Spin Against the Wall

West Coast Swing Online Spins & Turns

In order to spin effectively, you need to control your legs so they don’t throw off your balance. In this drill, you will practice keeping your feet close to your centerline as you progress through chaines turns.

In general, people are good at controlling their forward step. When you have to finish your spinning motion, however, the trailing leg can flail out instead of traveling through your center line. This drill uses the wall to provide immediate feedback on when your leg is escaping from your body.

The Drill: Find a length of wall that you can keep to your side as you spin. If you are spinning to the left (as in the follower’s inside roll), you should stand with the wall to your right side. When practicing right spins, stand with the wall to your left.

Stand with your shoulder close to, but not touching, the wall. Prep yourself for the turn: if you are turning to your left, your left foot should be forward (still close to the wall) and your right side should be open.

Begin your chaines turn by stepping forward with the foot closer to the wall (i.e., the back foot) as you close that side. You should be able to step the foot past your prepped foot without kicking the wall.

As you finish your rotation, the foot that was prepped needs to travel down the line, and it will pass between your supporting leg and the wall. Because this happens on your back side, it’s easy to let the leg flail out during this part of the spin. If you do that, you’ll find out quickly—because your leg will kick the wall.

Practice controlling your leg until you can pass it underneath your center and avoid kicking the wall.

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