Lyrical Dance Moves

Published June 11, 2018
Lyrical Dance Moves

Lyrical dance moves are a creative combination of ballet and jazz, meant to showcase the emotional spirit of the music through the body of the dancer. You can learn this flowy and free-spirited style by practicing these common and fun movements.


A sashay is a simple, three-count move to get across the floor.

  1. Stand with your weight on your left foot and your right foot extended to the side.
  2. Shift your weight to your right foot.
  3. Hop off your right foot and quickly draw your left foot in to land on it.
  4. Replace your weight on the right foot.

Add a skip at the end for a bit of playfulness.

Chain Turn

A chain turn is a series of half turns you can complete to put a bit of energy and beauty into your routine.

  1. Begin with your weight on your right foot, left foot pointed to the side.
  2. Place your weight on the ball of your left foot and pivot, turning 180 degrees to the left.
  3. Place your weight on the ball of your right foot and pivot again, continuing to turn 180 degrees to the left.
  4. Repeat steps two and three at a steady pace until you run out of floor space.

Remember to spot, or keep your eyes on an unmoving target, as you move across the floor. Also, keep abdominals and glutes engaged as you perform the turn to help you maintain balance.

Fan Kick

Fan kicks are simple, but fun. They are often executed in combination with other moves, but can easily be danced on their own.

  1. Begin with your feet apart.
  2. Place your weight into your left leg and slide your right foot across the front line of your body, toe pointed.
  3. Keeping your thighs and abs firm, lift your right foot high up off the floor and draw a circle from left to right with your toes until your foot reaches the floor again.

The key to a great fan kick is to maintain proper alignment. Don't worry if your foot doesn't reach very high at first. As you practice more, your flexibility and strength will increase. To progress faster, stretch your hamstrings and hips at the beginning and end of every dance practice.


The illusion is an advanced dance move that may be challenging for those who lack flexibility and/or balance to master. However, like any other move, you can still try it out safely if you perform it one step at a time.

  1. Begin standing on your left foot with your right foot pointed out at the floor in front of you.
  2. Transfer your weight to your right foot and hinge at your hips, lifting your lift leg as high as you can. Toes should be pointed toward the ceiling.
  3. Pivot a half turn to your right.
  4. Lift your torso up and lower your leg until your return to the starting position, facing the opposite direction.

If you are just starting out with the illusion, place your hands on the floor to help you balance. As you get more comfortable with the move, you can perform it with one hand and eventually no hands at all.

The Spiral

The spiral is a transitional move designed to get you down on the floor and back up again.

  1. Stand with your feet wide, toes aimed out towards the corners of the room.
  2. Rotate to the right, place your hands on the floor, and lower your left knee down to the ground.
  3. Continue spinning to the right, rolling onto your left hip, then the right, so that you are seated.
  4. Coming back the way you came, rotate onto your left hip and place your hands on the floor.
  5. Bring your right foot across your body and press into it as you spin to the left to come back up to standing.
  6. Replace your left foot on the floor to return to the starting position.

To become truly adept at the spiral, try completing it in both directions. Those with sensitive joints may want to wear knee pads or thick pants to prevent pain and pressure.

Arm Styling

Put it all together with arm styling. Included the right way, arm combinations can add depth to your lyrical routine.

Although formal options will help you look poised in your style and technique, try experimenting with spontaneous arm movements. Practice in the mirror with music to see if they fit your preferred personality and execution.

Feel the Music

Performing lyrical dance moves is a great way to express music through movement. The most important thing to remember when practicing the steps you've learned is to enjoy it while you practice. For best results, practice with music you like so that you learn to move to the beat. That will also ensure that you have fun.

Lyrical Dance Moves