Ballroom Dance > How to make your spins look amazing????

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by Becca_Jellybaby, Jul 14, 2004.

  1. Becca_Jellybaby

    Becca_Jellybaby New Member


    Is it just me or is there anyone else finding the spinning aspect in latin extremely difficult? I generally try to "spot" and end up wobbeling my way through a spin...catching me off balance :roll: there are so many moves that include spins in latin, does anyone have any tips for me? In order for me to improve and move into higher latin training, I need to be able to spin, which seems like such a trek.....
  2. MacMoto

    MacMoto Active Member

    Hi Becca -- welcome to DF!
    Sounds just like me (except that my dance is salsa)... :oops: Welcome to the DF Spin Haters Club! :lol:

    Practice, practice and more practice. There's no shortcut to amazing spins, I'm afraid. Since I bought Edie the Salsafreak's "famous spins video" (highly recommended -- you can also read her articles on spins and posture on website), I've been following her advice and practising spins every time I go to restrooms. Apparently that's what she did when she had problems with spins in her early dancing days... I can't claim to be able to spin like her yet, but I have noticed some improvement in my spotting technique.
  3. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    I LOVE to spin!! A couple of tips for you:

    1. Make sure you're truly straight up and down. Make sure you're not sticking anything out!

    2. Suck in with your thighs and tummy.

    3. Don't try too hard--don't "throw" yourself into it or you'll be off balance from the start.

    4. To spin, think about bringing one side to the other. This is hard to explain in writing, but...if you want to turn left, think about your right side coming around to your left. Some people say to take your left side back, but this tends to leave your right side behind, resulting in a disjointed spin. Bringing the right side around gets the whole body to turn.

    5. Practice!! :)

    Good luck!
  4. DancingMommy

    DancingMommy Active Member

    I'm going to reiterate the advice to stand up straight and tall.

    Imagine, if you will, a string of clear fishing line pullng your head up, up. up. Relax your shoulders and when you are ready, turn your head first in the direction you wish to go, lock onto a "spot point" and like twnkltz advised bring the *other* side around to the direction you wish to go.

    It will help if you practice this at home....

    Put a little sticky note on the wall about eye level (or just above) and starting across the room, do the above till you meet the wall. Try to move across the floor as little as possible. The idea is to stay in one place when you spin in Latin (unless you are doing chenee turns or spirakl turns).

    For a spiral turn the technique is pretty much the same, but you wnat to complete the motion with your legs crossed. IOW, you would over turn to the point that your legs would be crossed. I know this is hard to visualize in print, UGH! Chenee turns wold be a traveling step much like your practice motion.

    To recap: Think tall and stay in one spot if possible!
  5. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    . . . but I do believe you need to be "into" your knees somewhat, and other little things sometimes . . . like thighs together . . .
  6. dave_aw

    dave_aw New Member

    I think another important point is that beginners usually try and 'pull' themselves round using their arms, but ideally you want to keep your body absolutely vertical and imagine moving your whole body as a single non-twisting unit. Keep the hips and shoulders in line and don't let them twist. Also make absolutely sure you are not poking your head forward in the direction of the spin - I've often seen people standing up straight but poking their necks forward.

    Simple test. Stand against a flat wall and ensure the back of your head touches the wall, as well as your buttocks and shoulders. Don't let the small of your back get too far away from the wall either - suck your tummy in so that your spine is as close to the wall as possible.

    Keep this posture!
  7. Becca_Jellybaby

    Becca_Jellybaby New Member

    Thanks everyone for all your help :D ! I'm sure that with enough practice I'll be able to master the art of spinning too :wink: ! Would love to be able to spin like some of the brilliant dancers I saw this year (my first year competing on the uni dance circuit...I'm still a newbie, so all help and advice you can offer me is always much appreciated :D !)...just have to strap on my dance shoes and get to it!

    x Jelly
  8. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    I have a question about spins: do smooth and/or rhythm dancers use spotting, or is it just a latin look?
  9. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    well spotting goes with closed foot spins, shaping a turn goes with open footed turns. So it doesnt mater which style you do, it matters what you do with your feet.

    Considering that rhythm and latin use tighter spins the feet would be close, thus spotting. Smooth uses a lot more turn that are like pivots and open footed, so shaping - not spotting.
  10. cl5814

    cl5814 New Member

    Can someone give a brief summary of the difference between spotting and shaping to clarify Larinda's point ?

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