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Spins and Turns
Rotation and the Sides of the Body
Two Sides of the Body

The body has two sides: The left side and the right side. These two sides of the body have a constant, ongoing relationship as you move.

From the standpoint of rotation, each of the two sides of the body can do one of two things:

  • Move Forward
  • Move Backward
  • Remain in Place

The type of turn depends on which of these three actions each of the sides of the body takes. Based on this, the resulting action of the body as a whole can be pure progression, pure rotation, or a combination of both.


When both sides of the body move forward equally, the result is pure progression.

When one side of the body moves forward while the other moves backward, or when one side moves forward or backward while the other remains on the spot, the result is pure rotation.

When both sides of the body move forward with one side moving faster than the other, the result is progressive rotation.
Two Types of Rotation

For our purposes, we will be thinking of rotation as being one of two varieties:

Spot Rotation

Spot rotation occurs any time the body turns in place, without traveling. In most cases, this means that the body weight remains over one foot. It is possible to have spot rotation with the weight held between the feet (as in a "Twist Turn") or shifting slightly from foot to foot (as in a "Fleckerl"), but for this lesson we will be focusing more on the rule than the exceptions. Just think of spot rotation as rotation which occurs over a fixed point in space.

Progressive Rotation

Progressive rotation occurs as the body is traveling, and therefore takes place between steps, or over a series of two or more steps. Chain turns, Pivots, and even the Waltz Box Step are all examples of progressive rotation.

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