Lady's Inside Underarm Turn

He gets out of her path
on count 6

She is turned towards him
even though she is
traveling perpendicularly.
"Try never to lose sight
of him."

Half turn...

...half turn. He is
already touching her
back...

...half turn. She will
miss him with her elbow

Going the other way:
He is out of her
path

She is looking at him

Her body has started
to turn, but her head
and eyes continue to
face him

Kana: Ladies, keep your elbow down, so that you will not hit his nose. He will start turning you on 5. So, a lady makes a half turn on each step (5,6,7 = left, right, left). By the time she takes right foot back on 1 of next 8 count, she should be squarely facing him.

DT: The 8th count is a hold?

Kana: Yes. So the steps are on 5, 6, 7, hold, 1.

Again, come back on the same track, when you face your partner. Always keep in your mind that the track is a straight line on which two people are dancing together.

DT: A track sounds like west coast swing.

Kana: Similar, but in west coast swing entire dance is on same track. Salsa can change the angle or direction of the track.

DT: Helmut, other than thinking, what is the head doing?

Helmut: I think you mean for the one turning, and what is called "spotting the turns"?

DT: Yes. I would prefer "Gazing the turns", but "Spotting"is the usage, meaning fixating on your partner's face, or neck or whatever.

Helmut: On the turns, the "turner" looks at her partner even as her body is turning away. At one point it's like she is looking back at him. Then the moment comes when her turn forces her to take her eyes off of him. so she quick turns her head around to see him on the other side.

DT: And men spot the turns also.

Helmut: Yes, same thing. It looks better if you do that.

Kana: If you start with idea to keep eyes on partner as long as possible, you will spot the turn correctly.

Helmut: In a way, your body starts turning under your head, and your head turns later and quicker to catch up with and pass your body.

DT: Anything else?

Helmut: Another thing is to be careful that you keep her close to you while she completes 1 1/2 turns, instead of sending her too far away from you.

Kana: Ladies, try always to look at the gentleman, even if your body is not facing him. Try never to lose sight of him.

The Keys:
There are 4 underarm turns -- inside right and left, and outside right and left. The video shows the inside left underarm turn.

The underarm turn is a main figure in most dances. For an example of an inside underarm turn in Polish-American Polka, click here. To see one from balboa (a fast swing dance), click here

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