Dancing how to spin
Super spinning tips and how to turn better in dance -
Lots of teachers (and other advanced dancers) get annoyed by non-teachers trying to teach people how to dance. I’m not going to do this, because if you want to dance well and improve it’s about getting good basic dance lessons, and practice.
But so many people struggle to spin and haven’t ever been taught. Here are the tips I was given via different teachers through the years. Tips from 13 years of ballet classes and 2.5 years of salsa where we were taught turning and spinning drills from a Guinness world record holder for spinning.
Hopefully some of these spinning tips will help you in both turning and spinning better as you dance.
1. Know the difference between a spin and a turn
A turn is stepping as you rotate, in modern jive that’s usually via a ‘return’ or travelling return. A spin should be on one foot and can be a free spin or aided by the leader.
2. Learn to spot
If you get dizzy when spinning, learning to spot is essential. It’s all about practice so that you’ll do it automatically. Essentially you’re leaving your eyes looking at one spot in front of you as your body turns, then when you can’t leave your head behind anymore, you whip your head around so your eyes are looking back at your spot again as the rest of your body follows. You can start slowly and build it up. This video is a simple beginner technique for starting out.
There’re plenty of YouTube tutorials and guidance on how to spot while spinning, and it does help reduce dizziness especially during multiple splns. I find spinning is easier than continuous turning in one direction because spotting is easier when you’re preparing to spin in one place.
3. Spin and turn on one foot
To spin you need as small an area as possible on the floor. Using two feet will act as a brake and make you unable to turn.
4. Turn on the ball of your foot
I’m naughty at this because I do get lazy and tend to relax into my heel when I turn, but you should be turning on the ball of your foot. Your heel needs to only be slightly off the floor. But having your weight over the front of your foot will keep your body in the right place for turning without wobbling off in a different direction.
5. Don’t lift your spare foot up
When spinning, sometimes you see people lift their spare foot in the air (usually, bending at the knee, I presume it’s a natural reflex or they want to keep the spare foot out of the way). This will make you wobble and can also catch your partner or anyone else dancing closely. When doing a basic spin, you want to keep your spare foot next to your anchored foot, just above the floor. This keeps your body centred over your legs and should help keep you upright. It’s much hard spinning with one leg raised.
6. Think down into the ground, not up in the air
Lots of dancers lift up when trying to spin. This could be because they’ve done ballet in the past which is about pirouetting on your toes in a releve position. But it’s more likely that we often turn under the leader’s and our raised hand, so the body tends to follow upwards as well.
Yes, you need to straighten out your body and think open rather than tight and leaning over, but if you keep your knees slightly bent and think about drilling into the floor, you’ll be more balanced and grounded. It will certainly suit a more grounded dance than one like ballet which is much lighter and in the air. You’ll also move less when you’re spinning.
It’s hard to explain. But if you’ve done any latin dancing or salsa, where you need to feel the floor through your feet to get the right hip action, the grounding and turning into the floor rather than upwards, is the same sensation.
7. Have good posture
To spin well, you need to engage your core. You need to stay relaxed and not tense up your shoulders, pull your tummy in and tuck your bottom under.
Then keep your arms in a suitable position. The easiest position for a free spin is to bring your arms towards each other in front of you, at chest level, in an oval shape. Bringing one arm to join the first helps with impetous in a spin, but also keeps posture and position right. Oh and flailing arms isn’t a good look.
This clip shows a comfortable arm position and the posture needed (salsa – they do a lot more spin technique than modern jive! but you can still get tips on arm, body and foot position)
8.Don’t look down
If you look down your weight balance will move and you’ll be more likely to fall. Look straight ahead for a steadier turn (or spot if you use that technique).
9. Don’t rush
So many people panic when they have to spin and try and go whooshing off really fast. But if you’re spinning or turning to music, you want to fill the beats you’re spinning on. If it’s a slow track, you’ll have longer to do one rotation. There’s no point whizzing round to find there’s still half the beat left to go.
It’s all about practice. Start with a single spin, and work up to multiple spins if you want. If you can do free spins yourself, it’s easier to then be led into aided multiple spins or turns. This clip shows the use of a clock method (admittedly for salsa spins with the prep, but the idea is the same for modern jive).
Tips for leaders
Most spinning is done by the follower, but these all apply to leaders as well. Plus if you’re prepping your partner for a spin, there’s things to be aware of.
Don’t ever force the follower into a spin. You can prep for one (either raising the arm or prepping the follow for a free spin), but only they can do the spin.
Ensure your prep is accurate. If it’s a free spin, don’t prep the spin too far out from the follower’s centre, otherwise they will be off balance and the spin won’t work. If it’s an aided spin, raising your hand and the follower’s, to just above and in front of the follower’s head. Not really high above their head otherwise they’ll struggle to keep connection. And not below the top of their head otherwise they’ll have to duck which is a totally different move.
Own your spin
[bctt tweet=”The person spinning should always be the one in control of the spin ” username=”whatabout_dance”]
A final point to remember is that you don’t have to do multiple spins. Yes sometimes it’s nice to throw some in if the situation is right and the music calls for it. For example, I can do a double or triple (when I’ve been practising for a while), but I rarely do more than a single in freestyle. Because I’d rather have an immaculate single spin than try a multiple spin when the lead or prep doesn’t feel right, or the floor isn’t smooth enough. I’ve never had a leader moan that I’ve refused to do a double when he’s led that. I’ve usually had people compliment me on my spins.
How do you get on with spinning? How were you taught?
How to Spin Properly
Spinning takes training, time, education, mental determination, and LOTS of practice.
When you spin you must have the following:
1) Have and Maintain a Positive Mental Attitude
2) Whip upper body, starting with your shoulders around as fast as possible.
3) Bend your knees slightly to ground yourself.
4) Stay on both balls of your feet.
5) Make sure your back is straight. Maintain a good posture.
6) Use both feet as you spin
7) Your Free arm needs to be in front of your chest, palm facing down.
8) Make sure you apply the L technique, Keeping the arm that the guy is holding firm and steady in an L-shape in front of your face.
9) Hold your own weight and balance and do not depend on the guy to hold you up.
Let’s talk about all this.
1) Maintain a Positive Mental Attitude
First and foremost, you’re never going to be able to spin, and spin well, if you think you can’t, or if you think it’s too hard. I’ve trained countless women who honestly thought they could never do spins by using these simple techniques. From the skinniest, to the most overweight, both men and women of any size can spin. It’s just a matter of proper training, and the right attitude. You must convince yourself in your mind FIRST that it actually is possible to spin, and spin very well. Remember, the object is to get yourself around, and complete the move. Keep the goal in mind, (which to some, is to actually be standing afterward!), and you’ll be able to do it. The gray-matter between your ears will get you around. Read on, and I will teach you the tricks and tips on how to spin fast and very controlled..
2) Whipping your shoulders around as fast as possible
It’s not your feet that spin you, it’s not your head, it’s not your arms, and it’s not your legs. It’s your SHOULDERS that gain the momentum. I learned this from my very good friend and instructor, Mr. Joe Cassini. When you turn your shoulders, the rest of your body follows, and stays more balanced during the spin.
3) Bending your knees
People, if you spin with straight legs, you’re going to tilt, tumble, and then crash like a great tree in a forest. When spinning on your own, or if a guy is spinning you, it is important to have a springy “bend-in-the knees, shock-absorbing”, type of posture like you’re about ready to squat in the bathroom (sorry to be so graphic, but I’m now sure you can picture EXACTLY what I’m trying to convey). This will lower your body weight to the floor, so you can be more “grounded” and stable during the spin. This must be done with correct posture, and a very straight back. Do not bend over! Maintaining this type of “pose” per se, is essential for balance and sold controlled spins.
4) Staying on both balls of your feet
Simple. If you’re doing multiple spins, you want your legs and feet TOGETHER. Do not cross your legs, or try to step over your feet — especially during a fast multiple spin. Crossing your feet will only tangle up your legs, and you’ll end up looking like a cow being roped in a rodeo. We all know where they end up! ON THE GROUND!
5) Maintaining a straight back (good posture)
having great posture not only looks good, but also is very essential in keeping balance and control during multiple spins. I wrote an entire article about posture several years ago. it’s still solid information, and has proven itself over and over again to be the fascinating, plain and simple truth. I still hand it out during my Ladies Styling Classes, so Read it!
6) Dragging your feet
The more you drag your feet, the more balance you’ll feel. If you’re closer to the ground, you won’t fall over. I train my ladies to drag their feet, even during basic and cross-body leads. I teach them to feel the balls of their feet dragging. Try it.
I learned this technique while at the Mayan in Los Angeles one night. The floor was so crowded with people, it was almost impossible to dance without crashing into someone. I kept stepping on dancers around me. I kept saying, “I’m sorry…, Oops! I’m sorry, oh gees, I’m really sorry..” over and over, to everyone around me, because I kept stepping on them! I finally got so frustrated, that I decided to not pick up my feet AT ALL the rest of the evening. I didn’t want everyone to hate me, so I just “stayed low”, and drug my feet the rest of the night.
Amazingly, the minute I started dragging the balls of my feet, my balance improved, and I could dance better! My partner complimented how I didn’t feel so heavy anymore, and said he felt like I was “holding my own weight” instead of hanging on him! I was in shock. I had actually found the secret to maintaining balance and excellent control on the dance floor.
I’ve been dragging my feet ever since, and my dancing has improved TREMENDOUSLY!
7) Free arm in front of your stomach, palm facing down
I learned this technique from my friend, and instructor, Josie Neglia. If you maintain your arm position in front of you, by your stomach, with your palm facing down, it will be as though your arm is on a table, maintaining more balance. DO NOT put your hand behind your back or on your hip during multiple spins. This looks AWFUL!!!
8) Keeping the arm the guy is holding firm like a rock and in an L-shape in front of your face
I learned this in New York a few years ago. Ladies, during multiple spins, and even during single, or double spins, if you keep your arm in front of your nose, and strong and sturdy like a rock, you’ll not only spin faster, but will not risk screwing up your shoulder or collar bone from poorly-executed spins from men (sorry guys, but some of you need to get some training not only on how to properly spin a woman, but how to stop her after her spins. Look up your local instructors in our City guides section, or order my Cool Moves© video series to get some ideas of how to spin, and stop a woman properly.
9) Don’t depend on the guy to hold you up
If he accidentally lets go of me during a multiple spin (due to sweaty palms, improper hold, or finger cramping), I’ll keep spinning as if he was there, and simply wait for him to pick me up again with his other hand if he wants. (I won’t stop spinning on purpose, just to stun him.. Gees, I’m such a ham!!)
Ladies, NEVER pull down on the guy’s hand or thumb to hold you up during a single or multiple spin. If you do this, he’ll never want to try it again! Don’t hang on to his hand for dear life. If he spins you, do everything I told you above — that includes holding your own weight. You can never, ever depend on a man to keep you in balance, control you, or hold you up out there. You must be able to do it on your own. This will put less pressure on the both of you.
Overall, remember that both of you are supposed to be having FUN dancing together. If you put stress on your partner in any way, dancing with you will not be an enjoyable experience. I’ve seen men pass up absolutely gorgeous women for the more homely-type, simply because they’re better, more stable dancers.
“Yea, she’s a knock-out, but can’t turn if you paid her. I’m sorry, but I’d rather dance with someone who CAN DANCE.”…men tell me. What does this mean? There’s actually HOPE for those of us with the not-so-knock-out figures and looks! I’ve seen it happen over and over again. Homely-looking women who try harder than anyone else to keep balanced and dance well. They work hard at their craft, and eventually end up dancing all night long! Meantime, their more beautiful sisters wait out along the sidelines, and end up dancing with the more amateur beer-drinking types. It’s a pity they don’t read Salsa web.
Face it, if you can’t dance well, you won’t get asked to dance much. That’s a fact.
Listen, YOU CAN BE OBESE, but if you know how to dance, you’ll be out on the dance floor ALL NIGHT LONG.
I’ve seen it happen, first-hand.
Ladies, it is your responsibility, no matter what level he is, to make your partner feel very comfortable spinning and dancing with you. It is your responsibility to make the both of you look fabulous out there. By applying the techniques I’ve stated above, you’ll be on your way to becoming a fabulous spinner.
By applying the techniques I’ve stated above,
you’ll be well on your way to becoming a FABULOUS spinner
Article By Edie, The Salsa Freak
Are you ready to start dancing? check out STEP N DANCE for Salsa & Bachata Dance Classes
Dance Spins - Technique Recommendations
Everyone involved in dancing (and especially in such styles as salsa, rumba, Argentine tango, etc.) will be interested to know some of the subtleties and secrets of dance steps. This is especially true for such a complex element as rotation. Let's talk about how to rotate the partner correctly so that she does not fall and fly away)). And the girls will be interested to know: how to keep up with the rotations and at the same time look great in the dance. Of course, we are not talking about single turns here, but about double, triple and more. nine0003
Spinning and spinning
As a rule, girls are very fond of showing off their ability to dance cool. And if she's really good at spinning, you can be sure that your partner can't wait for you to spin her.
You can even say this: all the girls (regarding the rotations in the dance) are divided into 2 categories - those who can and love to spin, and those who love, but have not yet learned.
That is why, while dancing with a familiar partner, if you know that she easily makes a double turn, try spinning her a third time. Don't stop there. nine0003
However, do not overdo it with rotations. It is not recommended for beginners to rotate strongly, since falls very often lead to injuries. The number of turns is an indicator of the level of the couple, and the absence of falls is an indicator of the level of the partner.
Turning Technique and Leading (partner)
- Pay close attention to what is happening around you. This is especially true during the disco, where you can often meet a lot of tipsy personalities. If they crowd near your couple, it is better to move away. nine0034
- Observe the lady's stability before, during and after the turn. If it starts to drift, then most likely the problem is in it. In this case, the number and intensity of turns should be reduced. However, if experienced partners lose stability while dancing with you, then most likely it is you. And most importantly, if the partner starts to fall, catch her, by all means!
- Be sure to consider the music tempo. There must be at least one or two scores for each turn. nine0034
- 70% of success depends on the preparation for the turn, and therefore this movement should be prepared with great care.
- Calculate in advance the number of turns performed by the partner. There is nothing worse than a partner who is not confident in himself and his plans.
- Be serious about completing the turn. When completing the movement, let your partner know that this turn is the last. Lower her hand in time so that the girl does not skid. nine0033 Let your partner rest before performing the following movements. Do not immediately start entering the cycle of the next complex figures, as the girl may lose her balance. Let her catch her breath, do a basic or hug her without stopping the dance. Your partner will appreciate your care.
What is Pole Dance and how to start dancing
Pole Dance is a harmonious dance performed on a metal pole (pylon). It combines elements of acrobatics, choreography and gymnastics. This direction does not need strong physical training, all the required skills and abilities are given during constant training. It is often confused with striptease and pole dancing, but in reality there is nothing in common between them. nine0003
Greetings, dear readers. If you are here, then you have the opportunity right now to learn about such a dance as Pole Dance. Classes on the pylon attract modern girls and women, draw them in and fall in love with themselves. The multifaceted Pole Dance gives meaning and fulfillment over time, a thirst for achieving new goals. It gives fans more and more opportunities to develop themselves, to be more attractive and stronger.
What is Pole Dance?
In pole dance, a pole or pylon serves as the main working element, a sports equipment on which various tricks are performed. In striptease, a metal pole is a decorative detail, the stripper dances next to it, doing simple dance moves - no complicated tricks are performed here. nine0053
Pole Dance is a physically difficult pole dance that can be safely attributed to a power sport. Young girls, women of different ages and even children can do it. By the way, men can also practice on the pylon, perform power elements of increased complexity.
Standard Pole Training
As a rule, Pole Dance classes for beginners begin with a warm-up to prevent sprains and all sorts of injuries. A good start makes pole training safe and effective, prepares the ligaments and muscles for loads and twists. Then it is allowed to start performing simple elements of the dance. When the body is well warmed up, stretching is done (static and dynamic). nine0003
Flexibility is important for performing the main number of elements on the pole, so stretching is in every workout, after warming up and at the end of the session. A force load is placed on the prepared body. A lot of energy is wasted here. To perform heavy tricks in pole dance, the use of a mat is provided. After a power load, the trainer does stretching and a hitch.
Tips for pole dance beginners
Pylons for training are dynamic, which are spinning, and static. There is an erroneous opinion that it is better for beginners to practice on a spinning pylon. Beginning dancers are advised to start doing dance elements on a static pole. It may be more difficult, but it’s faster to make progress, get stronger and develop a muscular corset. The issue of choosing clothes for pole dance for practicing on the pylon is also of interest to beginners. Everything is pretty simple here. For the first workout, you don’t need high-heeled shoes and expensive uniforms. Initially, a t-shirt, shorts and socks are enough. nine0003
In the future, you can decide for yourself what you want to wear for training in Pole Dance. For the first lesson, it is not at all necessary to bring magnesia (liquid chalk to improve grip with the pole) or gloves. Just try to come to the lessons for beginners and in practice understand whether special tools are needed or not. When hands are held tight without anything, gloves and magnesia are not needed. In addition, the coach will tell you what would be the best option in a particular case.
A big problem for beginners is bruising. Without them, the first workouts are unlikely to do. It will take some time to put up with them. To alleviate the condition and quickly improve the appearance of the body, you can use special ointments, such as lifeguard 911, troxevasin, badyaga. Time and patience will help in the fight against bruises.
IMPORTANT! Before starting pole lessons, it is important to check your health condition. There are a number of diseases, due to which the doctor may prevent you from training. That is, you need to consult a specialist, especially if you already have any health problems. nine0003
Varieties of Pole Dance
Today there are three main directions of Pole Dance:
- Exotic. Here, the emphasis is on strength elements in a percentage ratio of approximately 70 to 30. In addition, the bulk of the dance movements are performed on the floor. This kind of pole dance is characterized by plasticity and eroticism. At the same time, there is no undressing in the exotic.
- Art. The direction is characterized by a harmonious combination of power elements and choreography. The emphasis is on the technique of performance, the quality of tricks, and the outfit of the performer. The classical understanding of the direction is pole dance as an art. nine0034
- Sport/Fitness. The most difficult variety of Pole Dance. In the performance of the pole dance, approximately 70% of the complexity and quality is given.
Why should everyone try pole lessons?
Paul Dance makes you constantly work on yourself, your body, hone your own skills, fight fear and pain. This can hardly be called a disadvantage of this type of dance, since there is a goal, work and victories.
In training, music and movements allow you to relax, relieve negativity and nervous tension. On the pylon you become more graceful, stronger and more flexible, and also much more confident in yourself. Pole Dance is the art of controlling your own body, which always needs care and love.