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The basic step, basic movement, basic pattern, or simply basic is the dance move that defines the character of a particular dance. It sets the rhythm of the dance; it is the default move to which a dancer returns, when not performing any other moves. For some dances it is sufficient to know the basic step performed in different handholds and dance positions to enjoy it socially.
Most traditional partner dances have only one basic step which can be easily mastered. Others, such as West Coast Swing, have multiple basic steps, any of which can theoretically be selected by the leader.
- Box step, the basic move in some American style ballroom dances: Rumba, Waltz, bronze-level Foxtrot.
- Cha-cha-cha. There are several variants of the basic movement in Cha-cha-cha: Basic, Open Basic, Basic in Place. Each of them may also be subdivided into a 'forward' and a 'backward' ones.
- Lindy basic in Lindy Hop
- Mambo basic in Mambo
- Salsa basic in Salsa
- Zydeco basic in Zydeco