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Footwork refers to dance technique aspects related to feet: foot position and foot action.
The following aspects of footwork may be considered:
- Dance technique: a proper footwork may be vital for proper posture and movement of a dancer.
- Aesthetic value: some foot positions and actions are traditionally considered appealing, while other ones are ugly, although this depends on the culture.
- Artistic expression: a sophisticated footwork may in itself be the goal of the dance expression.
Different dances place different emphasis on the above aspects.
In a narrow sense, e.g., in descriptions of ballroom dance figures, the term refers to the behavior of the foot when it meets the floor. In particular, it describes which part of the foot is in contact with the floor: ball, heel, flat, toe, high toe, inside/outside edge, etc.
In breakdance, moves performed on one's hands and feet may be referred to as downrock or (especially in the southern United States) as footwork. Typical moves in this type of dance include the "6-step", "2-step", "3-step", "5-step", "coffee grinders", "Valdez", "C-C's", and "front C-C's". Additionally in breakdancing there exists moves specifically known as footwork which place emphasis on one's foot movement. Examples of such moves include the Indian step, Salsa step, and Crossovers.
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