Always getting revised,

Terms and Vocabulary for Partner Dancers

Backswing - one of two ways to pulse. The swing is larger and longer in the back body.

Body Flight - Keeping one's upper body from changing levels through walks or weight shifts.  Achieved by a rolling of the feet.

Cha Cha - two steps in one beat of music.

Check Step - Two weight shifts, with the first being less than 50% of the weight transferred.

Clinic -  Facilitated Practica

Fishtail - Traditional Blues movement caused by extending the hip out to the side off axis.  Must contain the pulse of the music. The hips swing to each side with the inside hip going out and back.  You should feel it when your inside foot drags in and back a little, but a fishtail can be also achieved with a forward walk.  Done to blues music that encourages emphasis on the back swing. "Best when done with Jookin' Blues", says Andrew Smith.

Forward swing - Or forward pulse, is more like a springing from the ground or a digging into the ground.  But still contains the pendulum swing.  It's one half of the pulse dichotomy.  Done with weight kept slightly forward and on the balls of the feet.

Frame - Static and Dynamic.  A static frame is one you see in ballrooms, great for traveling at high speeds.  A dynamic frame is the one that we use for street dancing.  Key things to mention about frame is its usefulness for safety purposes and its quality of expansiveness.  The frame is about creating a line of communication between people via their hands, arms, shoulder, spine, and hips.  The line of communication travels all the way from one person's sacrum to another's.  Connection points can be created in any part of the body.  Technically the whole body can act as a frame.  You can see it as the parts of the body that have the muscles taught enough to carry information while the rest of the body is relaxed.    

Jookin' -

Levels - The distance from your frame to the ground.  Levels are something you change when you want to show dynamics in your dance.

Line of Dace -

Lines - As shaped by your body.  A straight spine, straight arms or straight legs can form lines.

Mindset - the understanding that your thoughts effect your dance.  It's your responsibility to focus on this dance being the best dance.  If your thoughts fall into negativity your body does not lie and it will effect all aspects of the dance.

Musicality - Moving your bodies to the music.  Good Musicality expresses changes, rhythms, mood, tempo, and tonality in the music.  Other ways to be musical include isolating instruments or the melody. Even showing a different rhythm in the music can make one's dance like that of a member of the band, playing their own instrument, complementing the song.

Pitch - Is the way we go about describing your posture in dance.  Relating most to the angle created by the bend in your hip/pelvis.  Each dance has its own pitch because each music evokes something different in our bodies.

Practica - stemming from Tango culture, its a short time period (1 - 2 hours) designated for people to help each other with a particular dance technique.  This word is to differentiate between a social dance where discussion on the dance floor is generally a taboo.  

Pulse - Keeping swing in the body with a forward/backward motion.  The lower body swings like a pendulum extended further down than where the feet make contact with the earth.  The upper torso remains still in space like the top of a pendulum. 

Rock Step - two weight shifts with uneven proportions.  The first is a 50% - 80% weight change, while the second is 100% + weight collection. 

Rolling of the foot - Transfer of weight from front foot to back or vise versa smoothly.

Slotted Dance -

Spin - A 360 degree rotation of the body on one axis point. 

Step - A complete weight shift. 

The Law of Conservation of Energy -  Nature uses the minimum amount of energy required to sustain life.  The best example of this is when a bird only flies as far up the tree as it need to to avoid danger.  This law is key to being a great dancer.  Only use as much energy as is needed to create connection, this is achieved by using the minimum amount of tension in the muscles required to send a message.  Keeping the majority of the muscles in the body relaxed except when you need them.  Bone staking makes an efficient post.  This does not only apply to muscles and bones but also physics. The bodies joints are fulcrums, the hips counter weight, the head can show direction for example, and using momentum like a pendulum keeps the dance party going all night long.  When you violate the law you get tired easily and experience soreness of muscles.      

The Work - Using partner dancing as a tool for the betterment of our selves and the world.

Triple step - Three weight shifts in two beats of music.  Always with only two or less axis changes.

Tone - A level of muscle tension kept in the body to facilitate connection.  Sustaining an open line of connection through the bodies often transmitting signals like:  the ground is here, I have/am offering you this much momentum, my axis is here, etc...  To conserve energy only maintain tone in the muscles that are relevant for connection or styling.

Turn - A rotation of the body by the use of traveling step/s.  A turn is measured in degrees, however it can very from 1/4 to 360 degrees.

Walk - One step taken in one beat of music forward or backward with a complete weight shift and axis change. 

Weight shift - The transfer of body weight from one foot to the other.  Not always with an axis change.