In 15th Century Italian Dance a continentia (pl. continentie) is a step to the side and back. A continentia left is performed by taking a step to the left and closing with the right foot, with a slight rising and falling motion throughout. A continentia right is the same to the opposite side.
Continentie are usually performed in pairs, first to one side then the other. One contientia lasts for half a tempo, or the same amount of time as a sempio.