For examination work it is necessary for students to know the amount of turn made on each figure and, in some cases, between each step. This is of little interest to the beginner as the amount of turn is covered by the descriptions and the diagrams. 


It is obvious, however, that a teacher or student training for the profession should be able to state how much turn is made between each step when a turn is used. The use of the fractions one-eighth and three-eighths may appear complicated at first but they are necessary to ensure accuracy.


It should be noted that the amount of turn is measured from the positions of the feet, which is a little disconcerting at first. It would appear to be easier to take the amount of turn from where the body is facing, but in practice this becomes even more complicated.


An instance of how the amount of turn is assessed can be taken from the first three steps of the lady’s Natural Turn in the Waltz. After stepping back diagonally to wall on the first step, her second step is placed to the side with the R toe pointing down the LOD. The amount of turn is, therefore, given as three-eighths of a turn, although the body has turned slightly less.


The keen student will soon observe that although the turn is continued with the feet on the outside of every turn, on the inside of the turns the feet are always placed with the toe pointing to the required position, and no swivel of the foot is used. This can be seen quite clearly in the diagrams and it is very important to observe this rule when dancing. The few exceptions to the rule are noted in the descriptions.


The following example is given to assist students:


Natural Turn (Waltz), Man – Amount of Turn


1/4 turn between 1 and 2.

1/8 turn between 2 and 3.

3/8 turn between 4 and 5, the body having turned less.

Body completes the turn between 5 and 6.


The man is on the outside of the turn on steps 1 to 3, and has a greater distance to travel, hence the continuing of the turn with the feet on this part of the figure. On steps 4 to 6 he is on the inside of the turn and will need no foot swivel.