Get the 411 on dance with our "Dance Moms" choreography guide. Whether you're known for having two left feet or being a showoff in the clubs, you're bound to recognize some of these familiar terms.

Dance DictionaryArabesque
In this position the dancer has one leg extended straight behind the body, held in the air.

"Look, Ma, no hands!" This move is a no-handed cartwheel or front handspring, done in midair.

We know dancers can be kind of sassy, but we're not talking about that type of attitude. This position showcases the dancer with weight on one leg, and the other lifted in back. The leg in back is bent at the knee and held parallel to the ground.

Commonly called the rocking step, this is a simple transfer of weight from one foot to the other while gliding.

Ball Change
This move is a weight transfer on the ball of the dancer's foot next to his or her other foot. It's not a fancy move, but it is a choreography classic.


The French word chassé is the past participle of the verb "to chase." The dancer slides across the floor as one foot follows the other in a very fluidlike motion.

This move is when a dancer holds his or her leg in the air, fully extended.

Not to be confused with the delicious blended coffee beverage, the name of this move comes from the French verb meaning "to strike." The dancer forcefully extends their working leg to the front, side or back.

This concept is simple, but dancers make it look so much cooler than it sounds. In this movie, the dancer springs upward with his or her legs extended in a split.

Just like the music boxes you grew up with as a kid with the tiny ballerina inside twirling again and again, a pirouette is when a dancer turns from a standing position on one leg, while the other leg is bent at the knee so that foot is grazing the planted leg.

This move features the bending of the knees so one's body is pushed toward the ground. Typically pliés are done at a ballet bar and in one of the five ballet positions.

Have you ever pretended to be Rose Dewitt Bukater from the movie "Titanic" in that scene when she stands on her tippy-toes? This move showcases the dancer standing on the balls of his or her feet.

Switch Kick
A switch kick is also known as a scissor kick. This is a jump in which the dancer's legs quickly switch from one split to another.

Turn Out
You will often hear dance teachers correcting their students' "turn out" because it is one of the key components to becoming a successful dancer. This is the ability of a dancer to turn his or her feet and legs out from the hips.