TurnSpotting or Spin Like a Man

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So it appears that the spin is in. I have not had to do a lot of spins in my day but that is changing. Certainly there are steps in the Viennese Waltz that are close and there are walk around turns but its not really the same thing. I’ve got a free spin in my Swing routine that has been the bane of my existence and the Tango opening now has some fast Viennese Crosses which require complete turns on my part. Not quite a spin but close.
But the topper was last night as I finally saw the entire shuffle routine (it is also called the triple two step). The basics of the dance are relatively simple and not very showy which does not suit 3 of 3 at all so she got some guidance from other instructors and pulled out a lot of stuff from her bag of tricks and I have two parts of that routine where we do free spins.
The one step looks like something I’ve seen in both Cha-Cha and Swing. She’s in front of me – facing me and I have a hold of her left hand with my right hand. We do a triple step with me on my left foot so my whole left side is towards her. Then we switch hands so I now have her left hand with my right and we do another triple but now my right side faces her. There is supposed to be some flourish and styling as we change hands but that will need work. Then we spin and come out of the spin and do it all again.
Conceptually, I like the idea and if we can pull it off, it will look rather cool. (OK, I should be optimistic and say WHEN we pull it off since we have until May) But after a couple of practice runs, I was getting pretty dizzy.
This also happened when I was doing the Tango steps with Z last time. She mentions some concept called “spotting” which I’ve heard of before but have never had to care about. You ladies may or may not be familiar with it. I’m assuming it is widely used within the Famous Franchise but I could be wrong about that. It seems to involve focusing on a single point down the dance floor and keeping your head there “for as long as possible”. Since the head eventually has to follow the body, you do have to whip it around and get it back to looking forward. I guess the trick is to not have your head move at the same time the rest of you is as that is supposed to keep you from getting as dizzy. We shall see but I’m not sold on it just yet.
I was told by Z that guys don’t get a lot of opportunity to spin so we are always behind the ladies on this point since there are many, many opportunities for ladies to spin in the various dances and so they tend to teach them this “spotting” early on. Don’t know if everyone gets dizzy but I can only do a couple of practice runs of these steps before I have to move on to something else – or take some time to let the room stop moving. So, if you’ve suffered though learning to spin, I know am starting to feel your pain.
But, as 3 of 3 says, country dances were started by drunk cowboys. If they can spin without throwing up all over the dance floor, then so can I. (Can’t 100% vouch for the drunk cowboy thing but that’s what she told me and I’m going with it) But, then again, we are doing this to “Drunk on a Plane” so maybe if I got a little dizzy and staggered around the floor, it would be consistent with the song.
I do like the routine she’s put together. It travels from one side of the floor to the other and back again and back again so it moves and I like things that move. Country dancing isn’t too popular in our area so maybe we can start a trend if we make it look cool enough.
Coaching lessons on Wednesday and Friday and I have another lesson with 3 of 3 on Wednesday (not sure how that came about) so it is another dance filled week.

One comment

  1. Wall – Spotting will definitely help you. I used to have a severe balance problem, due to my scoliosis (think crooked top trying to spin). While not great, my balance is better than it used to be, and I can spin without getting dizzy. That used to not be the case. Hang in there!

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