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Alignment Diagram

To help facilitate dancing around the ballroom without collision, each couple travels counter-clockwise and has their own line of dance (LOD), with the outer wall of the room on the leader's right. When a leader is facing LOD, the follower is backing LOD.

From facing wall, when a dancer turns to his/her left 45 degrees each time, he/she is said to be: (dancer's next step would be the typical flow - along line of dance)
  • Facing Wall (FW)
  • Facing Diagonal wall (DW or FDW)
  • Facing Line Of Dance (LOD or FLOD)
  • Facing Diagonal Center (DC or FDC)
  • Facing Center (FC)
  • Backing Diagonal Wall (BDW)
  • Backing Line Of Dance (BLOD)
  • Backing Diagonal Center (BDC) 
  • Facing Wall (FW)
See the diagram for visual representation.

When a dance pattern refers to alignment directions, unless otherwise stated, the direction given is from the leader's perspective.

Sometimes a pattern will give an alignment of "pointing" rather than "facing" some alignment. This means that the foot being placed points in that direction, but the body does not (yet). For example, PDW (pointing diagonal wall) versus FDW (facing diagonal wall).

About "Against Line of Dance"

In the course of reviewing figure descriptions, you will see terms like "Against LOD" which could be confusing at first, until you get used to them. 
  • "Against LOD" will be used when the movement will be against the typical direction moving around the room (which is counter clockwise). The next step, which could be either a forward or backward step, is moving against the flow:
    • "LOD" is the typical flow, counter clockwise around the room.
    • "Against LOD" is the opposite - against the flow, clockwise around the room.
  • Center of the room and the wall remain where they are.
Here are some examples of terms used with "Against LOD", with description of the direction where next step goes.

Facing DC, Against LOD You are backing DW, and your next step is forward.
Backing DC, Against LOD You are facing DW, and your next step is backward.
Facing DW, Against LOD You are backing DC, and your next step is forward.
Backing DW, Against LOD You are facing DC, and your next step is backward.