Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Syllabus Moves by Silliness of Name in Ascending Order

Sometimes, a figure is named for a simple play-by-play of footwork and timing. Other times, it can be a bit more...creative. Here we have a few notable examples of the normally nuanced, but occasionally silly, nomenclature of ballroom figures.

Fallaway Reverse and Slip Pivot

This figure rotates in the Reverse direction, and after a step into Fallaway position, the woman performs a Slip, and the couple Pivots. Unimaginative enough.

Three Step

Also doesn't leave much to the imagination.

Kick Ball Change

"How do I count that one again?" and "What is the footwork?" summed up in the name.

Chasse from PP

pffft "PP" haha I'm in seventh grade. Anyway, a Chasse, performed starting in Promenade Position.

Promenade and Couter Promenade Runs

Go jogging. Then practice these. Now tell me if they feel similar AT ALL. Still though, descriptive enough.

Reverse Wave

This sounds more like an attack out of a Pokémon game.
Quagsire is trying to learn HEEL TURN! But, (like most Bronze Dancers), Quagsire can only learn 4 moves!


Paso Doble
Not to be confused with "The eight" or "the four". Or the waltz variant, "the three".

Hover Feather

Legend of Zelda, anyone? "You have obtained the Hover Feather! Equip it to float above..." [WOW, I gotta stop playing video games so much...] {Yes, I'm aware it's the Roc's Feather in the game that allows you to "float". Get over it.}
What I feel like after a good private lesson


Oooo, some culture. Imagine dancing on a hot beach in Brazil, where the sand is cooler about an inch under the surface. You'd dig your feet into the sand on every step, or else end up with your "boots on fire" (botas de fogo).

Natural Zig Zag from PP

Someone's kid named this one, I'm sure.

Sur Place

Paso Doble
"In Place" - most dances, this is what you're supposed to do when you mess up. In Paso, we do it on purpose. And we even give it a name. Mostly, this one just upsets me because although yes, Paso was created in France (sur place is French), but they were trying to make it like Spanish bullfighting. WELL THAT'S HARD TO DO BECAUSE MOST MATADORS DON'T WALK IN PLACE, IN FRENCH.
(that means "Run for your life.")
An open figure, known as the "Courez pour sauver votre vie"


This figure is more like a cape to me. A Batman cape. Which I guess is supposed to look like wings. Nevermind, I just want to be Batman.

New York

I have been to New York several times now, and no two people have addressed me by rapidly turning away from one another while holding hands (save for studio and competition time).


It's like The Sixteen, but has letters. Also, an engine block.
Still expends less energy than I do while quickstepping

Mini Five Step

1. You only take 4 steps. Apparently, in Tango, lowering a foot counts as an additional step? 
2. "Mini"? Really? We can't just give it its own name?



What romantic dance would be complete without stomping out some cockroaches?
The most romantic of insects


As if Jive wasn't already wild enough, let's let the girl know that we are INTENTIONALLY going to fling her about, possibly launching her several hundred yards via simple machines.


Did someone who love cars have a lot of influence in naming the quickstep figures? V6? Fishtail? What next, "The BrakeLight?"

Hockey Stick

Cha Cha 
Oh look, the Canadians had a say in something. "This move curves a little. What else curves a little?"
Canadian Romance at its finest

Rumba Cross

There's a heel lead. What Rumba is this?!

Turkish Towel

Cha Cha 
Remember that scene from Disney? "Ain't never had a friend like me"? All I can think of.
Genie demonstrates some proper latin motion

The Miami Special

Not sure if this is something you would order at a burger joint, or on a pay-per-view channel.


Seems appropriate that this figure has a lot of sway...

The Mooch

No, really, in ballroom? We named something that? Completely serious?


  1. Chicken walks! Can't believe you left that out :P

    1. Jive already had 2 of the top 3!

    2. Also chugging. Cause...yeah.

    3. I blame the swing dancers *stares accusingly*

  2. LOL at courez pour sauver votre vie.

    First thing that came to my mind when I saw the title, before eve reading, was "follow your leader." Please. The entirety of ballroom is following your leader...LOL!