4a . Free turn (Cloverleaf)

Everything significant happens on the first count. After doing a basic (side, side, backstep), the gentleman crosses his left leg hard to his right and signals to the lady to mirror this move by bringing her right hand across.

The gent signals the lady to keep turning with a flick of her hand. A triple step is required to do the amount of travelling that is needed.


A flick of the hand
(sometimes called the
"turnstyle lead")
signals the lady to turn


The pair re-connect after the turn
just in time for the backstep

Sometimes the lady will not correctly read the signals to complete the turn, or perhaps the lead was not as clear as it needs to be. No problem, the man will turn, the lady won't, and the parties will hook up just prior to the backstep.

As mentioned, it is difficult to lose the count for too long in jitterbug because the backstep appears every 6 counts. If a dancer gets that "oh my gosh, I'm on the wrong foot" feeling, he/she should smile and shuffle because that backstep is coming in just a second or two.

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