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Terminology in Ten :: Music and Dance Terminology :: Click Heels through Count

(Photo credit : Alison McGlamry)

In this set : Click Heels through Count.


Click Heels : Having the weight on both balls of the feet, twist heels in, striking them together.

Click Toes : Having the weight on the heels of the feet, (toes raised in the air), twist toes in, striking them together.

Clip : Striking the heel against the toe of the opposite foot or striking the the toe against the heel of the opposite foot. Derivative of the Lancaster Clog.

Clog : Clog dancing first appeared in the industrial areas of Northern England, Southwest Scotland, and South Wales. This form of dancing came into existence around 1870 and is assumed to have originated in Lancaster.

Clogs : Clogs refers to a wooden-soled shoe and heels and in their final form were made of hard maple. The sole was originally one solid piece of wood with the wooden heel attached thereto. This was rather an awkward combination of equipment to dance in and in later years, the split sole came into being. The wooden sole was attached to the welt of the sole and extended back to the instep of the foot. The wooden heel was separate and attached to the leather sole. With the development of the split sole, the dancer had the flexibility to execute much more complicated footwork.

Cluster : Usually referred to a flurry or group of tap sounds performed in rapid succession. (Not a commonly used term).

Contrast : The variation of rhythm patterns in relation to one another.

Corkscrew : A twisting movement wherein the toe of one foot is raised from the floor with the heel remaining on the floor. The toe is twisted in and out. This movement is sometimes referred to as Tanglefoot.

Counterpoint : A simple explanation of this as related to dance would be for two dances, executing different steps at the same time that would blend or contrast. A more intricate form would be for two or three dancers executing the same step with each dancer starting one beat after the other.

Counts : Refers to the number of beats to a bar or measure of music.

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Terminology in Ten :: Music and Dance Terminology :: Brush Step through Chaine

(Photo credit Alison McGlamry)

In this set : Brush Step through Chaine


Brush Step : Forward brush step being the same as a flap. Whether forward or back, the movement can be executed in any desired rhythm pattern.

Brush Flat : Executed in exactly the same fashion as the basic brush. The difference is that the entire flat of the foot striked the floor during the pendulum movement.

Back : Same as a Chug. A forward movement accenting the heel drop. With the weight on one foot, the the free foot is raised ; force the heel of the front foot to the floor with exaggeration ; thus moving the foot forward approximately 3 inches.

Buck and Wing : Clog dance marked by winglike steps. The forerunner of the present style of rhythm tap.

Bumps : Movement that employs the hips, usually done in burlesque.

Cabriole : A beating of the calves of the legs together while in the air. Step forward on one foot, extending the free leg in the air to the front or rear, with the knee straight  jump into the air beating the calves of the legs together (crossed below the knees) and land on the foot from which the movement originally started.

Cake Walk : This was originally a form of entertainment in which a prize of cake was given for the most accomplished steps and figures in walking; later a stage dance developed from these movements.

Catch : A movement wherein the toe or heel of one foot strikes the toe or heel of the opposite foot.

Catch Step : A ball change with one foot forward of the other and starting with the back foot.

Chaine : A series of small steps linked together as executed in turns.

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Terminology in Ten :: Music and Dance Terminology :: Ball Beat through Bells

Photo credit Alison McGlamry

In this set : Ball Beat through Bells


Ball Beat : A dropping of the ball of the foot.

Ball Change : A changing of the weight on the balls of the feet from one foot to the other ; executed forward, to the side, or on place.

Ball Tap : Same as Tap Ball.

Bandy Turn : Same as Bandy Twist.

Bandy Twist : A basic movement originated by Jim Bandy, a dancer of the vaudeville days.

Bar : In common usage, a measure of music.

Barre : Originally intended for ballet exercises but is used extensively in modern jazz classes, character dancing and in some instances, tap classes.

Barrel Roll (or turn) : A complete turn of the body with the arms extended in a windmill fashion.

Beat : The regularly recurring and periodically accented pulse or throb which constitutes the unit of measurement in all measured music ; tempo.

Bells : A clicking of heels together while in the air .

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Sequential Shorts :: The Painted Turtle

Each and every year I am fortunate enough to be visited by some kind of critter on my Birthday. It’s a new trend, something that has developed over the last few years, and I’ve slowly learned to take notice. Quite intriguing really, when one of these totems shows up because they are so unique and well –  special. This year I took careful observation to the turtle who passed my way. I called him / her the “Painted Turtle”. You see, the turtle has slowly been introducing itself in the forms of art, pictures on the internet, and elsewhere for years. Not to mention my aunt who loves turtles and would buy one of my turtle necklaces on occasion. I’ve never really been attracted. Couldn’t connect with it. Since then I’ve dabbled in some research coming from Native American symbolism and found out that it represents a slower series of steps and longer cycles of transformation. Patience came to mind as well as developing a more grounded development of faith, art, talent, or whatever you may be trying to improve upon. Last summer I had an exciting experience with a really beautiful dragonfly (post coming soon), so I was looking forward to approaching this visitor with my camera.

Here’s what I was able to capture:

Firstly, as I was leaving to pick up dinner, my I saw my dog barking non-stop at something. I was getting into the car when I noticed the visitor on the walk. I ran inside to get the camera,very excited.








I came closer.








It looks like a war helmet. Then I noticed the painted figures.








Dragonflies on the top and of all things, dancers on the side. This had big meaning to me, which I will elaborate on in another post.








Dragonflies in detail. It was so artistic.











I really wanted it to come out of it’s shell, so I asked! Don’t laugh.








Of course, the cat had to get in the shot.











Closer…you can do it.








Hello there!











Then it poses and I can see the beautiful colors and patterns.








In the meantime I go to pick up the food and come back to still find that it has moved towards it’s destination. I stop and kneel down for one more look. It stops and gives me time.








Another moment.








And then I notice as the sun is setting, it is headed onward. A dragonfly on the back, and dancers on the side.











At this moment I am overwhelmed with the message. Something was speaking and healing, at least that’s how I saw it. Since the turtle is about perseverance, patience, and more, it just gave me a good feeling. Keep going as you are. Faith in your spirit and dance in your heart. Walk your path…..that’s all…..walk your path.

Please stay tuned and check out my Sequential Shorts category for further stories.

~ McGlamorous

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Crazy Socks Tap :: The Abe Kabbible

Here it is! I’ve been wanting to do a series of posts that follow practice since I’ve recently dusted off the old taps and started work. I also wanted to find good use of all the crazy and bright socks just sitting lonely and unused in my drawer. So….Voila. Welcome to my Crazy Socks Tap. Just as expected, it’s great fun and good exercise, and you can review technique and terminology along the way. Plus, something about rhythm just soothes the soul.

First on the list is the Abe Kabbible.  It is a theatrical term and a commonly used movement in jazz and tap dancing. I learned it as the scissor (s).

 (Theatrical Term) – A commonly used movement in tap and jazz dancing.

With counts: Part A

1-Step L (to L side)
2-Step R (XF of L)
3-Step L (to L side)
4-Heel tap R (to R side)

Part B : With the And Count Added

And-Step L (to L side)
1-Step R (XF of L)
And-Step L (to L side)
2-Heel tap R fwd (to R side)

Part C : With the Leap

And-Leap fwd to L ft (to L side)
1-Step R (XF of L)
And-Leap fwd to L ft (to L side)
2-Heel tap R fwd (to R side)

Song : Beat Me Daddy Eight to the Bar by the Andrews Sisters

Hope you enjoy playing along, and thanks for tapping with me!



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On Tap :: The Complete Tap Dictionary

Tap Shoes

I did it. I admit it. Tore up the kitchen floor when I was little. Al Gilbert is to blame.

I always loved tap, but didn’t really understand it completely, and I think that age makes a difference in enjoying anything more, especially dance. So with a new job teaching it again after a break, I was excited to pick up my favorite manual and get going. Here’s what I found in my closet, next to my shoes:

The Complete Tap Dance Dictionary
The Complete Tap Dance Dictionary

Don’t know how many people know about it or how much recognition it has gotten, but I know I like it.

It has spurred a new desire to review and // or re-learn. In addition to tap steps there are definitions of dance that take you all the way back to the roaring twenties. You can purchase it on Amazon when available. As of this date it’s still there.

Check it out! In the meantime I’ll be in the kitchen…….