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H. Leon Raper





A bent over forward body styling that is commonly used in high speed forms of swing dance such as Lindy Hop or Flying Lindy.

Camel Walk

The Camel Walk was performed in two different styles as can be seen in the videos below. One style was to step forward, pop the knee forward and repeat. The other style (later called the "Stroll") was to step, lock behind, pop the knee. The camel walk look came from the knee pop and the hip popping right or left to the same side as the knee that was popping.

Joe Frisco at Wikipedia, YouTube
Al Minns & Leon James: 1 ... 2 ...
Ameriocan Bandstand 5 Dances 1957-1981 (See the "Stroll")
Sammy Davis Jr. and James Brown

Camel Walk - Phish at Wachovia Center 11/24/2009 (Video)

Capture Foot **

This term is not used by this writer, but means the same thing as Receiving Foot.

Center **

Individual Center: Refers to the CPB.

Center of Mass (COM)

Individual COM:  The Individual Center of Mass is about 2 inches above the belly button. Some in the martial arts field refer to this as the CPB.

Couple COM:  This point is fluid and may change for each movement of the dancers.  For a very simple example, think of two balls, of equal mass and size,  separated by rod of some length.  The center of the rod would be Center of Mass for the complex object.  It becomes much more complex to determine the actual COM for a Couple.

Center Point of Balance (CPB)

Solar Plexus - at the "V" in your rib cage.  Another way of looking at this is to imagine cutting off your arms and legs.  Then, draw a line from your right shoulder to your left hip and another line from your left shoulder to your right hip.   Where these two lines cross would be your CPB.  Some in the martial arts field say that the CPB is about 2 inches above the belly button.  What they are really referring to is the COM (Center of Mass) and not really the CPB.   If you wish to determine if this is all true, stand up straight, with feet together (1st foot position), and have someone push their finger gently from the front directly into your CPB and see what happens.  You can only be pushed about 2 inches before you start to fall over backwards.  You can perform the same experiment pushing from the back or either side and will get similar results.


Individual Centering:  Refers to the body positioning such that the body is in perfect balance - the CPB is perfectly centered with respect to the body positioning

Couple Centering: In its simplest form refers to the Center of Mass (COM) between the 2 dancers at any given point in time.  When each dancer is Centered and the Couple is also Centered, they can feel it.  Fluid motion is the result with very little energy expended.  The audience also knows it due to the smooth flow of the dance.  Finding the Couple Centering is actually quite more complex than just assuming it is located at the Center of Mass between the 2 dancers.   There are other forces due to movement such as tension, compression and centrifugal forces acting on the dancers.  However, good dancers don't seem to have any trouble keeping themselves centered individually and as a couple.

Also see the article on CENTERING written by Skippy Blair on the World Swing Dance Council web site.


The dictionary defines the cerebellum as the section of the brain behind and below the cerebrum: it is the coordinating center for muscle movement. Current scientific opinion indicates that the cerebellum is trained through repetitive muscle action. This is what the dance world refers to as training muscle memory. Once the cerebellum is trained to perform a task then all muscle action hence forth will occur automatically without conscious thought. Also see: Muscle Memory


Ceroc is one of the easiest dances to learn. It is a partner dance currently done to smooth jazz, funky swing, and many other types of music. Many of the dance patterns done in other dances work quite well in Ceroc.

Some define the dance as being a fusion of Salsa and Jive, but it goes much further than that. Dancers adapt and incorporate dance patterns from Meringue and other latin dances, plus patterns from Swing Dances, Hustle, Ballroom, Country Western, etc.

The basic footwork is just stepping on every beat of the music. However, more advanced dancers get quite creative with other dance material.

See: Wikipedia-Ceroc, YouTube-Ceroc, Ceroc Meetup Groups

YouTube Videos: Brent & Kellese, Emma & Seamus, Helen & Sam,

Chainé Turn (sheh-nay)

A Chainé ("chained") turn is executed by taking two steps on a line of direction (LOD), turning in the direction of the forward foot after centering over each step, resulting in a full (360 degree) turn. The total distance traveled depends on the chosen method of execution. The dancer must be centered over the weighted foot upon execution of each turn.

Frame: During each turn body must be perfectly erect vertically; the CPB must be centered over the weighted foot; the hips and shoulders must be aligned; and the head must be centered in vertical allignment with the body.

Spotting: The dancer should spot in the direction of travel (line of dance or direction "LOD").

Basic Chainé Turn: The most basic form for executing a Chainé turn is stepping from open to closed foot position while spotting in the direction of travel (LOD) as follows: First, while spotting in the line of travel (LOD), step forward in 4th (or open 3rd) foot position and execute a 1/4 turn (in the direction of the forward foot). Next change weight to the other foot, with feet together in 1st foot position. Then execute a rapid 3/4 turn, in the same direction as the first turn, around into the direction of travel (LOD) while snapping the head around returning the eyes to the spot. This is all executed very rapidly. Many dancers prefer that the second turn of each Chainé end in 3rd foot position instead of 1st foot position which yields a better balance position.

Alternate Method: Another method is repeatedly stepping, moving the feet from open to open position. This is not what dancers normally think of when referring to a Chainé turn, but it is described this way in many of the dance texts.

Alternate Method: Another method is repeatedly stepping, keeping the feet very close together with heels almost touching in 1st foot position -- a very fast turning technique.

See: YouTube Videos

Chassé (shah-say)

A series of Chassés appear as one foot chasing the other -- with the free foot sliding across the floor. In much social dance a Chassé is commonly referred to as a side together movement of the feet. That is, a movement from 1st foot position to 2nd foot position. However, a Chassé can travel in any direction: forward, back, side, etc.

See: YouTube Videos

Clockwise Turn (Right Turn)

Closed Position

COM **

See Center of Mass.

Compensating Step

A compensating step is normally executed immediately after the execution of a dependent step pattern when starting the next step pattern.  A good example would be in west coast swing when a dancer modifies a normal step pattern by executing an even rhythm unit instead of the normal odd rhythm at the end of the step pattern.  Lets look at one type replacement and compensation in an 8 beat step pattern.  Assume a west coast swing "whip" step pattern of the standard form [EVEN] [ODD] [EVEN] [ODD].  First, we are going to replace the final odd rhythm measure/unit with an even rhythm such as [ /   x X] (kick step step) which would be on counts [ 7  &  8] - note we have only taken 2 steps.- this is a delayed double rhythm (a syncopated rhythm).   This leaves us with an opposite foot free at the end of the step pattern.  Now we must compensate on the first rhythm measure/unit of the next step pattern.  The first rhythm measure/unit of the next step pattern is an even rhythm, so we will replace it with an odd rhythm.  For the replacement, lets use another syncopated triple rhythm, [xX  X] or [Step Step     Step] on counts [&1  2], which yields a compensated entry into the second step pattern and everything is ok.

Compression Connection

This is a pushing type of connection (compression).  Also see: Tension Connection, Passive Connection and Centering/Centered


Appropriate connection allows information to be transferred from the one partner to the to the other. The amount is expressed as either an Active Connection or Passive Connection (neutral). This is sometimes also referred to by some instructors as Tone.

Also see:
Compression Connection
Lead & Follow


Contra Body Movement (CBM)

Web Links: Wikipedia ... Dancesport UK ...

Videos: Skippy Blair

CBM involves a rotation of the torso during the preparation and/or execution of a movement forward or backward (also including diagonal movements). The following are some examples:

Forward Movement:
The torso rotation shall be in the direction of the Free Foot.

Left Foot Free: Rotate the torso left (counterclockwise) -- sometimes referred to as a Right Side Lead.

Right Foot Free: Rotate the torso right (clockwise) -- sometimes referred to as a Left Side Lead.

Backward Movement
The torso rotation shall be in the opposite direction of the Free Foot.

Left Foot Free: Rotate the torso right (clockwise)

Right Foot Free: Rotate the torso left (counterclockwise)

Contra Body Movement Position (CBMP)

CBMP occurrs when CBM is used and the free foot is placed on (Single Tracking) or across the track of the previously weighted foot.


There are basically two different methods of counting. The first method uses terms Rolling Count or Round Count which are identical, and Straight Count, Marching Count or Square Count which are identical.  I prefer to use the terms Rolling Count and Straight Count.

See Worksheets
Straight Count (AKA: Square Count or Marching Count)
Rolling Count (AKA: Round Count)

The second method of counting uses terms Quick Quick and Slow.  Also see Quick Quick Slow System .

Counterclockwise Turn (Left Turn)


See Center Point of Balance.


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H. Leon Raper