How to twirl dance
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?
To Twirl (a Lady) or Not?
TO TWIRL (a Lady) OR NOT TO TWIRL
Wherein is DESCRIBED the SECRET of this GENTLE art
If Gentlemen (or men) Do NOT Twirl ladies ---
For GENERATIONS, members of the female sex have been twirled, whirled, spun, tossed, flipped, pushed and shoved by the males of the species. Whether through lack of KNOWLEDGE, Or EXPERIENCE, this lamentable practice continues to the present day in traditional and other dance forms.
Since TWIRLING is a part of MANY dance forms and can add to the pleasure of the dance
Since a Statement has been made, TO WIT: Gentlemen do NOT twirl Ladies
And a question posed: Who Does?
The following CLUES, to be verified by OBSERVATION, are offered:
LOOK at the motion of a couple's joined hands during the act of twirling. If the man's hand describes a large oval, THUSLY:
One can be SURE that such "Cranking" is a certain mark of Inexperience and/or Lack of Proper Dance Knowledge.
ON THE OTHER HAND, if said joined hands travel in a very small oval, thusly:
One is watching KNOWLEDGEABLE dancers and the Great (and very old) Secret of Twirling has been revealed!
So --- Who Then, Does the Twirling?
The LADY, of Course!
She being the Only dancer who has the Right to Twirl. And that Right is for herself only.
GENTLEMEN (and males) have NOT RIGHTS in the matter. Privileges only, if granted by the Lady.
So then --- How is Twirling accomplished?
- The Gentleman's hand is offered to the Lady, Palm Up
- The Lady's hand is placed in the Gentleman's Palm Down
- The Grip is Finger Tip and LIGHT
- The Gentleman raises his hand (with the Lady's) and SHE TWIRLS – (His hand/fingers being a point of pivot for the Lady, and he being ready to check or guide if necessary.)
and --- If the Lady is
NOT DESIROUS OF TWIRLING?
Then --- She simply Lowers the raised hands and smiles sweetly.
A Mature Male will take no offense at this, as none, indeed, is intended.
It has been said that there is a limited number of twirls in all humans and when that number runs out, well…
So then is the SECRET (Not because the dance teachers have ever wished it!) OF TWIRLING revealed!
Go now and enjoy!
This piece was originally prepared by C. Cyril (Chip) Hendrickson, Dancing Master, 1983
Here's a picture of the To Twirl or Not to Twirl tiny pamphlet you can download and print out to hand out at your dances. You'll need to cut the edges off (it ends up about 8"x10", or 4" x 5" folded).
5 TikTok dance challenges you'll want to repeat
September 18, 2020 Reno5 Inspiration
Selected and reproduced cool dances performed by tiktokers around the world. It turned out to be not so difficult. You can do it too!
Actress of the Sovremennik Theatre. Helped us deal with challenges.
1. Like That Challenge
- Difficulty: 1 out of 5.
A short and rather easy dance that will not cause any difficulty even if you have never done choreography. It can be worked out even in the bathroom in front of the mirror. The challenge song is a hit by rapper Doja Cat. Tiktokers joke that she doesn't have any tracks left that wouldn't go viral because of dancing on TikTok. By the way, this bunch will easily fall on other music. So if you usually do not know where to put yourself on the dance floor, the challenge will help you relax and start dancing.
@ayiram21##1♬ Just like that come my way - jordanaudiož
Tutorial from Masha:
- Try to get to the beginning of the music - it will be easier to follow the rhythm;
- make a wave under the right hand, click with the fingers of the hands, then wave under the left hand and click;
- bend back in a wave, and then twist your arms in front of you;
- swing forward with your hands in front of you and immediately another swing on your right leg;
- stretch your right arm forward and point your finger at the camera or at the person you are dancing for, circle your arm around your head; nine0016
- stretch both hands forward one by one, call to yourself with your right palm, sitting down.
2nd Don't Start Now Challenge
- Difficulty: 2 out of 5.
Learn this link to add an 80's vibe to your dancing. She is uncomplicated. The main thing is to roll a wave with your body, point to the clock and effectively leave in the style of Michael Jackson. It is performed to the song of the English singer Dua Lipa - a great lover of the charm of those times. This challenge was first recorded by a Tiktoker named Hannah Kaye Balanay, and then her dance was repeated by 3.8 million people around the world. nine0003
@ayiram21##2♬ Don’t Start Now — Dua Lipa
Tutorial from Masha:
- Dance in place and emphasize by straightening your half-bent arms down and pointing your palms to the floor;
- clench your hands into fists, bend your knees and rock your hips. Move your arms along with your pelvis;
- keep swinging your hips, release two fingers from each fist;
- wave to the right, clap your hands and spread your arms;
- dance on soft knees (as at the beginning of the dance), put your right hand behind your head, and then smoothly straighten it; nine0016
- place your fists on your pelvic bones, then tap your fingers on your wrist as if telling the time;
- clench your hands into fists again, bend your knees and swing your hips from side to side;
- make a small circle with your shoulder, turn sideways and moonwalk out of the frame.
3. Challenge Supalonely
- Difficulty: 3 out of 5.
Funny dance to the sad song of New Zealand singer BENEE. If you do not listen to the text, you will not even suspect that the content is rather depressing by the cheerful rhythm. In general, if you get bored alone - here's an activity for the evening. A bunch can be learned pretty quickly: tap on an imaginary drum, spread your arms, pretend that you are drinking from a bottle - you're done. And smile! How did the tiktoker with the nickname zoifishh, who launched the challenge. nine0003
@ayiram21##3♬ Supalonely (feat. Gus Dapperton) — BENEE
Tutorial from Masha:
- Wait for the right beat, bring the clenched fist of your left hand to your right shoulder and swing your shoulder forward, pretending to pull by his hand;
- turn your head to the left, punch an imaginary wall on the right;
- Extend your left arm to the right and then up. Emphasize head to the left along with the pelvis, then a small circle with the hand to the left;
- Raise your arms in front of you as if holding a camera. "Take a photo" in front of you and to the right; nine0016
- cross your arms over your chest and straighten them down twice;
- make a “table” out of the hands: the right hand under the left elbow, and the left hand under the chin;
- hit the left pelvic bone with the left hand, hit the right with the right;
- lunge forward on half-toes on bent knees, and at the same time make a forward wave with your hands;
- circle back with the right hand and step in place, then with the left hand and step in place;
- fold your hands into a “bottle” and pretend to drink, making a wave in both directions; nine0016
- take two steps in place, twist your finger at your temple and straighten both arms up.
4. Kill This Love Challenge
- Difficulty: 4 out of 5.
Suitable for fans of K-pop and fast movements. The challenge is inspired by a song by the Korean band BLACKPINK. The performer will need some choreographic skills. Or it just takes you a little more time to learn. But you can spin from the heart and throw out energy. The dance looks great when performed alone or with a group of friends. The music is very dynamic - the best thing is if a house party begins to fade. nine0003
@ayiram21##4♬ Kill This Love - BLACKPINK
Tutorial from Masha:
- Bend your left arm - the elbow points to the left, the fist is at the shoulder. Take a step back with your right foot and take your left hand back. Do the same on the other side;
- turn to your left side, pretend that you are holding a machine gun from which you are shooting. Simultaneously with the “shots”, do a slow wave back;
- put your foot on the toe and rotate the foot in different directions, “dancing” with bent arms near the body; nine0016
- straighten up sharply, turning to face the camera: hands behind head, feet together. Take your right hand up diagonally, and put the other on your belt;
- put your left leg out to the side, then put your left hand on your thigh and sit down on your left knee;
- make a circle with your right hand above your head, turn your right side in the same position, touch your left shoulder with your right hand;
- make three circles with your arm above your head and work your hip up. With two hands make a circle through the bottom, and then a point with the hands and thigh two times; nine0016
- step with your left foot, point downwards with your hand. Take your elbows back as at the beginning of the dance;
- gather your legs and put your hands in a frame, and then spread them apart. Make two waves with your body, lower your right fist to the floor.
5. WAP Challenge
- Difficulty: 5 out of 5.
This is the bomb. Complicated, but very effective bunch. If you are doing well with stretching, you can impress everyone. Practice the dance in knee pads if you don't want to get hurt. Some inexperienced dancers ended up in the hospital with knee injuries due to bad landings. WAP was created by professional choreographer Brian Esperon from the small Pacific island of Guam. This dance has high batmans, twine, twerk - a full arsenal of dance and gymnastic elements. nine0003
@ayiram21##5♬ WAP（feat. Megan Thee Stallion） - Cardi B
Tutorial from Masha:
- Jump in place with a leg lift: bent left knee to the shoulder, and then right straight up;
- sit in a grand plié and open your arms. Get on all fours, but keep your knees on the floor. Turn your head and pelvis to the same side;
- straighten up for a second: push your pelvis forward, take your arms and head back, bend your back. Then kneel down again in the "cat"; nine0016
- lie on your stomach through a soft wave: the right knee is in the “frog”, the left leg is straight. Hit the floor with your right hand and at the same moment lift off the floor and lower your buttocks to the beat;
- turn over your left shoulder onto your back, roll, opening your legs into a cross split. Get back into the "cat";
- walk three steps on your knees, alternately arching your back up and down;
- Extend your knees, make a big circle with your right foot and sit on the longitudinal split. Raise and lower your buttocks to the beat of the music. nine0180
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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 great at spinning, then you can be sure that your partner just 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 performing a dance 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 Lead (partner)
- Pay close attention to what is going on 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. nine0016
- 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’s about you.