Natural Spin Turn

Waltz Natural Spin Turn

The Natural Spin Turn is a Newcomer Waltz 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: RF fwd | FDW | HT | Start to turn R | Sway(S) | CBM | Start to rise at end of 1

    • Need to "lower and drive forward".

    • Don't lean to the right, when getting into the turn; struggle against that and put left side more forward. Spine tilted left, hip to Lady, so it won't gap.

    • Do not turn feet when rotating/twisting the frame (CBM).

    • Think about stepping forward through step 2, don't start turning too soon. Start turning as you come out of your first step, not as you go into it.

    • In Natural turning figures, Man achieves the turn more through position.

  2. Count 2: LF to side | BDC | T | 1/4 between 1-2 | Sway(R) | Cont to rise on 2 and 3

    • Rise on toes, it will help to bring the feet together on 3rd step.

    • Have continuous swing of the leg through the step.

  3. Count 3: RF closes to LF | BLOD | TH | 1/8 between 2-3 | Sway(R) | Lower at end of 3

    • Collect at the end of 3 and then drive straight back on next step.

  4. Count 1: LF back | BLOD, toe turned in | THT | 1/2 to R (pivot) | Sway(S) | CBM | No rise.

    • Foot is placed turned 1/8 to right to prepare for turn.

    • Pivot is made on toe. Heel is place on ground to stop turn.

    • Although footwork "THT" - Heel is in contact with floor during turn.

    • Roll up onto toe to generate movement into step 5.

    • Variation: at corner, this step turns 3/8, another 1/4 between 5-6.

    • Feet end in the same track, to avoid running into the follower's feet.

    • CBMP is maintained through the end of this step.

    • The leader's step is small, so that the follower can get around him. Leader maintains one track.

    • Head stay far left.

  5. Count 2: RF fwd in CBMP | FLOD | HT | Cont to turn | Sway(S) | CBM | Rise e/o 5

    • This is a large step, as the leader is on the outside of the turn. Avoid tendency to rise up on toe too soon, as this will negatively affect timing and balance. (Heel lead and rise up on toe completely, don't drop to heel too quickly to get into next step.) The rise and the turn happen together.

  6. Count 3: LF to side and slightly back | BDC | TH | 3/8 between 5-6 | Sway(S) | Up, Lower e/o 6

    • Be sure next step is straight through under body, it is common to swing the leg out a bit on the next step but this is not correct.

    • Variation: at corner, turn 1/4 between 5-6


  1. Count 1: LF back | BDW | TH | Starts to turn R | Sway(S) | CBM | Start to rise e/o 1, NFR

    • When preceded with the preparation step, the twist in the upper body to the left in preparation step should lessen as you collect onto RF and then to this step 1. Continue to twist upper body to R.

    • CBM: different ways to think about this: left shoulder forward to the Man; turn right shoulder. Do not pull Man. Lift up left hip to Man, open door for Man to pass easily.

    • Big driving step (just bigger, not a faster step), toe may turned in a little bit. it's more like side and slightly back in order to give Man room to step his right foot. But be careful not to change the direction of travel - it is still back, not to side, Follow the size of the Man's step.

    • Do not lose frontal curve, sending middle center forward to Man, do not stick butt out. keep spine upright, not leaning forward or backward.

  2. Count 2: RF to side | PLOD | T | 3/8 between 1-2, body turns less | Sway(L) | Cont to rise on 2 and 3

    • Swing right side up. Move RF a bit faster to get out of the way, pay attention not to be back-weighted. Do not place RF till Man does. Step RF first before moving body.

    • This step will end up more diagonally forward than to the side. (Otherwise, there will be gap.)

    • This is not a re-drive step. Let the effort from 1step flow.

    • Body turns more and leave head "behind" (i.e. keep head in position and turn body underneath) to increase layout and extension. Changing head smoothly. Stretch head back.

    • Use sway (in response to the Man's lead). Keep more left. Send middle/rib/hip forward. Do not get into Man's space.

    • Keep feet on the floor with pressure to help maintain balance.

    • More extension, taking body/side to Man more, breathe, do not hold breathe and get stiff. soft frame, finish head.

  3. Count 3: LF closes to RF | FLOD | TH | body completes turn | Sway(L) | Lower e/o 3

    • Stay left. Keep the feet with pressure on the ground in order to maintain balance on your toes when you collect on 3

    • Show off extension between 2 & 3.

    • Collect (controlled lowering) at end of 3, knee start going fwd, not down to prep for next step - drive straight forward.

    • Even when rising, Lady's knees are still flexed, do not lock it. bend the knees slightly forward to counter balance Man. Man rise on knee/leg more. For ladies, it's more about extensions, not as much on rising on knees. Hips forward to Man.

    • Extension: leave head where it was; spine more to the left (not just bending back) Send middle forward.

  4. Count 1: RF fwd | FLOD | HT | 1/2 to R (pivot) | Sway(S) | CBM | No rise

    • Start by connecting the shoulder and weight down to standing leg (L leg) and then drive. Do not lead with upper body.

    • RF forward, CBM, strong, large, driving step, as follower is on outside of turn on this step. do not twist ankle when step. Step first, then pivot, L leg trailing (together with R leg, no big gap), keep legs rotating as one unit so the partners' feet do not collide.

    • Left side strongly forward down LOD using CBM. The momentum is moving forward. Not stationary CBM. Do not drop left shoulder. imagine nose passing left elbow (otherwise you'll invade Man's space), follow elbow. Do not square off during the turn. stay very left.

    • It's very important to keep leg contact: Lady's R thigh to Man's R thigh.

    • Should end this step with feet maintaining separate tracks, there needs to be enough room for leader to step between the follower's feet on the next step.

    • Variation: at corner, this step turns 3/8, another 1/4 between 5-6.

  5. Count 2: LF back and slightly side | BLOD | T | Cont to turn | Sway(S) | Rise e/o 5

    • Take a big step side/back on LF (help to stay behind Man) with pressure on RF toes to maintain balance; stay left.

    • After stepping LF back, pull center back, use strong action to continue turning and collect/brush RF.

    • Keep head strongly left all the way down LOD, keep head at outside circle, need to consciously do that so head won't get into Man's space. Send rib and hip forward to Man. Keep head distance with Man, keep the volume of the frame. Man counter balance.

    • Man has CBM, Lady does not. When RF brushes to LF in next step, LF is on the ball.

    • Lady: Rise is taken from ball of LF. Rise is the reason RF will brush to LF.

    • Brush RF to LF and collect R hip, so Man can pass over. Keep R side (body contact) to Man.

    • Stay balance on the foot until Man leads you to come out.

    • Show off extension again.

  6. Count 3: RF diagonally fwd after brushing to LF | FDC | TH | 3/8 between 5-6 | Sway(S) | Up. Lower e/o 6

    • During brushing, ball of RF (not Heel) is in contact with floor. Collect/track LF under body before stepping fwd in next step, to avoid ronde kind of look.

    • Lengthen L side, stretch

    • Diagonally forward gently; don't put foot out too early. Push from LF and RF should slide out more. So RF is not "short".

    • Have the middle of body go forward to Man and keep leg moving, but leaving head behind which creates more extension, then head catches up.

    • Don't pause body, just leave head behind.

    • At this point, both Man and Lady should be on their own balance. Lady: hips up to Man.

    • Extension: rotate to right, extend. Then, collect, when feet are together is when shoulder is flat, then CBM the other direction

    • Variation: at corner, turns 1/4 between 5-6 (earlier pivot would be 3/8 instead of 1/2 turn).

Technique notes

    • First half is same as Natural Turn. Practice the rocking action ("pivoting"), keep legs "closed", don't do side steps when pivoting.

    • Do rise & fall as much as your partner does. Always stay on your partner's right side.

    • Shaping variation (456): Lady turns her head to R (keep R side of body to Man and not peel off).

    • Natural Spin Turn can be underturned: 3/8 for pivot, then 1/4 between 5-6.

    • Compared to Closed Impetus: (last finishing part is the same)

      • Spin turn: pivot action, then LF goes "back" and slightly side. 2 phase figure (drive on 1, re-drive on 2 for greater amount of turn). It turns around continuously; like spinning around a hinge, turns more than Closed Impetus. Enter closed, existing outside partner position.

      • Closed Impetus: Man stops "short" and Lady does "side step". 1 phase figure. Enter closed, exit closed position.

    • Natural Spin Turn flows into Lock step very well.

Preceding Figures

  1. Basic Weave

  2. Chasse From Promenade Position

  3. Closed Change LF

  4. Closed Telemark

  5. Natural Turn

  6. Outside Change

  7. Outside Spin

  8. Turning Lock

  9. Weave From Promenade Position

Following Figures

  1. Reverse Turn (4-6)

  2. Reverse Corte

  3. Reverse Pivot

  4. Turning Lock (standard Turning Lock or Turning Lock to R after overturned Natural Spin Turn)

  5. Basic Weave (approaching a corner)

  6. Left Whisk (RF back into Left Whisk)

  7. Turning Lock to R (after overturned Natural Spin Turn)

  8. Hover Corte