Teaching Tips

A Breakdown of 4 Foods Used to Describe Dancer Feet

Dancers have a language all their own. From French technical terms to scatting out choreography dynamics, it's a wonder any nondancers understand a word we say! Perhaps some of the most confusing dancer terms are the various foods we use to describe our feet. To help dance outsiders out, DT broke down the foods that are commonplace in dancer lingo. Share them with your loved ones, so they can better understand the weird and wonderful breed of dancer that you are.


1. Biscuit

Definition: Stiff, flat feet that hang off the leg in a way that resembles a biscuit.

As in: "My feet were straight-up biscuits during petit allégro today."

Visual representation via the lovely and hilarious @biscuitballerina:


2. Banana

Definition: Beautiful feet that extend the leg line and arch far beyond what's even remotely natural.

As in: "Did you see Beckanne's banana feet? They're so gorgeous, I'm drooling!"

Visual representation via the ever breathtaking @beckannesisk:


3. Cashew

Definition: Feet that don't lengthen through the ankle and crunch at the toes when pointed, creating a cashew shape.

As in: "Quit giving me cashew feet in your développé! You're gripping so much it's making me cringe!"

Visual representation via a towel grip toe exercise video (great for feet strengthening—terrible for onstage!):


4. Pancake

Definition: Feet that are completely flat when on the ground, making relevé particularly difficult.

As in: "My arches are as flat as a pancake!"

Visual representation via Google Images:

Higher Ed
Charles Anderson (center) in his (Re)current Unrest. Photo by Kegan Marling, courtesy of UT Austin

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Until now, that is. Within the last three years, two master's programs have cropped up, each the first of its kind: Ohio University's MA in community dance (new this fall), and the University of Texas at Austin's dance and social justice MFA, which emerged from its existing MFA program in 2018. These two programs join the University of San Francisco's undergraduate performing arts and social justice major, with a concentration in dance, which has been around since 2000.

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