dance

A dance is a series of movements — sometimes choreographed, but sometimes not — where the person moves in time to music. Rumba, tango, disco, swing, and ballet are all examples of types of dances.

If you move in a rhythmic manner — especially to music — you can use the verb dance to explain your actions. As a noun, a dance can be a social occasion, held by a school or by some other organization, where music is played and people gather to dance or just hang out. In fact, sometimes there is no actual dancing at a dance — especially when young teenagers feel awkward around one another.

Definitions of dance
  1. noun
    taking a series of rhythmical steps (and movements) in time to music
    synonyms: dancing, saltation, terpsichore
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    types:
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    adagio
    a slow section of a pas de deux requiring great skill and strength by the dancers
    break dance, break dancing
    a form of solo dancing that involves rapid acrobatic moves in which different parts of the body touch the ground; normally performed to the rhythm of rap music
    courante
    a court dance of the 16th century; consisted of short advances and retreats
    nauch, nautch, nautch dance
    an intricate traditional dance in India performed by professional dancing girls
    pavan, pavane
    a stately court dance of the 16th and 17th centuries
    phrase
    dance movements that are linked in a single choreographic sequence
    saraband
    a stately court dance of the 17th and 18th centuries; in slow time
    skank
    a rhythmic dance to reggae music performed by bending forward and extending the hands while bending the knees
    slam dance, slam dancing
    a form of dancing in which dancers slam into one another; normally performed to punk rock
    hoofing, step dancing
    dancing in which the steps are more important than gestures or postures
    toe dance, toe dancing
    a dance performed on tiptoe
    choreography, stage dancing
    a show involving artistic dancing
    pas seul, variation
    (ballet) a solo dance or dance figure
    duet, pas de deux
    (ballet) a dance for two people (usually a ballerina and a danseur noble)
    pas de trois
    (ballet) a dance for three people
    pas de quatre
    (ballet) a dance for four people
    social dancing
    dancing as part of a social occasion
    mambo
    a Latin American dance similar in rhythm to the rumba
    ceremonial dance, ritual dance, ritual dancing
    a dance that is part of a religious ritual
    tap dance, tap dancing
    a dance step tapped out audibly with the feet
    ballet, concert dance
    a theatrical representation of a story that is performed to music by trained dancers
    modern dance
    a style of theatrical dancing that is not as restricted as classical ballet; movements are expressive of feelings
    apache dance
    a violent fast dance in French vaudeville (an apache is a member of the French underworld)
    belly dance, belly dancing, danse du ventre
    a Middle Eastern dance in which the dancer makes sensuous movements of the hips and abdomen
    bolero
    a Spanish dance in triple time accompanied by guitar and castanets
    cakewalk
    a strutting dance based on a march; was performed in minstrel shows; originated as a competition among Black dancers to win a cake
    cancan
    a high-kicking dance of French origin performed by a female chorus line
    nude dancing
    erotic dancing with little or no clothing
    jitterbug
    a jerky American dance that was popular in the 1940s
    lindy, lindy hop
    an energetic American dance that was popular in the 1930s (probably named for the aviator Charles Lindbergh)
    fandango
    a provocative Spanish courtship dance in triple time; performed by a man and a woman playing castanets
    flamenco, gypsy dancing
    a style of dancing characteristic of the Andalusian Gypsies; vigorous and rhythmic with clapping and stamping of feet
    gavotte
    an old formal French dance in quadruple time
    habanera
    a Cuban dance in duple time
    shag
    a lively dance step consisting of hopping on each foot in turn
    shimmy
    lively dancing (usually to ragtime music) with much shaking of the shoulders and hips
    stomp
    a dance involving a rhythmical stamping step
    tarantella, tarantelle
    a lively whirling Italian dance for two persons
    twist
    social dancing in which couples vigorously twist their hips and arms in time to the music; was popular in the 1960s
    ballroom dance, ballroom dancing
    any of a variety of social dances performed by couples in a ballroom
    folk dance, folk dancing
    a style of dancing that originated among ordinary people (not in the royal courts)
    apache devil dance
    a ritual dance of the Apache
    dance of death, danse macabre
    a medieval dance in which a skeleton representing death leads a procession of others to the grave
    ghost dance
    a religious dance of Native Americans looking for communication with the dead
    pyrrhic
    an ancient Greek dance imitating the motions of warfare
    rain dance
    a ritual dance intended to bring rain
    snake dance
    a ceremonial dance (as by the Hopi) in which snakes are handled or invoked
    sun dance
    a ceremonial dance performed by Amerindians at the summer solstice
    war dance
    a ceremonial dance performed before a battle or after a victory
    type of:
    diversion, recreation
    an activity that diverts or amuses or stimulates
    performing arts
    arts or skills that require public performance
  2. noun
    an artistic form of nonverbal communication
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    types:
    extension
    the ability to raise the working leg high in the air
    choreography
    the representation of dancing by symbols as music is represented by notes
    type of:
    art, fine art
    the products of human creativity; works of art collectively
  3. noun
    a party of people assembled for dancing
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    types:
    ball
    the people assembled at a lavish formal dance
    type of:
    party
    a group of people gathered together for pleasure
  4. noun
    a party for social dancing
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    types:
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    ball, formal
    a lavish dance requiring formal attire
    barn dance
    a dance party featuring country dancing
    hop, record hop
    an informal dance where popular music is played
    rave
    a dance party that lasts all night and electronically synthesized music is played
    cotilion, cotillion
    a ball at which young ladies are presented to society
    fancy-dress ball, masked ball, masquerade ball
    a ball at which guests wear costumes and masks
    prom, promenade
    a formal ball held for a school class toward the end of the academic year
    type of:
    party
    an occasion on which people can assemble for social interaction and entertainment
  5. verb
    move in a pattern; usually to musical accompaniment; do or perform a dance
    “My husband and I like to dance at home to the radio”
    synonyms: trip the light fantastic, trip the light fantastic toe
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    types:
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    jive
    dance to jive music; dance the jive
    hoof
    dance in a professional capacity
    clog
    dance a clog dance
    tap dance
    perform a tap dance
    belly dance
    perform a belly dance
    heel
    perform with the heels
    shimmy
    dance a shimmy
    bebop, bop
    dance the bebop
    bump
    dance erotically or dance with the pelvis thrust forward
    twist
    do the twist
    waltz, waltz around
    dance a waltz
    tap, tapdance
    dance and make rhythmic clicking sounds by means of metal plates nailed to the sole of the dance shoes
    tango
    dance a tango
    shag
    dance the shag
    foxtrot
    dance the foxtrot
    contra danse, contradance, contredanse, country-dance
    perform a contradance
    break, break dance, break-dance
    do a break dance
    cakewalk
    perform the cakewalk dance
    conga
    dance the conga
    samba
    dance the samba
    two-step
    dance the two-step
    Charleston
    dance the Charleston
    boogie
    dance to boogie music
    cha-cha
    dance the cha-cha
    disco
    dance to disco music
    mambo
    dance a mambo
    polka
    dance a polka
    one-step
    dance the one-step
    rhumba, rumba
    dance the rhumba
    mosh, slam, slam dance, thrash
    dance the slam dance
    jig
    dance a quick dance with leaping and kicking motions
    jitterbug
    do the jitterbug
    folk dance
    perform a folk-dance
    square dance
    dance in formation
    quickstep
    perform a quickstep
    kick
    kick a leg up
    skank
    dance the skank
    grind
    dance by rotating the pelvis in an erotically suggestive way, often while in contact with one's partner such that the dancers' legs are interlaced
    type of:
    move
    move so as to change position, perform a nontranslational motion
  6. verb
    move in a graceful and rhythmical way
    “The young girl danced into the room”
    Synonyms:
    trip the light fantastic, trip the light fantastic toe
    move in a pattern; usually to musical accompaniment; do or perform a dance
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    types:
    glissade
    perform a glissade, in ballet
    chasse, sashay
    perform a chasse step, in ballet
    capriole
    perform a capriole, in ballet
    type of:
    move
    move so as to change position, perform a nontranslational motion
  7. verb
    skip, leap, or move up and down or sideways
    Dancing flames”
    “The children danced with joy”
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    type of:
    move
    move so as to change position, perform a nontranslational motion
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