How to spin a girl when dancing
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
7 ways to improve your connection while dancing: zoukability — LiveJournal7 ways to improve your connection while dancing
Posted by Gaëlle Céline Le Vu, France
The article is a logical continuation of the previous one: What does your very first movement in dancing with a girl. ..
"Connection" - connection, connection, coupling.
Connection in a dance context - such mutual understanding in a pair, when the partners seem to be connected with each other, are fully synchronized , they clearly feel the leading-following of each other and represent a single whole. I cannot find the same capacious and harmonious analogue of the word connection in Russian, so I will use the English version. The concepts of "contact" and "relationship" are closest, but they are not quite the same thing.
A dance without a connection is not a complete dance. One or both partners are immersed in themselves, focused on the mechanical execution of movements, do not feel their partner, use him as a simulator for working out ligaments. The dancers hold hands, but they are not together . The ability to make many complex connections, even if they are technically perfect and you are a teacher in general (and suddenly) - does not affect the quality of the connection in your dance in any way;)
The topic is especially relevant, painful and suffered by me as a partner. You can live in peace and enjoy your role as a simulator and a moving mass, if you have never met this connection. But one day you will come across a partner with whom you will feel like you are somewhere in space, you want to dissolve in this dance. And your world will never be the same again. You'll understand what I'm talking about when it happens.
There is a lot of text ahead, but if you read everything carefully, think it over and start using it, then there will be a lot more happy smiles on the dance floor, believe me! I encourage affiliates to bookmark this article and re-read it periodically.
"The best thing about a hug is the charm of eternity in a couple of seconds. It's magic that allows two people to ascend to heaven in an instant."
The first article talked about the benefits of hugging, building and maintaining contact in dance. But it's not always so easy: you may not quite understand how to achieve this, even if you really want to. In this article, we will look at several ways to improve the connection.
1. Feel. Enjoy the moment.
Don't let the hug be purely mechanical: don't automatically put your hands on your partner while you look around and think about the next move. Enjoy this moment, close your eyes (while you are standing still, it is not necessary to check what is happening around). Relax, open up to your partner, let her relax with you. Be attentive to her. Maybe she smells like sweet perfume, or maybe she's sweating a little. Or she gets nervous and thanks god just for that0056 , you have time to be with her before the dance begins. Maybe she's excited and looking forward to having a great time. Maybe you can hear how fast her heart is beating. Perhaps she is too tense: she is tired, which means that your dance should be easy, or is she just nervous and you will help her relax? Pay attention to these details, they can be seen. Be here and now. Your partner will know if you are not with her .
Guys... I often hear some of you say things like "but she doesn't want to cuddle" or "she doesn't want to wait." Who is leading here? I thought it was you?..
This is the first moment. YOU are leading. This means that most of the decisions here are made by you. This does not mean that you should try to get your partner to do what she cannot do, or lead to something unnatural with her body movements, or try to perform with her the very movement that you so badly want to work out. This means that you must be attentive to her, see what is needed, and based on this, you begin to lead and show that you are here now for her.
If you feel that your partner is walking without guidance, which is typical of many beginners, think about it: why is that? I'm sure it's often because she's nervous. An experienced partner knows how to wait for the lead, but it takes time to learn this, it's not as easy as it seems.
If you feel that your partner is not waiting for you, gently make her wait . If you see that she is in too much of a hurry, slow her down . Create gentle tension in your hands, and if you really need to stop her now, you can gently press your palms or thumbs into her hands. In most cases, there is no need to use them, and therefore, when you do, your partner will feel it and will be more attentive to you. Don't follow her lead! I'm serious.
Second moment. Whatever you do, your partner will try to mirror you . If you see that she is nervous and in a hurry, and you begin to hurry along with her (because sometimes you start mirroring us too), what good will come of it? On the contrary, why not force her to be attentive to you in the same way that you are attentive to her. Give her undivided attention, and then she will begin to relax and trust you => and be better behaved. Do not think that the partner does not want to lead. Once again, in order for her to feel led and patiently follow, she first needs to relax. So, if you are unable to help her relax, she will not melt in your hands and will not behave as well as she could. If you don't show that you are there for her, she will go "somewhere else" and it will show up in your dance. The dance will look and feel disjointed.
But before you can help your partner relax, you must also relax yourself. Relax your shoulders, remove tension from your neck, the girl will feel it, and then both of you will be able to feel the connection better. (Eventually, she wraps her left arm around you as you dance into a close embrace, she feels ALL of your tension.)
To recap. Relax yourself first. The partner will feel it and will also relax.
3. Touch heads.
This is optional, but a very good tool. Some partners may not want this kind of closeness with you, some of you may be too sweaty, or your shyness gets in the way. But let's assume the conditions are ideal. Use it as much as you like!
The simplest position is the close hug, but other variations can be used. For example, if you turned your partner and stand behind her, then it can be very pleasant for her to feel the touch of your head. You will feel more attentive to her, and she ... Believe me, she will be very good! But don't forget to feel it. Don't do these things because you have to. Relax and enjoy them.
In general, think about when you can use it and use it whenever possible.
4. Look at her. Or her movements.
Vision is a very important sense for a person. Let's use it!
From both a practical and an artistic point of view, it will be very good and beautiful if you look at the movements that you create. You can look directly at your partner, but if you stare completely intently, then this is somehow not very good. Not looking at her at all is also unpleasant and strange. But you definitely can't go wrong if you look at the moves you're leading. Why? Because you are constantly following her with your eyes, but at the same time you are not trying to aggressively look into her soul, if you know what I mean. Are you doing a simple laterao? Engage your chest and head, let them follow your arms. Do you lead to headwork? Follow these movements with your eyes and head, then you can connect your shoulders. Add more life to your body, accompany your partner's movements with your body. The girl will see it, at least feel it. This will greatly enrich your dance and add depth to it. Just think about what you are focusing on.
If you look somewhere else and at other couples, it looks like your insecurity (and this will negatively affect the connection, you are the host), or even as rudeness if things are really bad. Most likely, the partner will think that you are too shy and will try to understand you. Be careful with the image you create. Just focusing on the right things will already give you a huge advantage and make you feel better.
!!! This does not mean that you should not watch where you are going.
If you want to lead to a movement that involves moving in space or amplitude work with the partner's body, first look, WHERE you will lead her, and then lead . This way you will avoid clashes with other couples and add some style to your dance, because. your gaze will predict the next move.
Remark: very often partners do not take into account the amplitude of the lady's head movement on headwork, different rotations, etc. Even if the partner stands with her feet in one place, the amplitude of movement of the upper part of her body can be greater! It is very unpleasant in rotation to crash your head into another pair.
5. Vary the tempo.
Yes, girls are sometimes too demanding, and learning to lead can be difficult. But if you practice, it will get better and easier.
One of the things girls go crazy over is musicality, or let's call it changes in speed for now. From simple, you can lead to some movement and in the process change its speed. It works with anything, anywhere, anytime.
The easiest way to use it is when driving. It doesn't matter if you are opposite, or to the side of your partner, or behind - imagine that you are taking her for a walk. Listen to music. If you hear a fast succession of accents or a melody build up in speed, why not speed up your walk? If the speed of the music is the same, then you can go at a steady pace, or play around and change the speed as you like. Why not? If the music slows down and you are walking at a normal speed, don't get hung up on the 1-2-3 count, you can use slow and the second quick, and skip the first one (tum chik chik). Or you can slow down even more and use only the slow beat (tum chik chik) Everything is possible.
Just add variety to your movements, don't dance at the same pace all the time, play with the music. Play with your partner. With great probability, this will increase her attentiveness, she will have to become more attentive to you, and the connection will become better.
6. Save the contact.
One of the main rules of a good connection is to keep in touch. Have you ever had a professional massage? Have you noticed that the massage therapist constantly keeps in touch with you? Even if he needs to take oil or something else, he tries to keep contact with you with one hand.
If you lose a contact, you need to rebuild it. And if the connection was not very good, then you run the risk of destroying everything that you have just achieved. One of the easiest ways to maintain contact is to place your right hand on your partner's back as she makes a simple turn and now has her back to you. This is not just a rule of "good technique", it allows the partner to feel you and understand where you are. She will know that you are still here.
If you follow this simple rule well, your partner will be more comfortable and trust you more. Naturally, she will not be able to explain why she felt this way, she will remember the dance as "it was very nice." But you know ;)
It's the little things that make for a great connection, and therefore a great dance.
7. Waves and other bodywork .
Last but not least. In a conversation on this topic, I cannot but mention the waves.
There are very, very many options for the execution of waves, you can write a separate article about this. But within the topic of connection, distance and tone are of key importance.
Pay close attention to your partner's hand on your back. Do not arch your back, do not try to go to your partner if he is not leading. He will lead, not you. Be sure to pay attention to this moment. Most likely you think that this does not apply to you, but my experience of conducting for a partner shows that 80% of girls do not feel and do not understand my hand on their back. Each time I have to explain that I need to lightly press my back into my hand , and then I can feel the connection. Focus on your back, feel your partner's hand. If the hand moves away, then you follow it! Once you work on this, you will be much better behaved. Just give light pressure to your partner's hand and let him decide when to start and end the movement, when to slow it down, etc.
Keep a good frame, put your right shoulder and arm in place.