Alignment refers to the direction that the feet are pointing in relationship to the room. The 3 major points of reference in the room are the Line of Dance, the wall, and the center.
Most room have four walls, but the wall that is referred to when discussing the line of dance and alignments is the wall that the dancers dance closest to as they move along the Line of Dance. When you are facing the Line of Dance, the wall will be at your right-hand side.
There are two centers in the room: (1) True Center, which is the actual center point in the room, and (2) Relative Center, which is the alignment directly opposite the wall. No matter where you stand in the room, if you face the Line of Dance, the Relative Center will be at your left-hand side. Alignments, as they are written in the syllabus, always refer to Relative Center (which is usually referred to simply as “center”).
FACING, BACKING, POINTING
In addition to indicating the direction of the feet, alignments may also refer to the orientation of the body or even the direction the body is traveling. When feet are pointing straight ahead and the direction of movement is forward (straight or diagonally) or side, the alignment is referred to as “Facing…” (eg “Facing Line of Dance”).
When the feet are pointing straight ahead but the body is moving backward (straight or diagonally), the alignment is referred to as “Backing…” (eg “Backing Center”).
When the feet are turned to an alignment different than the body, it is referred to as “Pointing to” (eg “Pointing to Wall”).