Taruna Jaya expresses changing moods characteristic of the transitional period experienced by any youth in Balinese life: coyness, bashfulness, irritability, sweetness, and of course, energy. The movements express the enthusiastic energy of youth. Strong eye movements are a prominent feature, and often include nelik (a wide eyed stare). At one point, the dancer flings her extended kain to the side and sidles up to the drummer to flirt with him. He may either resist her advances or play along.
The costume (usually dark purple) uses a head cloth with a unique shape, a log-sleeved tunic and a kain pleated on the left side with the end dangling. There are many moments when the dancer picks up the end of the cloth to emphasize a musical point or mood. She also uses a fan to its greatest advantage.