USA, as opposed to the International Style. In a narrower sense, it denotes the group of dances danced in American Style ballroom competitions.

Anticipation
Premature action taken by the follower, before signal is given by the leader.

Apart
A couple's position in which the partners do not make contact.

Appel
An accented movement in place, where the body weight is dropped sharply onto a flat foot. The Appel usually marks the beginning of a strong directional movement.

Arabesque
An arabesque is a long, graceful pose made by balancing on the supporting leg while extending the free leg behind.

Asemble
A jump from one to both feet, usually landing in fifth position.

Attitude
A ballet pose performed by balancing on one leg while lifting and bending the other leg either behind, in front of, or to the side of the body. An attitude can be performed on flat foot, pointe or demi pointe.