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Dance glossary - B


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Bar
A unit of music representing a group of consecutive beats. The number of beats in a bar or measure is measured by the time signature, and is determined by the ratio and relative strength of the naturally strong and weak beats occurring in the music.

Base
The lower half of the body, including the feet, legs and hips.

Back-to-Back
A couple's position in which the leader and the follower have their backs together.

Back Flap
A backbrush, followed by a step. Same as a flap, only done backwards.

Blance
A step that rocks from one foot to the other, usually in 3/4 time.

Blance (ballroom)
Ability of the dancer to maintain an upright and controlled position of the body whether in movement or still.

Ball Change
A move that consists of a change of weight between both feet. Body weight is transferred on the ball of one foot (usually placed behind), followed by a step on the other foot.

Ball Dig
The touching of the ball of the foot with no weight transfer.

Ball Lift
A hit of the floor with the ball tap before immediately lifting it up again.

Ball Tap
A piece of metal that covers the front portion of a tap shoe. Ball taps are available in different shapes and sizes depending on the shoe and the desired sound.

Ballerina
A ballerina is a female ballet dancer. A prima ballerina is the leading female dancer in a ballet company. Many people associate ballerinas with tutus and soft slippers. In contrast, a male ballet dancer is called a ballerino, or danseur.

Balletomane
A ballet enthusiast; an ardent admirer of the ballet. A ballet connoisseur.

Ballo
Sandard Italian dances and their music of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

Ballon
The ability of a dancer to remain suspended in air during a jump; elasticity in jumping.

Ballroom dances
Social dances usually performed by couples, including the fox-trot, waltz, tan

Basic movement
A characteristic figure that remains constant.

Basse danse
A solemn court dance usually in duple time, popular in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

Battement
A beating movement of the legs.

Bells
A strike of the heels together in the air with the knees bent. Somewhat like performing a demi-plie in the air.

Body flight
Body flight is a property of many movements in dances such as the waltz and foxtrot. It refers to steps taken with momentum in excess of that necessary to arrive at a point of static balance over the new position, which suggests a carry through to another step in the same direction. Steps in these dances naturally flow one into another, in contrast to the tango and to the Latin and rhythm dances where many steps arrive to a point of static balance.

Body contact
Body contact is a style of closed position in partner dancing ("closed position with body contact"); it is also a type of physical connection.

Boogie woogie
African American jazz dance. The knees are held close together and the hips sway from side-to-side as the dancer travels forward. Boogie Woogie was originally a style of music, but is today also a dance that is becoming very popular in Europe. It has its roots in the Rock 'n' roll style that was danced in the fifties, like the style found in old movies with Bill Haley.

Boston Jive
Form of Swing similar to Lindy but with kicks.

Breakaway
A break which is taken in open position, with partners moving in opposition.

Brush
To strike the center of the ball tap forward, back, or any other direction.