Balter: A dance that everyone knows.
Dancing has been a form of expression and communication since the beginning of time. Almost every culture has some form of traditional dance, and it's used to celebrate times fo joy (like at weddings), to grieve times of loss (Egyptian women often danced at funerals to express their sorrow), and to prepare the warriors for battle (most Native American tribes have a war dance). It's used as entertainment or to induce a state of exhilaration, and the dancers are often sleek, graceful, and alluring as they twist their bodies into sometimes-impossible dance moves. And then there's me. I've done some form of dancing all my life; I clogged, I took classical ballroom, and I even tried my hand at Bellydancing. Lately, though, the only dancing I seem to do is Balter. Balter (ball-TUR) is defined as "to dance or tread clumsily", or "To dance artlessly, usually without practiced form or skill, but always with great, contented enjoyment." (It could also mean "To become tangled or matted", "To tread down in a clumsy manner", or "To tangle; clot; mat (as in the hair)", but we're sticking with the dancing) Essentially, Balter is when you don't know the moves but you dance anyway. Balter comes from the Middle English balteren, which means "To move about clumsily; totter, hobble, tumble about." It's also related to the Danish baltre or boltre, which is “to roll, tumble, gambol, romp” Balter is a verb, and some of its variations include Baltering, Baltered, and Balters. Using Balter in a sentence is fairly simple and may look like:
"Needing exercise, Amy turned the music up loud and baltered around the house until she broke a sweat."
"All eyes were turned to the small children baltering around the stage."
"Is the electric slide the only dance you know?" "No, I'm also adept at baltering!"
See? It's a fairly easy word to add to your dictionary, and the next time you see someone dancing strangely or erratically for the fun of it, you can confidently turn to your friend and go "Look! they're Baltering!"
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