Basic Dance Steps for Beginners

Mastering the basic dance steps will prepare you to try more complicated dancing. Once you learn these dance steps, you can apply them to many different dances. You'll also hear these terms used commonly by dance instructors.

When you're dancing, it's good to know which foot is which. Your lead foot is the one that's supporting your weight. Your free foot is the foot that's in motion. Taking a step means shifting your weight from your lead foot to your free foot, so their positions are reversed. Remember that the foot carrying your weight is always your lead foot.

  • Touch: Bring your free foot to your lead foot, then touch the floor without taking a step or putting weight on the free foot.
  • Toe: Touch the toe of the free foot to the floor without shifting weight to the free foot.
  • Heel: Extend the free foot forward, then touch the back of your heel to the floor without putting weight on your heel.
  • Tap: Touch the floor with a sharp motion with your free foot, but do not take a step or put weight on the free foot.
  • Stamp: Stomp the flat of your free foot on the floor, but do not put weight on the free foot. Noise can vary based on the type of shoe you're wearing and the type of floor.
  • Point: Extend the free foot forward or backward and touch your toe to the floor. The ankle should be stretched and the instep arched. Do not step or put weight on the free foot.
  • Press: Step forward with your free foot, putting partial weight on the ball of your foot. Your supporting leg should be straight and your pressed leg (free foot) is bent with some pressure (partial weight) on the floor. Your body should be leaned forward just a bit.
  • Brush: Touch the toe of your free foot to the floor, then move it a short distance toward the supporting foot or move it against the supporting foot, but do not put weight on it.
  • Draw: Touch the toe of your free foot to the floor far from your supporting foot, then move it toward your supporting foot without putting weight on it.
  • Drag: Stretch your body up, then touch your toe to the floor far from your supporting foot and move it toward your supporting foot without putting weight on it.
  • Flare: Sweep your free foot in an arc, making sure to keep your toe in contact with the floor without putting weight on it.
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