3a. Underarm turn

The gent leads this by raising the lady's right hand just before the 1st count. When the hand goes up the lady knows "this is an underarm turn." She walks through on 1 - 2, and she turns around on 3 - 4, followed by the ubiquitous backstep on 5 - 6. Since the lady starts on the 1 count, she needs the lead a fraction before the 1 count. Otherwise, she will get the message too late to step on 1.


As well as raising the hand before the
1 count, the gent directs it to signal
which way he wishes the lady to turn.

The gent can assist in the process by traveling somewhat around the lady so that she does not have to turn a full 360 degrees.

It's generally true that partners should adjust to the physical capacities of the other. For example, if a lady cannot turn 360 degrees in time with a fast song, the gent should accomodate for 270 degrees or whatever. A sure way to ruin the dance for the lady is to lead moves which are too demanding for her.

This page shows the counterclockwise underarm turn (viewing it from above looking down, the direction of the lady's turn is opposite that of a clock). Less common but equally fun are turns in the other direction, clockwise turns, sometimes called outside turns. The gent indicates which of the turns he intends by directing the lady's raised hand in the direction in which he wishes her to turn. If the lady misreads, or the gent misleads, it should be ok anyhow because the count is the same -- she walks on 1 - 2, turns on 3 - 4 and backsteps on 5 - 6 --- in either direction, clockwise or counterclockwise.

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