Appendix A

Glossary Terms

Académie Royal de Musique et Danse
Adagio is slow and sustained movements that focus on strength, balance, and control.
Apollonian: An artistic style of balance, light, serenity. This is an eponym for the Greek god of light, dance, and knowledge, Apollo.
Asymmetrical body designs use different shapes from one side of the body to the other, creating an unbalanced look.
Ballet a entrée describes a series of independent episodes linked by a common theme.
Ballet blanc or “white ballet” refers to the corps de ballet wearing white tutus or dresses, typically representing supernatural characters.
Ballet Comique de la Reine is the first recognized ballet.
Ballet d’action or dramatic ballets rely purely on movement without the aid of speech or songs to convey the story.
Ballet de cour (court ballet) featured independent acts of dancing, music, and poetry unified by overarching themes. Court ballets adhered to principles of hierarchy that mirrored status in the royal courts.
Ballet Master describes a person who instructs ballet classes for a ballet company and assists in the rehearsals for performances.
Barre is a stationary handrail that supports dancers while working on balance, allowing them to focus on placement and alignment and coordination to prepare for center combinations.
Body: The body is the dancer’s instrument of expression and is the first element of dance. The body is the mobile instrument of the dancer and helps inform us what is moving.
Boogaloo uses a fluid upper body movement to give the illusion of the body not having bones
Breaking is a style of street dancing that incorporates coordination, acrobatic and intricate body movements, style, and aesthetics.
Broadway tap: This style combines both traditional tap dancing with musical theater–style dancing. There is an emphasis on using the upper body and arms, not just the feet. Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire exemplified this style.
Burns: while in a line, dancers will use hand gestures mimicking weaponry
Cajun Two-Step: A partner dance done to Cajun music consisting of two steps to one side, then two steps to the other.
Cakewalk: The cakewalk was a pre-Civil War dance originally performed by slaves as a competitive dance. It was an exaggerated parody created by the slaves to imitate the upper-class mannerisms of their white plantation owners. Since the prize for this competition was an elaborately decorated cake, it is the source for the phrase “takes the cake.”
Castle Walk: Developed by Vernon and Irene Castle, the Castle Walk is a smooth walking step of direct advance and retreat with the couple in a close position.
Character dances are folk dances that depict various cultures to show national identity.
Charleston: Popular in the 1920s, its origins are believed to be from dances in Trinidad, Nigeria, and Ghana. It came to be synonymous with the Roaring Twenties.
Cipher: circle formation of people, where individual breakers take turns dancing.
Classical ballet is a ballet style established in the 19th century that uses formalized ballet vocabulary.
Classical Dance forms are structured and stylized techniques developed and evolved throughout centuries requiring rigorous formal training.
Clowning: energetic and humorous dance moves adapted from various urban dance forms
Codified Technique describes dance forms that are ordered systematically.
Collapsed movement is a release of energy from the body.
Comique are exaggerated, caricatured characters.
Competition: solo or groups of dancers battle or perform against other soloist or group performers
Contact improvisation, developed by Steve Paxton, is based on weight-sharing, touch, and movement awareness often paired with pedestrian movement.
Contemporary ballet is a dance genre that uses classical techniques (French terminology) that choreographers manipulate and blend with other dance forms.
Contemporary dance is an expansive term meaning current, what’s happening now. It is a broader, more individualistic, expressive style of dance.
Contract and Release is a technique developed by Martha Graham to show movement that initiates by tightening the body’s core muscles followed by a release of tension.
Corps de ballet refers to the lowest-ranking members of a ballet company. These ensemble dancers perform movements in unison and act as a backdrop that helps feature the principal dancers and soloists.
Creativity: the use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work
Dance crew: describes a group of street dancers who develop and hone their skills to battle other crews.
Dance notation uses symbolic representation to document choreographed dances.
Danse d’ecole is a French term, referring to dance schools founded on the principles led by Beauchamps.
Danse Noble are characters in ballets who display a regal presentation suitable for roles of royalty.
Deejays, better known as DJs, play music at parties.
Demi-charactere portray lively, everyday people like “the girl next door.”
Dionysian: An artistic style of passion, emotion, and abandon. This is an eponym for the Greek god of wine, Dionysus.
Directions describe the facing of a performer as they dance or pose. This includes forward, backward, right, left, up, or down, or they can also change directions by turning.
Divertissements or diversions are short dances incorporated in ballets that aren’t directly related to the story.
Downrock: weight-bearing movement performed on the floor, where the dancers support their bodies with their hands and feet.
Efforts is a term coined by dancer and movement analyst Rudolf Laban to describe the movement qualities or energy of movement.
Emcees pump up the crowd at parties.
En pointe describes the action of dancers rising to the tips of the toes.
Energy: The element of energy is an exploration of how a movement is done rather than what it is and gives us a richer sense of dance as an expressive art. When speaking about energy, we can refer to effort or movement qualities.
Fall and Recovery is the process of surrendering to gravity and returning to equilibrium, a technique originated by Doris Humphrey.
Five Moons references the five Native American dancers who were foundational in the development of Oklahoma’s dance institutions.
Flamenco: a courtship dance that mingled the southern Spaniards and the Romani people who settled there. It is a vigorous, rhythmic dance with percussive beats clapped or stamped.
Flash tap: Sometimes called swing tap or classical tap, flash tap consists of a combination of jazz dance and acrobatics. The Nicholas Brothers’ dancing was a great example of this style.
Floor work refers to movements performed on the floor. It is often used in modern dance technique.
Foxtrot: Popular in the early 1900s, the foxtrot was a smooth, simple ballroom dance done in 2/4 or 4/4 time signature.
Freestyle is based on improvisation rather than the choreography seen in other dance varieties
Freeze-a held position consists of the breaker halting the body from movement to achieve a challenging body pose
Funk tap: This is a younger, contemporary tap form that combines both hip-hop and funk. Savion Glover created this new form of tap.
General Space is the defined space in which the dancer can move.
Graffiti: writing or drawings scribbled, scratched, or sprayed illicitly on a wall or other surface in a public place.
Grand Allegro contains vigorous movement, such as large jumps, hops, and leaps.
Grand pas de deux refers to a duet for the principal dancers. The grand pas de deux has four sections: adagio, man’s variation, woman’s variation, and coda.
Gypsy: This is the term for a Broadway dancer who is a member of the chorus or ensemble, and who frequently travels from one show to the next.
Hambone: The hambone was originally known as Pattin’ Juba. Hambone is an African American style of dance that involves stomping as well as various types of body percussion.
Harlem Renaissance: an intellectual and cultural revival of African American music, dance, art, fashion, literature, theater, politics, and scholarship centered in Harlem, Manhattan, New York City, spanning the 1920s and 1930s.
Hip-hop dance posture: bending forward from the waist with the knees bent and the spine slightly curved
Hip-hop: an umbrella term that includes several dance styles that are highly energetic and acrobatic
Hiplet is a fusion of ballet movement and hip-hop.
Hoofing: Hoofing means dancing into the floor with emphasis placed on stomps and stamps in addition to rhythmic percussion of the sounds, music, and syncopations. Gregory Hines made this style of tap popular.
Hora: a round dance that is danced at celebrations by Jews worldwide.
Improvisation: the process of spontaneously creating movement
Indigenous: first peoples; the earliest known inhabitants of a region.
Individuality: the quality or character of a person that stands out from others of the same kind
Isolations: Often done as a warmup in a jazz class, isolations involve moving only one part of the body while holding the rest of the body still.
Jazz dance: Jazz dance is a performance dance style that arose in the United States in the mid-20th century. Jazz dance had its roots in African dance and can refer to social dance forms of jazz as well as Broadway or dramatic jazz.
Jerks: sudden body movements.
Kinesphere is the immediate area surrounding the body and is described as a three-dimensional volume of space.
Krumping: rapid, exaggerated movements of the arms and legs; these movements are done aggressively.
Latinx hip-hop influences introduced acrobatic moves like head spins and hand glides.
Levels describe the various heights where movement can occur in space.
LGBTQIA+ is an abbreviation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning and/or Queer, Intersex, and Asexual.
Lindy Hop: The Lindy Hop is a type of swing dance that originated in the African American New York dance scene in 1928 and was inspired by aviator Charles Lindbergh, who “hopped” the Atlantic Ocean in 1927.
Locking: briefly freezing movement into a held position before continuing.
Locomotor movements are movements that travel in space.
Minstrel show: This was a show that included songs, dance, variety acts, and jokes that came at the expense of African Americans, as white men in blackface appropriated Black culture by inappropriately mimicking and mischaracterizing African Americans. It developed in the US in the early and mid-19th century and was widely performed until the mid-20th century but is now regarded as highly offensive.
Modern dance refers to a style of dance that broke away from Old World ballet and developed an original abstract modern point of view.
Movement qualities are energy released during various timespans to portray distinct qualities.
Musical theater: Musical theater is less of a single dance style and more of the purpose for which dance is used in a musical production. The dancing is designed to further the storyline of a musical production and help character development. The movements are often exaggerated to reach the audience in large theaters.
Natural rhythms are timing that comes from the rhythms of the breath, the heartbeat, or natural sources like the wind or the ocean.
Negative space is the empty area around the dancers’ bodies.
Neoclassical ballets utilize traditional ballet vocabulary, but pieces are often abstract and have no narrative.
Nonlocomotor movements are those performed in place.
Originality: power of independent thought or constructive imagination
Pantomime uses movement and gestures to convey meaning and aid in narrating the story of a ballet.
Pantomime: any of various dramatic or dancing performances in which a story is told by the expressive body or facial movements of the performers.
Party dances: social dance movements incorporated with hip-hop dance moves.
Pathways are sometimes called floor patterns and describe where the dancer goes through space, i.e., curved, straight, circular, diagonal, etc.
Pedestrian movement uses basic movement (everyday gestures or actions such as walking, sitting, opening a door).
Percussion refers to movements that are performed in a sudden, abrupt, or sharp way. They have a strong quality, as the dancer produces staccato-like moves with their body.
Percussive movements use sharp, sudden, or abrupt movements that give a strong quality
Percussive: refers to movements that are performed in a sudden, abrupt, or sharp way. They have a strong quality as the dancer produces staccato-like moves with their body.
Personal space is the space around the dancer’s body.
Petit Allegro are small, brisk jumps that emphasize speed and precision.
Polycentrism is the idea that movement can initiate from any part of the body.
Polyrhythm refers to two or more rhythms within a tempo. Polyrhythmic patterns are featured in African dance, music, and drumming.
Popping involves contracting and releasing the muscles to cause a jerking effect. These actions produce a robotic-like quality.
Positive space is the area of space the dancers’ bodies occupy.
Postmodern dance broke away from modern technique and used pedestrian movement and unconventional performing spaces with both skilled and unskilled dancers.
Pow wow: A yearly gathering of Native American tribes in a great social event that features music, dance, food, crafts, and a sharing of culture.
Power moves: physically demanding acrobatic moves requiring strength and endurance.
Principal dancers are the highest rank in companies. They have leading roles and are the primary focus of ballets.
Proscenium refers to a stage with a frame or arch.
Pulse is the basic pulse or underlying beat of movement and/or music.
Range of motion refers to how much or how little personal space is used when dancing or posing.
Relationship refers to the proximity of the dancer to others or to objects in the dance space (in front of, behind, over, under, connected, apart).
Rhythm tap: In rhythm tap, the shoes themselves are instruments. Sounds are made by striking the heel, toe, or whole foot. It is often performed with no musical accompaniment. John W. Bubbles was known for this tap style.
Rhythmic patterns are the musical grouping of long or short beats, accents, or silences.
Romantic ballets references a ballet style from the early 19th century that emphasized self-expression and emotions.
Samba: a courtship dance from Brazil; it became popular in western Europe and the United States in the early 1940s. It is danced to music in 4/4 time signature with syncopated rhythm.
Soft shoe: Soft shoe is a form of tap dancing that does not require special shoes. Rhythms can be made by tapping of the feet or sliding the feet, sometimes using scattered sand on the stage to enhance the sound. Clayton “Peg Leg” Bates made this style popular, although minstrel George H. Primrose began doing this style in his shows.
Soloists are ranked in the middle and have minor roles to perform solos.
Space: The element of space refers to where movement occurs and includes personal and general space, levels, directions, pathways and floor patterns, various sizes of movements, range of movement, and relationships.
Speed, also known as tempo, describes the pace of the music or movement.
Spirituality: the fastest, most direct route to the truth; the get down and personal kind, the what’s-happening-in-me-right-now kind of truth.
Square dance: an American courtship dance with four couples in a square.
Stepping: a complex synchronized dancelike performance that blends African folk traditions with popular culture. It involves clapping, body slapping, vocalizations, and dramatic movements.
Stylization: the qualities with which a dance genre is performed.
Suspended movements occur at the peak of a movement, defying gravity before succumbing to it.
Sustained movements occur continuously, creating a smooth and even motion.
Swing Dance: Swing dance refers to a number of energetic, fast-paced social dances that developed with the swing style of jazz music in the 1920s–1950s.
Swinging movements have a pendular or circular quality.
Symmetrical refers to body designs that use the same shape on both sides of the body, creating balance.
Synchronization: the coordination of events to operate a system in unison.
Syncopation: Syncopation is the accenting of a note that would usually not be accented. It is often described as being off beat. The time signature of a piece of music has a regular pattern of strong and weak beats. A syncopated rhythm goes against this pattern by putting the accent on weak beats.
Tango: A courtship dance from Argentina, its movement is stealthy, almost cat-like and has an unmistakable staccato feel and major dramatic attitude.
Tap dance:  Tap is a dance form that is performed wearing shoes fitted with metal taps, characterized by rhythmical tapping of the toes and heels.
Terpsichore: The Greek muse of dance.
Thespian:  An actor. This is an eponym for the ancient Greek credited as the first actor.
Time: The element of time refers to when the dancers move and how the movement uses time. The time category includes pulse, speed, rhythmic patterns, natural rhythm, and syncopation.
Toprock: movement that is performed from a standing position; quick, percussive footwork paired with a relaxed upper body.
Turnout is an outward rotation of the legs in the hip socket.
Twist: A popular dance craze from the 1960s that involves swiveling one’s hips. It is believed to have its roots in African dance.
Uprock: a precursor to breaking; an urban street dance with opposing dancers or crews facing off in a line formation.
Vaudeville: A vaudeville show was a type of entertainment popular chiefly in the US in the early 20th century, featuring a mixture of specialty acts such as burlesque comedy and song and dance.
Vibratory movements use rapid and repeated bursts of energy.
Vocalization: syllables in a series produced with prosodically coherent contours, as required by the logic of the dance moves
Waacking uses striking arm movements, poses, and footwork; the emphasis is the expression.
Waltz: a courtship dance that was developed in the courts of Europe. The waltz is performed in a 3/4 time signature by a couple who turns rhythmically around the dance floor in an elegant motion.
Zydeco: An energetic partner dance done to zydeco music. It has elements of swing dance, with each couple adding their own flair to the dance.



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