Glossary of Folk Dance Terms

Terminology used in International Folk Dancing, Ceileidhs and Barn Dancing

Arch

1st method : Take inside hands with partner and put them in the air. 2nd method : Face partner, take partner's right hand with your left and take partner's left hand with your right. Put both hands in the air.

Balance

Face partner and kick to the left with right foot, then kick to the right with left foot,and then repeat.

Ball Room Hold

Face Partner: The man puts his right hand on the lady's left side of her waist. The lady puts her left hand on the man's right shoulder. The man takes hold of the lady's right hand with his left hand.

Chekessia

Step to the left with your right foot, close with your left foot, twist on your toes clockwise, put your right foot behind your left in a clockwise direction, and close with your left foot and twist anti clockwise.

Cross Hand Hold

Hold partner's right hand with your right hand, and partner's left hand with your left hand.

Do si Do

Face someone : Fold your arms, walk past that person passing right shoulders, take a step to the right and walk backwards passing left shoulders until you are back to place.

Grape Vine Step

Step to the left with your right foot, close with your left foot, twist on your toes clockwise, put your right foot behind your left in a clockwise direction, and close with your left foot and twist anti clockwise.

Kolo step

1st method : Put your right heel out to the right, and put your left foot behind your right. 2nd method : Put your left heel out to the left, and put your right foot behind your left.

Left Hand Star

Put left hands into the centre of a circle, so that all the hands are touching and facing the floor. Walk round in an anticlockwise direction.

Left Hand Turn

Take left hands with partner, and pull them towards you and push them away from you so that you swap places. Repeat this movement so that you get back to where you started.

Longways set

Couples get in to 2 lines. Men on the caller's right and ladies on the caller's left. Face partner.

Open Waist Hold

Man has his partner on his left. Man put's his right arm around the lady's waist. The lady puts her left hand on the man's right shoulder.

Promenade

Take a cross hand hold and walk forward.

Right Hand Star

Put right hands into the centre of a circle, so that all the hands are touching and facing the floor. Walk round in a clockwise direction.

Right Hand Turn

Take right hands with partner, and pull them towards you and push them away from you so that you swap places. Repeat this movement so that you get back to where you started.

Side step

Step to the side and close with the other foot.

Step Hop

Step forward, hop on the front foot, step forward on the other foot and hop on that foot.

Swing

Take a cross hand hold with partner and step hop round in a clockwise direction.

Two Hand Turn

Take a cross hand hold with partner, and pull them towards you and push them away from you so that you swap places in a clockwise direction. Repeat this movement so that you get back to where you started.

Waltz

Take partner in a Ballroom hold. Men step diagonally forward and left with the left foot and ladies step diagonally back and right with the right foot. Close with the back foot. Raise the front foot slightly and put it back down again. Men step diagonally backwards and right with the right foot and ladies step diagonally back and left with the left foot. Close with the front foot. Raise the back foot slightly and put it back down again. Rotate in a clockwise direction doing this step.