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GLOSSARY OF LINE DANCE TERMS

Compiled by Prof. Mynette Aguilar


College of Human Kinetics, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City
This list was compiled using glossaries form other sources, most notably , Don Deynes Glossary
of Dance Terminology, and Christy Lanes Complete Book of Line Dancing, The Line &
Country & Western Dance & Music FAQ, Oldies But Goodies - A Country Western Line
Dance Reference Handbook. These are the terms I use in my classes.

AND
Half of a Quick count (& 1 or 1 &) 2 A Call such as "ready and" 3 Indicates simultaneous action
Note: In my step descriptions, the word "and" notes simultaneous actions while the figure "&"
indcates movement on a half beat of music
BALL CHANGE
A step in any direction, followed by a Close (no weight) and a Hold
BRUSH aka Scuff
A smooth swing of the leg to the front or back. As the leg swings, the foot lightly brushes the
floor. Since a brush takes one count and leaves the foot in the air, another move/count is required
to return the foot to the floor
BUMP
Dancers bump hips to the side or the buttocks of their partners

CHA CHA
A CHA CHA STEP involves a Contra hip movement (Cuban Hip) and is more of a weight
change than a foot movement, although foot movement can occur. A CHA CHA CHA and a
SHUFFLE are not interchangeable. They are two distinctly different steps done in the same
rhythm (1 & 2 or 3 & 4).
All Cha Cha steps are counted 1&2, 3&4 etc and it is basically a quick weight change from foot
to foot. For example a forward right foot (right-left-right) Cha Cha (Triple Step) involves:
1 - Step forward on the right foot
& - Then on the ball of the left foot (placing your weight on the left foot)
2- Then immediately place your weight on the right foot moving forward, backwards, or
sideways
Simply reverse the above for a left-right-left forward left foot Cha Cha.
Differences Between A Cha Cha Cha & A Triple Step: A CHA CHA CHA can move forwards,
backwards or from side to side in either direction. A TRIPLE STEP will move only
-1Glossary Of Line Dance Terms
Prof. Mynette R. Aguilar, CHK, UP Diliman, Q.C.

forwards. Both the Cha Cha Cha and Triple Step incorporate three steps in two beats
requiring one of the beats to be split. Hip action in the Cha Cha Cha will result from the
correct use of the leg and knee action with the knee tending to straighten a little as the
weight is transfered onto it. There is no hip action in the Triple Step because the knees
are flexed throughout.
CHARLESTON aka Black Bottom aka Montana Kick
A 4 count pattern of steps and kicks as follows:
Step forward left, Kick forward right, Step back right Point the left toe back
CHUG aka Scoot aka Skooch aka Hop
A scoot forward or sideways on one foot while the other foot is held in a raised position.
CLOSE
To bring the feet together without a change of weight
SCUFF see Brush
COASTER STEPS
Rock forward on your right foot, rock back on your left foot and then do a small cha cha cha
backwards (R,L,R). Simply reverse this for a left foot Coaster Step.
CUBAN MOTION
Hip motion initiated by using the inside edge and ball of the foot during weight transfer
DIG
To touch the ball or heel of the free foot to the floor with a strong emphasis
DRAW aka Drag aka Slide
To bring the free foot slowly together to the weighted foot
FAN
Circular motion of the free foot
TOE FAN
Toe swings outward, pivoting on heel, and back
HEEL FAN
Heel swings outward, pivoting on ball of foot, and back
FLICK
Sharp, quick kick backwards with a pointed toe and a flexed knee
FREEZE
A stop no movement
-2Glossary Of Line Dance Terms
Prof. Mynette R. Aguilar, CHK, UP Diliman, Q.C.

GRAPEVINE aka Vine


A four-step traveling move to four beats that goes right or left
HEEL FAN see Fan
HEEL PIVOT
A turn on the heel of one foot with no weight change
HEEL SPLIT aka Scissors aka Pigeon-Toe aka Butterflies aka Buttermilk aka Chickens
Feet together with weight on balls of both feet. Move heels apart on count 1, and together on
count 2
HEEL STOMPS aka Knee Pops
Lift both heels off the floor by bending the knees Return the heels to the floor Takes one beat of
music and counted as "& 1"
HIP BUMP
An emphasized hip movement in any given direction
HITCH
Right/take right heel and touch forward, take the right foot and bring it upward in front of the
right shin, touch right heel down in front and return next to left foot. Count: forward heel-1, up to
shin-2, return heel-3, return "home"-4.
HITCH KICK See Kick Ball Change
HOLD
A count to describe a designated time before taking another step
HOME
Original starting place
HOOK aka Cross
The free foot moves as a pendulum in front of or in back of the weighted foot and is kept off the
floor The toes pointing downward
HOP
A spring into the air from one foot and landing on the same foot
JAZZ BOX aka Jazz Square
A four-count move and can be performed to the left or to the right.
Step forward left, Step right across left, Step back left, Side step right
or:

-3Glossary Of Line Dance Terms


Prof. Mynette R. Aguilar, CHK, UP Diliman, Q.C.

Step right over left Step back left Side step right Step forward left
JUMP
Spring into the air off both feet and land on both feet
KICK
A quick foot movement (kick) forward, or backward or sideways without a transfer of weight.
KICK BALL CHANGE
You kick your right (or left) leg slightly forward, step down on the ball of that same foot for one
beat, then quickly "change" weight to the opposite foot thus creating the kick-ball-change.
KNEE DIP
From closed position, bend both knees, then straighten.
LEAP
A transfer of weight from one foot to the other. Push off with a spring and land on the ball of the
other foot, letting the heel come down Bend knee to absorb the shock
LOCK
A tight cross of the feet in position.
LUNGE
A weight transfer to a bent leg with the other leg extended.
MILITARY TURN aka Pivot Turn aka Break Turn
Transfer weight to the forward foot then turn 180 in the opposite direction of the forward foot
Return weight to original foot
PADDLE TURN
A turn either left or right, using a series of ball changes with 3/4 of the weight staying over the
turning foot
PIGEON TOE
A pattern traveling sideways bringing the toes together leaving the heels apart, then bringing the
heels together leaving the toes apart
PIVOT
A traveling turn executed with thighs locked and feet apart in extended fifth position
POINT
Stretching the toes of the free foot so the foot points forward, backward, sideways.

-4Glossary Of Line Dance Terms


Prof. Mynette R. Aguilar, CHK, UP Diliman, Q.C.

RHYTHM BREAK
To leave the natural rhythm of the pattern.
ROCK
Shifting the weight from foot to foot.
SAILOR STEP aka Pas de Bourree
A triple step dance pattern accomplished by leaning in the opposite direction of the crossing foot
(weight stays centered over lead foots original position) EXAMPLE: Leaning toward left (1) Step
left behind right (&) Side step right (2) Side step left (to original position)
SCOOT aka Chug
Slide of the weighted foot (or feet) forward, backward or sideways with the other leg in a hook
position.
SCUFF
A gentle kick forward while scuffing the heel on the dance floor
SHUFFLE
Shuffle is three steps to two beats of music. EXAMPLE: SHUFFLE FORWARD LEFT 1 Step
forward left & Bring the right foot up to the heel of the left foot 2 Step forward left. Just reverse
these steps for a right foot lead. Note: From a technical stand point, a shuffle would be smooth, a
polka would have lilt (bounce), and a cha-cha would have Cuban Motion.
SHIMMY
Alternating shoulder movements forward and backward. This is essentially a style move.
SLAP
A slap of a foot or knee with the opposite hand.
SLIDE
A movement in any direction Step on one foot then draw or slide the other foot up to the
weighted foot.
SPIN aka Hook Turn aka Pirouette
A 360 degree turn on one foot.
STEP
The transfer of weight from one foot to another.
STOMP
A loud stomp of the foot on the floor with a weight transfer to the stomping foot. However, the
weight could be evenly distributed over both feet if a further step move is to follow immediately
after the Stomp.

-5Glossary Of Line Dance Terms


Prof. Mynette R. Aguilar, CHK, UP Diliman, Q.C.

STRUT
Moving forward, place the heel then the ball of the foot on the floor for counts 1, 2.
SYNCOPATED PATTERN
Any variation of a defined dance pattern.
SYNCOPATED RHYTHM
To step between the down beats Any rhythm pattern which uses accents other than the down
beat.
SWITCH
A small hop executed while one foot is forward. During the hop, the forward foot is returned to
the "home" position and the opposite foot is "switched" to the forward position.
SWIVELS
Heel swivels, heel splits, heel spreads, heel scissors, pigeon toes, heel fans, etc. Usually called
either HEEL SPLITS OR HEEL SWIVELS. Heel swivels do not necessarily mean that the heels
go apart and then together, it can mean that they both go in the same direction:
1. With your weight on the balls of your feet, swivel both heels left.
2. With your weight on the balls of your feet, swivel heels to the centre.
3. With your weight on the balls of your feet, swivel both heels right.
4. With your weight on the balls of your feet, swivel heels to the centre.
SWIVET
For a SWIVET to the right:
On the ball of your left foot and the heel of your right foot, swivel
your left heel to the left and your right toes to the right. Simply reverse this for a SWIVET to the
left. During the SWIVET your heel and toes should be moved at approximately a 45 degree
angle.
TOE SPLITS
With heels in place, fan the toes of both feet out and then back together.
TOGETHER
To move the free foot next to the foot in place.
VINE See Grapevine
WEAVE aka Travelling Grapevine
A continuous grapevine of eight or more counts.

-6Glossary Of Line Dance Terms


Prof. Mynette R. Aguilar, CHK, UP Diliman, Q.C.