Dance Terms: A list of all common dance jargons

Dancing is an art form that has been around for many years. There are so many different terms used in the dance world, which can make it difficult to navigate if you’re a newcomer to the field. Dance is a beautiful art that people of all ages can enjoy. Everyone has seen the dance movies that have been popular in recent years. They are a form of entertainment and often provide insight into the culture of a region. But what do all these different terms mean? This blog post will discuss some common dance terminology so you can better understand what it is your favorite dancers are doing on stage! 

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The various dance terms are:

  1. Arch: this is a term used to describe the shape of the dancer’s back when they are stretching their legs and bending backward.

  2. Battement: this is a type of movement where dancers will bring one leg in front of them while kicking out with the other leg behind.

  3. Focus: Focus is when you are looking where your body is facing.

  4. Fouetté: this is a type of movement where a dancer will spin around and then kick out with their leg at the same time.

  5. Grand jeté: grand jetés are when dancers jump into the air, usually bringing one or both legs up in front of them before landing.

  6. Abhinaya: This dance term is usually used in semi-classical dance forms to describe the emotions that a dancer is portraying.

  7. Mushthi: This is a hand gesture in Bharatanatyam where the right palm holds a fist.

  8. Body roll: This is when a dancer will flex their stomach muscles and then either twist or bend at the waist.

  9. Taal: This dance term is being used to describe the rhythm that a dancer will perform on stage.

  10. Mukha bhuja: This is when one of the dancers in a routine will plant their feet and extend their arms outwards, with fingers pointed straight up towards the sky.

  11. Avartan: This kathak dance term is being used to describe the turning of a dancer on one foot.

  12. Mukula: This is a hand pose often used in classical and semi-classical dance styles. In this dance pose, the fingers touch each fingertip and point upwards. 
  13. Matra: This is another kathak dance terminology that is being used in the context of a rhythm.

  14. Holds: This is a term that is being used to describe the way a dancer will stay in a position for a brief while and hold their breath.

  15. Sarpasirsa: This is a cobra pose held by the hand. The wrist is being arched upwards with a slight bend on the tip of the fingers.

  16. Sikhara: This is a Bharatanatyam dance term that refers to showing a thumbs up when you dance! As simple as that!

  17. Tavana: Tavana is a term used in Kathak and Bharata Natyam as well, it means ‘to stamp’.

  18. Pataka: This is a hand pose in Bharatanatyam where the palm is open and flat with fingers pointing outwards

  19. .Knee Socks: This term refers to what people wear on their knees while dancing! They’re sometimes called Dance Knees or Dancer’s Knees too!

  20. Levels: This is a term that refers to how high the hands and feet are off of the ground.

You would want to be relaxed and in a creative mindset to practice dance the best way. Try to pick a spot for your dance studio at home that is secluded so family and friends aren’t coming and going in the middle of your practice sessions. Pick a spot where you don’t have a lot of external noise.
Pay attention to the amount of natural light that enters your dance studio at home.

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