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Terp is music and dance industry jargon for "dance".


The term is an eponym for Terpsichore, the Greek muse of dramatic chorus and dance.[1][2] The term, still in use, was more common from the 1930s to the 1970s by dance professionals and music entertainment industry magazines, including Billboard, which uses the terms "terp" and "terpsichore" (lower case "t"), interchangeably.

Hackett's herd churns out a highly palatable brand of terp tempi, equally appealing to the ear and toe.[2]
I wrote Terpsichore in Sneakers during the years 1973–78.[3]
[Reese LaRue] ... known for torrid terpsichore; died Aug. 8, 1985.[4]


  1. ^ "Slanguage Dictionary," Variety, February 23, 2000; OCLC 44287800 (retrieved January 30, 2017)
  2. ^ a b "On The Stand: Ray Hackett," by Lee Zhito (1818–1995), Billboard, October 8, 1949, pg. 18
  3. ^ Terpsichore in Sneakers: Post-Modern Dance, by Sally Banes, Wesleyan University Press (1987), pg. xi ("Preface"); OCLC 48139465
  4. ^ Swing City: Newark Nightlife, 1925–50, by Barbara Joan Kukla (born 1940), Temple University Press (1991); OCLC 23386575