Saturday, June 20, 2009

Waltz - Spin Turn

You will soon find, if you are practising your natural and reverse turns, that you either have to vary the amount of turn that you do at some point in order to get around the room (which is definitely allowed as long as you keep going around in the right direction), or you get stuck in a corner (which isn't such a good thing).

A great step to get you out of corners is the Spin Turn. It starts like the beginning of a Natural Turn and can be done with varying degrees of turn. (It can be done in corners or even along a straight side, but for this description I will give the amount of turn usually done in corners.)

Leaders'/Men's Footwork

Start with the first three steps of your Natural Turn (forward on your Right foot - turning to your right - and then side onto your Left, and close your Right foot to your left) to finish with your back directly to the line of dance. (Counts 1, 2, 3)

Step back onto your Left foot but think of keeping your knees bent and close together - because you are now going to pivot on that Left foot - think of pulling your Right shoulder backwards and bringing the Right foot around as if connected and immovable from the position it was placed in when you stepped back. Step forward onto the Right foot and then "fall" back onto your Left now facing Diagonal Against your New Line of Dance. (Counts 1(and), 2, 3)

Next do a quarter turn to face the New Line of Dance by stepping backwards onto your Right foot, side onto your Left, and together with your Right. (Counts 1, 2, 3) You are now ready to do any reverse figure or a close change.

Followers'/Lady's Footwork

Start with the first three steps of your natural turn. Step back on your Left foot, side on your Right and together with your Left to end facing Line of Dance. (Counts 1, 2, 3)

Step forward into your partner with your Right foot (Count 1), beginning to curve to your Right, the next step is taken forward as your partner is pivoting, which means that you end up with your weight on your Left foot and your back to the diagonal you initially started on on Count 2. (Which in the technique books is therefore labelled as a step back and slightly to the side.) With your weight on the toe of your Left foot, lightly brush your Right foot towards your left (Count "2-and") and then back out on a diagonal to step forward on Count 3.

Complete the sequence by stepping forward on your Left foot, turning to the Left, and side together with your Right and Left feet respectively. (Counts 1, 2, 3)

Notes for both the Leader and the Follower:

- When doing the pivot, it is very important that the gentleman keeps his weight over his supporting foot at all times... if you start to lean forward or backwards, you make the turn impossible for your partner. This also goes for the women, however. Ladies, do not hold on to your partner for dear life or lean into him, this will make the turn heavy and difficult to turn - it should feel light and easy!!


  1. I'm loving these hand-drawn diagrams!

  2. Thank you, T! Made more sense to me to do it like that than try to find some impersonal computer way of drawing them!