Spinning: Learning to Spot

Spinning: Learning to Spot

West Coast Swing Online Beginners, Spins & Turns

Spotting is a technique used to improve spins. Instead of letting the head turn with the body (which makes it easy to get lost in the spin), the dancer “spots” a particular point and keeps the head facing that point as long as possible. Then, the dancer quickly flips the head around and comes back to that point. In other words, while the body is rotating at a constant rate, the head remains focused on a single spot until it is necessary to turn around, at which point the head snaps around. For Spinning, learning to spot is key to success!

There are many advantages to spotting. In addition to keeping the dancer oriented during spins, spotting makes the spin look crisper and can even reduce the feeling of dizzyness from spinning.

Learning to spot requires becoming comfortable with having the head and body rotate at different speeds. That’s where this drill comes in.

Check out the Drill!

Sit in a chair that can swivel all the way around. Look at a point on the wall (or in a mirror) and slowly start turning the chair around while keeping your eyes on that point. When you can no longer keep looking at the wall, flip your head around in the direction of your chair’s rotation and come right back to that spot. Hold that spot as you finish turning the chair around.

The goal is to be able to smoothly flip the head around while maintaining a constant speed of rotation by the chair. Be sure to practice spinning in both directions!

Once you’re comfortable with having your head and body rotate at separate speeds, pay attention to how far you can turn your head before you need to flip to the other side. If your head starts tilting at an angle, you’ve gone too far! You should be able to keep your head level through the entire spotting process.

Bonus Variation:

If you can successfully spot while in a swivel chair, the next step is to rotate your own body rather than having the chair rotate for you. Stand up and spot the wall while turning yourself around. You can begin by simply shuffling your feet so that you rotate at a constant speed.

You can also extend this drill by practicing spotting during a chaines turn or spotting while rotating on one foot.

Have balance issues in your spins?

Want my favorite tip for improving your spins? Click the link below to get my favorite video drill for improving your spins. I will warn you it’s not ‘sexy’ but in my 20 years of teaching its proven to be a BIG KEY that good spinners can effectively do.  Go ahead and grab the video now and you’ll be on your way to improving your spins.


Improve your SPINS
for West Coast Swing

with this awesome video!