Outside Spin

Waltz Outside Spin

The Waltz Outside Spin is a Silver level figure. This online reference gives a detailed description of the dance steps, including timing, footwork, alignment, and movement; steps diagram; a list of figures that may precede or follow the pattern; and videos providing instruction and demonstration of the figure, techniques and practice routines that include it.


  1. Count 1: LF back in CBMP (small step) | DC against LOD, toe turned in | THT | 3/8 to R on 1 (pivot) | -- | CBM | -

    • This is outside partner. Leave RF back in CBMP, to give lady room to get by.

    • Start by turning right from the knees up. Upper body is twisting right much faster than feet.

    • This is a very small step. Then just swivel the left foot.

    • Rotation is much more in the base area (waist down to feet), leaving right side through diagonal. Do not over turn upper body.

    • Keep head on your own left.

  2. Count 2: RF fwd in CBMP, OP | Facing against LOD | HT | continue to turn | -- | CBM | rise e/o 2

    • Maintain CBMP stepping forward on RF, step behind the lady (step outside the lady, otherwise the leg is going to block lady and knock her off balance), give lady a chance to come around and close before stepping back and pivoting on the LF. This feels like a rock turn to the man.

    • Really drive deep. Sharper rise to make Lady close her feet.

  3. Count 3: LF to side ending with LF back | FDC, end FDW | TH | 3/8 btwn 2-3, 1/4 on 3 | -- | up, lower e/o 3

    • Step side, ending with frame aligned with feet.

    • Do not overturn body at the end, which will make it hard to collect and brush feet for the following reverse turn.

    • The twisting of upper bodies will get both out of each other's ways.


  1. Count 1: RF fwd in CBMP, OP | Facing DC against LOD | HT | Cont. to turn R | -- | CBM | start to rise e/o 1

    • Outside Spin can start from different alignments. This is starting from Facing DC against LOD (with a full turn), it could also start from Facing DW, or Facing DW against LOD. (See notes below for amounts of turn when starting in different alignments.)

    • Think about stepping "behind" Man's feet.

    • Outside Spin vs. Spin Turn action:

      • Spin Turn action: the left side of Lady is the axis for turning.

      • Outside Spin: the right side is the axis and center for the turn.

    • To tell if it's an outside partner spin turn or outside spin, be patient and wait. Outside Spin has an earlier and sharper, accelerated rise (and the axis is on Lady's RF).

    • Relax right shoulder down, turn center and spine to right foot. Weight is centrally strong on R side.

    • Don't lose R side connection to Man. Really work hard to give R side to Man and it will look like you didn't change, otherwise, R side pull away from Man.

    • Take head to widest point, following the elbow.

    • It's important to keep the left side up and not drop left side, otherwise it feels heavy to Man.

  2. Count 2: LF closes to RF | Facing wall | T | 5/8 btwn 1-2 | -- | cont to rise on 2

    • Stretch and keep R side to Man. Do not drift into Man's space. Allow L arm to rotate and get in front of body.

    • Head turning: gradual, smooth. Starting head on left, as body changes shape during pivot, head changes. Head turning helps the spin.

    • As the feet closes (make sure to close feet), keep center to Man, the waist area down is still continuing to rotate (hip continue to rotate which gives room for Man to step), then body catches up with hip and foot in next step.

    • During all steps, make sure R side is kept to Man, do not bend R side, stay with Man, so you won't cross Man's middle to wrong side.

    • Do not keep knees bent, finish rising during 2, don't pop up on 3

  3. Count 3: RF fwd, ending in CBMP | Facing against LOD, ending BDW | TH | 1/4 btwn 2-3, 1/8 on 3 | -- | up, lower e/o 3

    • RF step between Man's feet. Don't pop up.

    • Body catches ups, keep rotating and extending upper body (otherwise it pulls Man), don't rush to exit.

    • Lady sends R hip toward Man, needs to be really on RF, balanced, then lowering R knee and prep to go LF back. Do not rush off.

    • Shaping: create shape by sending middle of body forward, head turn to R, do not go to R and get in front of Man, also do not lean back from lower back. shape is from sternum up.

Underturned Outside Spin

Outside Spin could be underturned to end Man Backing DC (Lady Facing DC). Amount of turn would be:

  • Man:

    • 3/4 from BDW: 3/8 on 1, 3/8 between 2-3

    • 1/2 from BDW against LOD: 1/4 on 1, 1/4 between 2-3

  • Lady:

    • 3/4 from FDW: 1/2 between 1-2, 1/4 between 2-3

    • 1/2 from FDW against LOD: 3/8 between 1-2, 1/8 between 2-3

When Outside Spin is underturned, the foot position of step 3 will be "side and slightly back" for Man and "diagonally forward" for Lady as in step 6 of Natural Spin Turn and step 3 Closed Impetus.

Preceding Figures

  1. Back Lock

  2. Cross Hesitation

  3. Drag Hesitation

  4. Hover Corte

  5. Left Whisk

  6. Progressive Chasse To R

  7. Reverse Corte

Following Figures

  1. Closed Change RF

  2. Natural Spin Turn (when ending DW)

  3. Natural Turn (when ending DW)

  4. Reverse Turn (4-6)

  5. Reverse Corte

  6. Reverse Pivot

  7. Turning Lock (standard Turning Lock or Turning Lock to R after overturned Natural Spin Turn; or Turning Lock to R, when ending BLOD)

  8. Basic Weave (approaching a corner)

  9. Left Whisk (RF back into Left Whisk)

  10. Turning Lock to R (if ending Man backing LOD)

  11. Hover Corte