Unit Dancing

From Liquipedia StarCraft Brood War Wiki


Dancing is the element of unit micromanagement by which a player delays direct engagement with the enemy for the sake of unit conservation or optimization. It requires hand speed and precision to select individual units or small groups of units in the heat of battle. The theory of unit dancing is that an army's combined health can be used to forestall a single unit's death. When two ranged armies of roughly equivalent strength fight, the one that dances will have fewer casualties.

  • Dancing can be used to counter certain types of focus-fire.
  • Dancing is typically countered by enveloping techniques that restrict escape.
  • Units with lengthy attack animations are retreated with a Move command and reengage with Hold Position.
  • Units with instantaneous attacks can Patrol attack an enemy and Move away immediately after the attack.

Dancing Techniques[edit]


  • Dragoons are retreated before reengaging with Hold Position to avoid enemy fire and envelopment. This technique helps conserve Dragoons from Zergling swarms by retreating the lead Zealot.
  • When Dragoons engage another ranged army, pull back the Dragoon that is focus fired. The enemy units must waste time stepping forward to reach the retreating Dragoon while your Dragoons are still sustaining fire.
  • Carriers can be retreated after deploying Interceptors to avoid enemy fire while the Interceptors deliver damage. This technique works best when ground units are unable to chase the Carriers beyond some impassable terrain.


  • Two Marines can kill a Zealot by taking turns retreating while the other fires on the enemy. Since the Zealot can only chase one enemy at a time, neither Marine is required to take any damage.
  • A Firebat can kill more Zerglings if it is healed by a Medic while retreating.
  • Individual Vultures can kill slower melee units until surrounded. See Vulture Patrol vs. Zealots.


  • Hydralisks can kill more Zealots by retreating and using Hold Position to prolong the battle. Hydralisks in the front of the pack should be retreated to the rear.
  • When Zerglings surround and trap a Zealot, one Zergling will be attacked by the Zealot. Select that Zergling and pull it out of battle so that no Zerglings are lost. The Zerglings' combined health is used to sustain more damage than any one Zergling could take.
  • Mutalisks facing Corsair splash damage fight best when spread apart. The Mutalisk being focus fired should be pulled out of range of the Corsairs before dying. It can reengage after the Corsairs have switched to a new target.