Rolling Count for Spins

West Coast Swing Online Spins & Turns

When the music has a rolling count, the timing of your & steps should adjust to match. Most of the time WCS dancers discuss rolling count in terms of the triple step, but the same principle applies to spins. This drill will work on applying a rolling count to your chaines turns.

Before we dive into drill, let’s review two key ideas for the rolling count. First, the rolling count divides our two-beat unit into two beats of three parts, which we count &a1&a2.

Two beats of rolling count

Second, when we step between beats of music, we want to step closer to the following beat: on the a, rather than the &.

The Drill: You are going to dance chaines to a rolling count. First practice without music. The spin will happen on each beat-& while stepping down the line will happen on the a. Thus, you are thinking:

  • a: Step forward and prep the turn.
  • Beat: Close your feet and execute the first 3/4 of the turn.
  • &: Transfer weight in place to free your inside foot for the next step as you complete the final quarter rotation.

This will create a pulse to your spin with an emphasis on the start of each turn. As you become more comfortable the exact timing of the weight transfer (the &) may shift. However, do not let the a come early; the entire point of the rolling count is to push the a later in the beat.

Once you can execute that rhythm within the spin, put on a slow rolling count song to practice. Remember to practice spinning in both directions!

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