Turns & Spins: Part 5 – Spin Turns

Filed in Turns & Spins by on January 25, 2015 0 Comments


The fifth and final element – Spin Turns – are very popular types of turns that allow you
to stay in the same spot while turning.

It’s used in many of the rhythm dances like West Coast & East Coast Swing,
Cha-Cha, Salsa, and Samba.

As we discussed in Part 1 of this series on turns and spins, there are only two directions
in which you can rotate on a standing foot – towards the outside of the foot or towards
the inside of the foot.

From these two directions, you can execute five types of turns or rotations:

1) Inside Swivels
2) Outside Swivels
3) Spiral Turns
4) Pivot turns
5) Spin Turns

By learning these five types of rotating actions, you will be well on your way to mastering
any type of turn or rotation in any pattern.

Previously in this series (Part 1 through 4), we covered exercises for the first four types of turns.
In this issue, we will be concentrating on the fifth and final type of turn – “Spin Turns”.

(Print this tip so you can try this exercise as you read it)

In this exercise, we will practice swiveling on the supporting foot and controlling your balance.
Begin by standing with your right side next to a table or kitchen counter. Put your right hand
on the counter. Stand with the weight on your right foot with the left leg pressing against
the right leg, but put no weight on the left foot.

Stretch your left arm out to the side. Bring it forward and by bending it at the elbow,
create a swing towards your right shoulder. Swivel half of a turn on the right foot.
Put your left hand on the counter.

Now you are standing with the counter on your left side. Your weight is on the left foot
with the right leg pressing against the left leg, this time with no weight on the right foot.

Stretch your right arm out to the side. Bring it forward and by bending it at the elbow,
create a swing towards your left shoulder. Swivel half of a turn on the left foot.
Put your right hand on the counter.

You are now, as you were at the beginning of this exercise, standing with the counter
on your right side.

Repeat the same spin exercise several times, looking straight ahead when you finish your turns.

And remember, as you get more proficient, you can practice standing away from the counter
and concentrate more on balance and the supporting column.

Just be patient, have fun, and keep practicing! When you’re ready, try increasing the amount
of turn to 3/4 of a turn, and later to 1 full turn. As you reach the 1 full turn in your exercises,
try standing with your feet apart and weight on the right foot. Create a stronger swing with
the left arm as you spin 1 full turn to the right. Step to the side with the left foot
(about shoulder width at the end of the turn). And as always, try to look straight
as you start to turn, and at the end of the turn.

Happy Dancing,

Blanche & Emilio


Blanche & Emilio Librero have been operating their own successful
Dance Studio in Tampa, Florida, and producing high quality
instructional videos since 1979. They are the creators of the best
selling series “How to Become a Good Dancer”.


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