Top 14 Slang For Dance – Meaning & Usage

Dance, the universal language of movement and rhythm, has its own vibrant and evolving slang that adds an extra layer of expression to the art form. Whether you’re a seasoned dancer or just someone who loves to bust a move on the dance floor, our team has got you covered with the top slang terms for dance. From “gettin’ jiggy with it” to “busting a move,” this listicle will have you feeling like the ultimate dance connoisseur in no time. So put on your dancing shoes and get ready to groove to the beat of this exciting compilation!

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1. Shake a leg

This phrase is often used as an invitation to start dancing or to encourage someone to dance. It can also be used to describe dancing energetically or with enthusiasm.

  • For example, at a party, someone might say, “Come on, shake a leg and join us on the dance floor!”
  • In a dance class, an instructor might say, “Shake a leg and let loose with your movements!”
  • A friend might say, “I love how you shake a leg when your favorite song comes on.”

2. Pop and lock

Pop and lock is a style of dance that originated in the 1970s and became popular in the hip-hop and funk music scenes. It involves quick, jerking movements (popping) and freezing in specific poses (locking).

  • For instance, a dancer might say, “I’ve been practicing my pop and lock moves for months.”
  • In a dance battle, a judge might comment, “Their pop and lock technique was on point.”
  • A dance instructor might say, “Let’s learn some pop and lock moves to add to our routine.”

3. Break it down

Breaking it down is a phrase used in dance to describe the process of explaining or demonstrating dance moves in a clear and detailed manner. It is often used when teaching or learning new choreography.

  • For example, a dance instructor might say, “Now let’s break it down and go through the steps one by one.”
  • In a dance tutorial video, the host might say, “I’m going to break it down for you so you can easily follow along.”
  • A dancer might ask, “Can you break down that move again? I’m having trouble with it.”

4. Hit the floor

Hitting the floor is a phrase used to describe starting to dance or joining others who are already dancing on the dance floor. It is often used to encourage people to let loose and have a good time.

  • For instance, at a wedding reception, the DJ might say, “Now it’s time to hit the floor and show off your moves!”
  • A friend might say, “Come on, let’s hit the floor and dance like nobody’s watching.”
  • In a club, someone might shout, “The DJ just dropped a sick beat, let’s hit the floor and get down!”

5. Slide

Sliding is a dance move that involves smoothly gliding or moving across the dance floor. It is often associated with styles such as hip-hop, popping, and locking.

  • For example, a dancer might say, “Watch me slide across the floor with this move.”
  • In a dance competition, a judge might comment, “Their slide was so smooth and controlled.”
  • A dance instructor might say, “Let’s practice our sliding technique and work on making it seamless.”

6. Swing

A style of dance that originated in the 1920s and became popular in the swing era of the 1930s and 1940s. Swing dancing is characterized by its energetic and improvisational movements, often done to swing music.

  • For example, “Let’s go swing dancing tonight and show off our moves.”
  • During a swing dance competition, a judge might comment, “That couple has great rhythm and really knows how to swing.”
  • A swing dance instructor might say, “To do the swing correctly, you need to feel the music and let it guide your movements.”

7. Twist

A dance move popularized in the 1960s by Chubby Checker’s song “The Twist.” The twist involves twisting the hips and moving the feet in a twisting motion. It became a popular dance craze and is still enjoyed today.

  • For instance, at a party, someone might suggest, “Let’s do the twist!”
  • A DJ might play “The Twist” and encourage people to hit the dance floor.
  • A person reminiscing about the 1960s might say, “The twist was the coolest dance back in the day.”

8. Sway

A dance move that involves gracefully shifting the body from side to side, often in a slow and rhythmic manner. Swaying can be done solo or with a partner and is often used to express emotions or create a sensual atmosphere.

  • For example, during a slow dance, a couple might sway together to the music.
  • A dance instructor might teach a class on the art of swaying and its importance in creating a connection with the music.
  • A person describing a romantic dance might say, “We swayed together under the moonlight, lost in the music.”

9. Dip

A dance move where one partner lowers their body, usually the upper body or back, while the other partner maintains their position or leans back. Dipping adds drama and flair to a dance routine and is often used in ballroom or partner dances.

  • For instance, during a tango performance, the male partner might dip the female partner at the end of a dramatic sequence.
  • A dance instructor might demonstrate how to execute a perfect dip without causing discomfort to the partner.
  • A person describing a memorable dance moment might say, “He dipped me so gracefully, and it felt like we were floating.”

10. Spin

A ballet move where a dancer turns quickly on one foot, usually with the other leg extended and the body held in a graceful position. Spinning is a common element in many dance styles and adds excitement and visual appeal to a performance.

  • For example, a ballet dancer might execute multiple pirouettes during a solo routine.
  • A dance teacher might instruct students on how to improve their spins by focusing on balance and spotting techniques.
  • A person describing an impressive dance move might say, “She spun like a top, and it was mesmerizing to watch.”

11. Rumba

The rumba is a lively and sensual dance that originated in Cuba. It is characterized by hip and body movements, quick footwork, and flirtatious interactions between partners.

  • For example, “Let’s go to the club and dance the rumba tonight!”
  • During a dance competition, a judge might comment, “Their rumba had great chemistry and passion.”
  • A dance instructor might say, “The rumba is all about expressing your emotions through movement.”

12. Hip-hop

Hip-hop is a popular urban dance style that originated in African American and Latino communities in the 1970s. It encompasses a wide range of movements, including popping, locking, breaking, and freestyle.

  • For instance, “I love to dance hip-hop at parties and clubs.”
  • A dancer might say, “Hip-hop allows me to express my creativity and individuality.”
  • During a dance battle, someone might exclaim, “Did you see that dancer’s sick hip-hop moves?”

13. Breakdance

Breakdance, also known as b-boying or b-girling, is an athletic and acrobatic style of dance that originated in the Bronx, New York City, during the 1970s. It involves intricate footwork, power moves, freezes, and dynamic floorwork.

  • For example, “Check out those breakdancers spinning on their heads!”
  • A dancer might say, “I’ve been practicing breakdance for years to master those power moves.”
  • During a breakdance battle, someone might shout, “That dancer’s footwork is on another level!”

14. Freestyle

Freestyle is a dance style characterized by spontaneous movements and improvisation. It allows dancers to express themselves creatively without following a specific choreography or routine.

  • For instance, “Let’s have a freestyle dance-off and see who has the best moves!”
  • A dancer might say, “I love freestyle because it allows me to let loose and dance from the heart.”
  • During a freestyle session, someone might comment, “Wow, that dancer’s improvisation skills are impressive!”
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