Underarm Turn 1 (Gent steps to his right)
The above shows one way to do an underarm turn. Here the man steps off the track to his right. Another version is shown on the next page where everything remains the same except the gent steps off the track to his left. Actually, the latter is the easier of the two.
In either version, the man steps off the slot on 1. When the man steps out of the track, the lady knows that she is going to the other end of the slot. In the way we have been speaking of it, the door is open so she goes to the other side. When the gent raises her right arm on count 2, she knows that not only is she going to go to the other side of the slot, but also, she is going to turn under his arm. The gent signals the direction of the turn with his left hand. Here the direction is left (meaning the turning person's left shoulder is leading to the back).
In the underarm turn, the lady turns on 3 & 4 (3 steps on 2 counts, again notice the "&" represents a step. Two steps would be written and spoken as "3 - 4", not "3 & 4"). The lady does not spin like a top on one foot, but actually steps three times. While turning, the lady travels to the other end of the slot where she does the second triple step on 5 & 6 (There's the "&" again).
While the lady is turning and traveling on 3&4, the gent gets back in the slot on 3&4. Note that a particularly athletic lady could turn twice here on the same 3&4 counts (not shown in the video). If the lady were to double turn instead of single turn, she would have to be led to do it , which means that the gent would have to keep his hand over her head and allow her to complete the second turn. Ordinarily, the gent's hand would come down after the 1st turn but often if a lady wants to double turn , she will resist the lowering of the gentleman's hand, which is fine. Most ladies cannot complete a double turn in so short a time and should not be concerned if they cannot do it.
The lady turns on 3&4.
The gent's hand is directly
If the lady turns more slowly and does not complete the rotation by the 4th count (either single turning or double turning) , she may use one or two steps of the last triple step to complete the turn without sacrificing the "look" of the move.
Grip Adjustment: The gent and lady have to adjust the hand to hand grip while the lady is turning. Hand to hand contact is never broken, but rather loosened to permit the lady to turn. If the grip remains unchanged during the turn, the lady's arm will torque and she may sustain injury. It is difficult to explain in writing, so try to figure it out in practice.
6-Count west coast swing foot rhythm (6 counts, 8 steps)
with descriptions in quotes for the Inside Underarm Turn
one two three four five six
("back & to the
side out of slot")
("raise Lady's arm")
("back into slot")
("turning and traveling")
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