Question: How do I know that my partner is about to lead me into a double/multiple spin as opposed to just a regular right turn? What signals am I looking for so that I can prep in time to get the spin?

Answer:  A good lead for an axis spin vs a right turn should help you establish an axis with your right foot on whichever count you break back on. The leader shouldn’t flail your arms around. He should swing your arm slightly downward to create a preparation (you do this on your own either on 6 or on 1 – depending on the count you dance on) and then bring your arm upward so that you create an L-shape from forearm to bicep with your forearm on a slight diagonal. A regular right turn would involve you walking forward and pivoting instead of establishing an axis going backward.

Now, the best way to follow a good spin lead properly is by making sure your body moves as a single unit once that prep is initiated. If he preps you and your arm is not connected to your body, then the first thing to be set in motion will be your arm, not your entire body. If that’s the case, you are almost guaranteed to lose your balance or knock yourself in the head (which I have done before).

So, here are a couple of things to think about when a leader preps you for a spin:

  • Try to create a solid axis into your right foot for your right spin.
  • Make sure your spinning arm (the one connected to his hand) creates an L-shape with your elbow out on a diagonal.
  • Make sure your body moves as one unit.
  • Once you are ready to be spun, your shoulders, hips, knees, and feet should all stay in the same line and be squared up; if one moves, they all move.
  • Most importantly make sure that your arm remains comfortably in front of you throughout the spin; don’t let it stretch open behind you nor close in and choke you.