In the intricate realm of dance, where movement serves as a language unto itself, there exists a vibrant tapestry of terminology woven from years of tradition, innovation, and expression. From the foundational concepts of rhythm and tempo to the nuanced descriptors of style and technique, dancers have long relied on a lexicon as diverse and dynamic as the art form itself. Yet, amidst this vast vocabulary, there remains an intriguing void—a space where certain experiences, sensations, and phenomena elude verbal capture, existing just beyond the reach of conventional language. It is within this enigmatic realm that we embark on a linguistic odyssey, seeking to illuminate the shadows and name the unspoken. Welcome to a world where the boundaries of expression are pushed, where creativity knows no limits, and where the unsaid finds its voice. Welcome to “Dancer Terms That Don’t Exist But Definitely Should.”

In this exploration of the uncharted territories of dance vocabulary, we delve deep into the collective consciousness of dancers worldwide, uncovering those elusive moments and emotions that defy easy description. For every pirouette, every plié, every leap and bound, there exists a sensation—an ephemeral whisper of feeling that lingers in the spaces between the steps. It is these intangible essences of movement, these fleeting glimpses of emotion, that we seek to capture and crystallize in the form of words.

But why, you may ask, do we embark on this quest for linguistic innovation? The answer lies in the very essence of dance itself. For dance is more than mere movement—it is a language of the soul, a means of communication that transcends barriers of culture, language, and experience. It is a universal expression of joy, sorrow, passion, and longing—a testament to the boundless creativity and infinite diversity of the human spirit.

And yet, for all its eloquence, dance often speaks in whispers, its most profound moments hidden in the spaces between the beats. It is here, in these moments of silence and stillness, that the need for new words arises—a lexicon capable of articulating the nuances and subtleties of the dance experience in all its complexity and depth.

Dancer terms that don't exist but definitely should
Dancer terms that don’t exist but definitely should

“Wait/weight count”

Picture this: you’re poised, ready to commence a routine, only to realize you’ve misjudged the timing, and the music hasn’t quite caught up to your anticipation. This is the essence of the “wait/weight count,” an 8-count where you’re left hanging, momentarily suspended in anticipation, as the music plays catch-up.

“Chell week”

The aftermath of hell week and a performance, where the frenetic energy of rehearsals subsides, giving way to a brief interlude of tranquility before the inevitable resurgence of rigorous practice. It’s the calm after the storm, a serene respite before diving back into the dance fray.


When a choreographer takes creative liberties with the lyrics of a song, inventing their own whimsical or nonsensical phrases to accompany the movements being taught. It’s a playful twist on musical interpretation, where dance and song converge in delightful discord.

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The sensual, tactile quality of movement that imbues choreography with an irresistible allure. Think of it as the dance equivalent of velvet-textured smoothness—a tantalizing blend of physicality and sensuality that captivates the eye and stirs the senses.

“Noncept video”

A visual creation purportedly based on a conceptual theme, yet lacking any discernible concept beyond gratuitous aesthetic embellishments such as film burns and light leaks. It’s a tongue-in-cheek nod to the trend of style over substance, where visual flair takes precedence over meaningful narrative.


That spontaneous burst of freestyle movement that precedes the formal commencement of a performance piece. It’s a moment of uninhibited expression, a precursor to the structured choreography that follows—a dancer’s chance to let loose before the dance begins in earnest.


A tempo designation that falls somewhere between slow and fast, embodying a medium-paced rhythm that allows for fluidity of movement and nuanced expression. It’s the Goldilocks of tempos—not too fast, not too slow, but just right for showcasing versatility and musicality.

Dancer terms that don't exist but definitely should
Dancer terms that don’t exist but definitely should


The art of dancing so impeccably in sync with the music that you metaphorically “murder” the beat, rendering it powerless against the force of your rhythmic precision. It’s the ultimate fusion of movement and sound, where the dancer becomes one with the music, commanding it with finesse and flair.


The serene confidence exuded by a dancer who effortlessly dominates a performance, radiating poise and self-assurance with every step. It’s the epitome of grace under pressure, a Zen-like state of tranquility amidst the whirlwind of movement and emotion.


The idiosyncratic mannerisms and stylistic quirks that distinguish one dancer’s technique from another’s—a signature blend of facial expressions, body angles, and gestural flourishes that define their unique aesthetic. It’s the dance equivalent of personal flair, a visual fingerprint that sets each performer apart.


The act of choreographing dance movements while confined to the limited space and time constraints of a car journey. It’s a testament to the creative ingenuity of dancers, who find inspiration in the most unlikely of settings, transforming mundane commutes into impromptu dance laboratories.


When a dancer’s attempt at popping—an explosive, rhythmic contraction of muscles—falls short of expectations, resulting in a performance that lacks the precision and intensity characteristic of the style. It’s a humorous nod to the less-than-stellar moments on the dance floor, where even the best intentions can yield unexpected results.

“Select bloop”

The phenomenon wherein a dancer performs flawlessly during rehearsals and regular group sessions, only to falter or “bloop” when singled out for a select group performance. It’s a curious paradox of confidence and pressure, where the spotlight shines brightest on those least prepared for its glare.


A commemorative T-shirt purchased at a dance competition, often overpriced yet cherished as a memento of the event. It’s a tangible symbol of achievement and camaraderie, proudly worn by dancers as a badge of honor and a testament to their dedication to the craft.


The coordinated maneuver of arranging a group of dancers into a squat formation for a team photo, typically involving strategic positioning and careful balancing to achieve visual symmetry. It’s a ritualistic gesture of solidarity and unity, capturing the collective spirit of a dance ensemble in a single frame.

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Dancer terms that don't exist but definitely should
Dancer terms that don’t exist but definitely should


For dancers who prefer to groove on the periphery rather than dive headfirst into the center of a dance cypher—a space reserved for showcasing individual talent and creativity. It’s a subtle yet significant distinction, acknowledging the diversity of participation styles within the dance community.


The art of feigning focus during rehearsals or performances while surreptitiously stealing glances at the mirror to assess one’s own technique and presentation. It’s a delicate balancing act of concentration and vanity, where the desire for self-improvement vies with the need to maintain outward composure.

“Dancer Goggles”

The phenomenon whereby a dancer’s proficiency and skill level can enhance their physical attractiveness, creating an optical illusion of heightened desirability. It’s a testament to the allure of confidence and movement, where the grace and poise of dance elevate the perception of beauty.

“Pocket Up”

Encouraging a fellow dancer to “f*ck it up” with exuberant enthusiasm and support, while ensuring they remain firmly within the rhythmic “pocket” of the music. It’s a nuanced form of encouragement, balancing the freedom of expression with the discipline of timing—a delicate dance between empowerment and restraint.


An exceptionally high mark or score awarded for a dance performance, typically falling within the range of 90 to 99 percent. It’s the pinnacle of achievement, a validation of talent and dedication that elevates the dancer to superlative status within the competitive arena.


In the realm of dance, where movement serves as a universal language of expression, there exists a rich and diverse vocabulary that has evolved over centuries. However, amidst this vast lexicon, there are certain experiences, sensations, and phenomena that have eluded verbal capture, remaining nameless and unspoken. “Dancer Terms That Don’t Exist But Definitely Should” is an exploration into this uncharted territory of dance vocabulary—a journey into the heart of the art form where new words and phrases are crafted to encapsulate the nuances and subtleties of the dance experience.

This linguistic odyssey is driven by a recognition of the ineffable moments and emotions that dancers encounter in their practice and performance. From the anticipation of a mistimed start (“Wait/weight count”) to the post-performance calmness after a hectic week of rehearsals and shows (“Chell week”), these terms seek to give voice to the unspoken sensations that dancers navigate on a daily basis.

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