Turning and Spins discussion

This month we have a wonderful topic for discussion. June asked via email to discuss multiple turns and spins. While there are many components to consider, let’s see if we can help your turns.

* A few basics. Look into the direction of the turn prior to your turn to create a Spot (more on this soon). Create a CBM or body torque in the opposite direction of the intended turn and use the bulk of your body weight (shoulders to hips) to turn you. Your feet will fail you if you rely on them to rotate your body. If you’re turning multiple times, be sure to be in control of each turn by ending the prior turn preparing for the next turn by recreating a torque.

* Identify which turn(s) you want to dance. Does your dance
sequence call for a Spiral? A Three-Step-Turn? Perhaps a Walk-Around Turn, Pivot or a Spot Turn? Knowing which turn is required and applying the proper technique will help you adjust to various turns.

* Spotting. Yes, weve all heard this, but when it’s time to apply this required skill, many people fail. Originally, people were taught to look in the mirror and spot themselves, and we were told you should be the last and first thing you see. However there is a basic fundamental flaw in this theory. If you turn your shoulders turn past your chin, it knocks you off balance. Try to start your turn with your chin slightly in front of one shoulder and rotate your body until the opposite shoulder is slightly in front of your chin. Once this happens, continue to turn your body and allow your head to turn with you arriving at the end of the turn with your chin slightly in front of the original shoulder.

* Foot Placement. In your back there’s a spine. Now imagine you have a similar bone in the front of your body. If you place your foot forward or backward crossing the spine or the imaginary bone in the front, you will set yourself up to lose balance. Be mindful of where you place your foot.

* The end of your turn. Knowing where and how you want to end is equally as important as executing the turn. How are you defusing the energy? In Latin dances, settling the hip and getting your arm out helps you. In Waltz, try to create a rise after the turn to help stop you.

*Connection. Ladies, if you’re spinning more than twice with your partner holding your hand, then you could use some assistance from your partner. Build a light, but firm connection so he may help you, but not crank you around.

Turning and spinning relies on creating good habits and proper form. Yes, you may get dizzy, but everyone has a threshold on how many they can complete before they feel like the room is spinning. Good luck!

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