Ok, so we all understand that if you’re going to learn to ballroom dance then you HAVE to learn how to turn. There is not one single dance; ballroom, Latin, or Rhythm that does not have turns in it, so that being said lets break them down and understand how to properly do them.

First, you have to understand what connection your head and your hips have to with turns, so let me start by saying the most common misconception is that turns are done with your feet. Yes in fact the turn is “mechanically” completed by your foot placement, and yes your feet have a part to play in the turn, just don’t solely rely on the fact that your feet will get you through the turn smoothly. Your hips are the center of your body which carries a lot of momentum, so it is safe to say that concentrating on the continual rotation of your hips through the entire turn is quite important. If you’ve ever been out dancing and seem someone (woman or man) do a turn and they look as though they’ve had one drink…after another….after another….after another then one of two things is at play. One:  they are thrusting their hips forward into the turn trying to force the turn to happen or two:  they’ve had one drink after another…after another!!!  Either way don’t do what they’re doing, slow down, and when doing a turn think about keeping your hips moving from start of turn to finish, same tempo all the way through.  So again your hips are going to manage the constant momentum of your turn.

Your head is even more important in understanding as well as regulating through your turns. The crown weight is the upper back part of your head, this carries more balance then any other part of your body, especially when in motion. If you’re asking yourself “how is that possible?” then try this quick little exercise.  Put your feet together, think about the upper back part of your head (your crown), now lean it back without pushing your hips forward to keep your balance…..(jeopardy Theme)… started to fall backwards didn’t you?  That’s because like a tower that’s top heavy, if even a small amount of weight leans even a little past it’s center of gravity, or past it’s foundations point of balance then it will topple down. Now if you’re still skeptical, then try the same exercise but this time bring your crown weight forward (without dropping your chin)………yup started to fall forward. So now you understand the importance that your head, and hips play in all turns, plus if you tried either of those exercises in public you’ve gotten giggled at a bit as well. So go forth and turn ’til your hearts content, just do it with patience, balance, a whole lot of practice. And as always enjoy and have fun with it!

Filed under: Dance Tips

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