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7.4 Definitions And Nomenclature

PIVOT
SPIN
CHAINE’
SPIRAL
SWIVEL
PADDLE TURN
HOOK TURN


PIVOT

take a step, heel-flat-ball, and once all your weight is on that foot, rotate on it. Feet never close. Keep other foot in extended 5th position – – throughout with knees and thighs together, hips under, shoulders down.

Traveling pivots are 1/2 turns on each step. Travel on one line. On backward half of pivot, don’t drop onto heel – stay on ball of foot. Practice traveling pivots in 5th position, CBMP. On last pivot, land in 3rd position with back knee bent.

In the ballroom world a “pivot” is defined as being made on one foot – the man’s BACK foot – with the other foot held in CBMP. It is a stronger turn than the normal natural and reverse turns. Stronger is used and the stronger rotation results in the pivot being made with less progression and without rise. The Waltz “natural spin turn” consists of steps 1-3 of a natural turn, a pivot for the man on step 4 (lady has a pivoting action) and a spin on steps 5 and 6.

Pivoting around a “pivot point:” a pivot point is a foot that could be nailed to the floor and you could still complete that turn. For example, consider a spot turn to your right in (say, int’l) Rumba. On count 4-1, you place your right foot to your right side. Now, drive a railroad spike through your foot (ouch!), but not so deeply that you can’t lift the foot a little bit up and down. Notice that you can *still* complete the turn, despite the screaming (8-). The foot you nailed to the floor is the pivot foot; that is, you pivot around that foot.

SPIN

First wind up and swing inside arm without letting the elbow go behind you, then swing outside arm and leg together. For 1 foot spins, draw free foot in, point toe, come out in 3rd position.

In the ballroom world a “spin” is made on the man’s forward foot. The spin is made on the ball of one foot while the other foot is kept sideways until weight is placed on it. You turn about your own axis with no sway. A spin turn is a two step turn.

It is a stronger turn than the normal natural and reverse turns. Stronger CBM is used and the stronger rotation results in the pivot being made with less progression and without rise. The Waltz “natural spin turn” consists of steps 1-3 of a natural turn, a pivot for the man on step 4 (lady has a pivoting action) and a spin on steps 5 and 6.

CHAINE’

CHAINE’ (sheh-NAY) turn – A spin done on 2 feet, 2 steps – close ankles tightly. Traveling chaine’s are: step onto your left foot, do a full turn with your weight remaining on your left foot, then step onto your right foot. The entire turn is done on one foot. forward, together, forward, together. (Feet close on the “together.”)

Both Chaine’s and Pivots will give 1 full turn in two steps. The pivot will visually be very smooth. The chaine turns will have a snappy look.

SPIRAL

SPIRAL – end up with legs crossed, supporting leg behind. Used by women for a 2nd turn on the S S in Country 2-step.

SWIVEL

SWIVEL – a turn executed on the ball of the supporting foot, executed on one foot, in one spot. Chicken Walk – Outside turn swivels Jive Walk – Inside turn swivels Sugar Foot – ?

PADDLE TURN

PADDLE TURN – In a paddle turn to the Left, your R foot “paddles” – pushes or rotates you around your supporting (Left) leg. A paddle turn to the left would be three steps LRL. Pushing off the R foot, turn 180 degrees on the spot as you step on the L. You should stand straight, and keep your nose, shoulders, hips, and L toe all pointing the same direction (i.e. don’t twist or lean). Do not rise up on the ball of your L foot. In fact, you can bend the knees slightly to get better balance. Next, bring the R foot around and close it to the L. Then repeat the 180 turn, pushing off the R and stepping onto the L.

It is good to practice as 3 separate steps, stopping in-between to make sure you have the right amount of turn, alignment, and balance. Then gradually blend the three steps together into a continuous 5&6 QQQ, turning slowly at first, then turning faster. If you start to wobble, slow down and/or try again later. Don’t let your feet get too far apart during the paddle turn. Whether you start with the paddle turn or try spins early on, keep those feet close together! At first, you can step on a flat foot, i.e. toe and heel, then move to the ball of your foot to make the turning easier. Eventually, you’ll be able to increase the turn per step and double spin on a 5&6& count.

It is often easier to learn to spin by triple stepping, or ‘paddling’ through a turn, not just spinning on one foot. You can do a double turn on one triple-step as follows:

  • say you’re doing a right turn, turning on your right foot
  • kick-start yourself with your left foot (trip-)
  • the first time your left foot comes down (-ple) you are already facing forward, your left foot is slightly in front of your right, and you kick yourself into the next turn
  • the second time your left foot comes down you are again facing forward This double turn can function as 5&6 in WCS, follower’s turn, or simultaneous leader (R turn) and follower (L turn) on the 1&2 of ECS after a side (instead of a back) rock step.
HOOK TURN

HOOK TURN – You can hook one foot behind the other and spin. You can either leave both feet in place or bring the foot you hooked behind with around to do another on the next two beats. These are the ones James Brown does and it’s easy to stay in place with these. Spinning on one foot usually makes it easier to stay in one place too. To do a hook turn to the R from weight on the L foot, first place your R foot hooked behind and to the side of your L, and put half your weight on the R. Next, untwist your feet, turning 180 degrees to the R, keeping your L aligned with your hips, shoulders, and nose (i.e. don’t twist or lean). You should end up with all weight on your L. You can then continue turning with a RLR paddle turn, or 1/2 paddle turn RL.

ARCH TURN – ?

LOOP TURN – ?

SWIVEL TURN – ?

SWIVOT TURN – Hutch’s invention probably; this term is extremely useful.