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Monday, October 5, 2009

Ten Popular "trick" Softshoe Steps

Thanks to foreverclovers at dance.net for this great description of some fun softshoe steps:

10 popular ‘trick moves’ in softshoe as a reference list, starting with basics and then working harder.

1-Name:  Over 2 3   A.K.A: Jump, Leap, Over step behind.

Short Description:  Arguably the most common softshoe move, an over 2 3 is a horizontally-positioned jump.

Long Description:   The dancer kicks their front foot straight up into a horizontal position.   The back leg kicks their behind as the front leg is driven up to gain as much height as possible from the floor.   The front leg then finally drops back down to the floor.   From kicking up behind, the back leg comes to the front and steps onto the floor as well.   This is the ‘2.’   The original front leg then steps behind the original back leg, making the ‘3.’   Advanced dancers ‘hold’ the jump in midair for several seconds at its highest point before dropping back down to the floor again.

2-Name:  Double Hop   A.K.A: Flutter hop, Quiver hop.

Short Description:   A variation on the basic toe to knee hop where the foot flutters in the air.

Long Description: The dancer jumps off their back foot which remains straight, and brings their front foot forward/up until the toe is in front of their back leg’s knee.   The front leg is then moved slightly forward and back twice in small quick movements from the knee down, creating a flutter.  In essence, the dancer is tapping their toe to their knee twice.  The back leg then drops back to the ground after the flutter is complete.

3-Name: Double Leap  A.K.A: Trinity jump, Grasshopper, Quiver leap.

Short Description:  A combination of an over 2 3 and a double hop

Long Description: The dancer does a normal over 2 3, however, instead of kicking their front leg straight out, they bring their front leg’s toe to their knee and execute a flutter/double before landing down.

4-Name: Twist

Short Description:  Changing feet by swiveling behind whilst in parallel.

Long Description:  The dancer begins in crossed or fifth position.  They swivel into a straight foot or parallel position (so that the feet are side by side) and in the same fluid and quick movement, bring the original front foot to the back while recrossing the feet.  Usually done several times in quick succession.

5-Name: Rock

Short Description:  Both a hard and softshoe move, rocks involve the ankles moving from side to side whilst locked to create an illusion of breaking (or not even having) an ankle.

Long Description:  The dancer places their feet right next to each other but crossed over (that is, the right foot is crossed to the left side of the left foot and vice versa).  Raised onto their toes, the dancer uses their ankles to rock over to the side where the back foot is situated.  The front foot is rolled over so that the side of the foot is completely touching the floor while the back foot braces it.  This is repeated two or three times, rocking to one side and then the other without changing the neutral position of the feet.

6-Name: Clock Turns  A.K.A: Point turns.

Short Description: A move involving a quick turn of 90 degrees.

Long Description:  The dancer begins in crossed position with their right foot pointed in front, the front of their body facing an imaginary ‘12 o’clock.’  Their right foot is then brought up to kick behind whilst they swivel on their back foot 90 degrees until they are facing an imaginary ‘3 o’clock.’  At 3 o’clock, the right foot is brought back down into a point in front.  These can be done several in quick succession, and also anti-clockwise with the left foot pointed.

7-Name: Entrechat  A.K.A: Flutter, ballet jump, scissor

Short Description:  Originally a ballet move where the feet are changed and changed back again in mid air.

Long Description:  The dancer jumps off of both feet into a straight jump.  Whilst in the air, they swap the front foot behind, and then swap it back again before landing down on both feet again.

8-Name: Plushenko  A.K.A: Paschenko, Axle jump

Short Description:  A straight-legged turn in mid-air named after a famous figure skater.

Long Description: The dancer jumps off from one foot, revolving 1 and a ½ times in midair. During midair they swap feet (in hardshoe the heels are clicked during the swap) so that they land back down on the opposite foot to the one they jumped off of.

9-Name: Cross Key

Short Description:  A swivel of the feet into an inturned fifth position and then a slide of the front foot behind

Long Description:  The dancer executes a small straight jump in crossed (fifth) position.  They then swivel their heels out so that their feet are in an inturned position with their toes slightly overlapped.  They then slide the front foot behind the back foot and swivel back into a normal, crossed position.

10-Name:  Bicycle Jump  A.K.A: Triple jump, Running man, Pony, Bike jump

Short Description: A new and very popular jump involving kicking up behind three times before landing down, creating the illusion of riding a bicycle.

Long Description:  The dancer takes off into the air from their left foot, first kicking up behind with their right, then their left, and then their right again.  During all three kicks, no foot should touch the floor again, hence they must be done in very quick succession with the foot falling only halfway back to the ground before coming up again.  The dancer finally lands down on the same foot they took off from after the third kick up behind.  Naturally, the left foot can be swapped with the right in order to do the move on the other leg.


  1. thanks for sharing... that's a great and concise breakdown!

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