Turning Lock

Waltz Turning Lock

The Waltz Turning Lock 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 (1/2 beat): RF back, R side leading | BDC | T | -- | Sway(L) | start to rise e/o 1

    • Thigh and hips are 1/8 to R. (not turning feet)

    • Angle through diagonal, head stretch leftward. Poised diagonally forward. Do not pull back.

  2. Count & (1/2 beat): LF crosses in front of RF | BDC | T | -- | Sway(L) | rise on 2 and 3

  3. Count 2: RF back and slightly R | BDC | T | start to turn L | Sway(S) | --

    • Rotate through the hips, pivot RF and turn, make sure Lady stays with you.

  4. Count 3: LF to side and slightly fwd | Pointing DW | TH | 1/4 btwn 3-4, body turns less | Sway(S) | up, lower e/o 4

  5. Count 1: RF fwd in CBMP, OP | FDW | H | -- | Sways(S) | CBM | --


  1. Count 1 (1/2 beat): LF fwd, L side leading | DC | T | -- | Sway(R) | start to rise e/o 1

    • After end of previous step (often, Natural Spin Turn) which is ending R side lead, connect R shoulder down. Really swing L side forward, let L hip and L side come diagonally forward (feels like shoulder rotating to R) sooner, changing it to L side lead. Not simply sticking LF fwd, the left side has to come through.

    • L side leading, but left is not the driving side. The driving side is actually from standing leg and right lat muscle at end of previous step.

    • Man starts opening up body and shaping to R, leading Lady to turn body/head to R

    • Don't think about dancing around the Man, think about dancing "through" the Man.

    • Keep all step size in sync with Man.

    • Middle of body stays with Man, keep contact and fill in the space

  2. Count & (1/2 beat): RF crosses behind LF | DC | T | -- | Sway(R) | rise on 2 and 3

    • Glute forward, don't sag. head weight to left.

    • Both knees are flexed, cushioned. Both feet on toes, soft. Make sure weight is over ball of RF, soft, cushioned. Use the ankle and knees to push out.

  3. Count 2: LF fwd and slightly L | DC | T | start to turn L | Sway(S)

    • Be very ab aware when rising, pull center back and stay on your own balance.

    • Body dancing forward, arms to partner.

  4. Count 3: RF to side and slightly back | BDW | TH | 1/4 btwn 3-4, body turns less | Sway(S) | up, lower e/o 4

    • This is closed finish.

    • This could end in PP (after RF brushes to LF) in which case, head shape to right in its space. Do not turn head too fast or too early.

  5. Count 1: LF back in CBMP | BDW | T | -- | Sway(S) | CBM | --

    • Next step, Man will step OP.


    • Turning lock curves gently forward,

    • In Turning Lock, foot rise comes before body rise (rise on count 2 LF, or end of 1& on RF).

    • Last step of preceding Natural Spin Turn:

      • Footwork for will be the normal TH for Man and Lady.

      • It may be shaped to the man's left, leading the lady to turn her head right.

    • The Turning Lock may end in PP, see Outside Change ended in PP.

Preceding Figures

  1. Closed Impetus

  2. Natural Spin Turn

  3. Outside Spin

Following Figures

  1. Wing (when ended in PP)

  2. Weave From Promenade Position (when ended in PP)

  3. Cross Hesitation (when ended in PP)

  4. Natural Spin Turn

  5. Natural Turn

  6. Closed Wing

  7. Chasse From Promenade Position (when ending in PP)

  8. Left Whisk (when ending in PP)