How to Practice Turns in Ballroom Dancing
It makes all the difference to your popularity as a dancer in a dance class if you know how to make proper dance turns. Spinning is what women like the most about ballroom dancing; they love nothing more than a turn at the right time or a back spot turn while locked in their partner’s embrace.
So how to practice turns in ballroom dancing? Most beginners in dance classes turn or spin repeatedly without really understanding the mechanics of the movement. While they do get it right at times, they will never really be able to master the turn till they get coached out of the bad habits.
That’s why our instructors emphasize on the basics during the dance classes. To start off with, students are asked to step onto one foot and remain in balance for as long as possible. If they can stay balanced on a single foot, turning on it becomes so much easier.
To understand this, think of a line drawn from the center of your head down to your feet, separating the left and right halves of your body. To turn successfully one side should turn quicker than the other.
Think of your body as a door, the axis on which you turn is the door hinge and the opposite side of the body is the part of the door that moves. This side should move faster than the part of the body that’s connected to the hinge.
You will understand this concept better during your dance lessons. In a ballroom dancing, you will be trained to start the turn by rotating your base – hips and below. So if you want to turn to the left, step with the left foot, start the turn with it first. Then, turn the foot slightly to the left and lead into the turn – now allow the whole body to rotate.
This may seem complicated here, but you will learn the movement fast by visually following the instructors as they demonstrate it to you during your dance sessions.
Try to stay on the ball of the foot as far as possible. So as your weight is centered on the foot that is planted on the floor, you will be able to turn without tipping over.
Here’s what you should do to practice turning during ballroom dancing. Step forward onto the ball with the left foot, and turn the foot outwards as you do. Turn only slightly to the left using your hip and leg muscles – in other words, a quarter turn.
Now, can you stop and stay balanced on the left foot? Try to perform this action, at least 6 or 7 times in a row till you get it right. Practice both right and left turns with the left foot and repeat as often as you can. Increase the amount of the turns gradually in both directions, and gradually improve your balance. You will soon be able to turn with ease and with style. And when you do, that will make you feel really great about yourself!
At our studio we emphasize on spinning and turning as that is integral to ballroom dancing. Practice spinning and turning during your latin classes such as Salsa, Samba, Jive or Rumba classes as these styles often contain a lot of dancing apart. You’ll be able to enrich your routine and technique being able to solely control the turns which is a very important part of dancing.