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Waltz Lesson 7: Under Arm Turns.
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Practice CD


Lesson 7: Under Arm Turns

Tips for Men

Step back before guiding the woman under. Keep your free hand at waist level. Snap your fingers and hold your hand in that position. Don’t allow the “claw” or "gunslinger” look to develop. Keep your thumb positioned on top.

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Tips for Women

When entering the Under Arm Turn, keep your elbow down and go under the bend of your own wrist.

Retract your elbow and hand of your free arm in toward your own body as you go around in the turn. Your free left hand should be kept at chest level with your fingers gently bent, middle finger depressed and thumb dropped.

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Man's Part


Woman's Part


LF Fd Man's part consists of 2 box steps. RF Bd


RF Sd . LF Sd


LF Cl . RF Cl


RF Bd Raise LH allowing woman to turn under her own RH; gently guide her under with a RH finger lead. LF Fd beginning to walk in a circle for 6 steps.


LF Sd . RF Fd along circle.


RF Cl . LF Fd along circle.


LF Fd . RF Fd along circle.


RF Sd . LF Sd along circle (should be facing partner once again).


LF Cl . RF Cl completing circle.


RF Bd . LF Fd


LF Sd . RF Sd


RF Cl . LF Cl

Turn Turn Turn

Turns are what add character and pizzazz to dancing. Think of the energetic Swing dancers of the 50’s twirling around in seemingly endless patterns. Though you can only turn in two directions, to your right and to your left, you can achieve hundreds of variations through the use of different hand holds in Open Position.

Arch Turn

An Arch Turn or Outside Under Arm Turn can be performed by both the man and woman. For the woman, an Arch Turn is a full turn right under her own raised right hand, while for the man it is a full turn left under his own raised left hand. The turn is so named because of the appearance of an arch formed by the woman’s right arm and the man’s left.

Woman’s Arch Turn

Raising the woman's right hand directly over her head, the man leads her to turn right with a gentle push with his right hand on her back. This is not a shove, but rather a gentle pressure. Men, imagine that your right wrist is resting on the outside edge of a large circle with your fingers continually pointing toward the center. As you push with your hand, the woman will proceed to turn as your wrist follows that imaginary circle. The woman’s right hand should press up once it passes eyebrow level in order to keep her from being clotheslined, and she should turn under the bend of her own wrist. The man should hold her right hand loosely and allow it to turn in his left hand as she completes her turn.

Man's Arch Turn

Men, hold the woman’s right hand directly over your own head, allowing her fingers to turn inside your hand. Now, turn to your left to complete the Arch Turn. No death grips gentlemen! Don’t grip your partner’s hand so tightly that it twists off during your turn.

Loop Turn

A Loop Turn or Inside Under Arm Turn can be performed by the man and woman. However, the man’s Loop Turn is more advanced in nature and will be reserved for a more advanced course. For the woman, a Loop Turn is a full turn to her left. Her right arm is drawn across the midline of her body, forming the appearance of a loop with the joined hands of the couple.

Click here to proceed to Waltz Lesson 8.


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