"Dancing Tid-bits" Issue #146, Thursday, June 5, 2003

Dancing Tid-bits
What is a Three Step Turn?

Most turns in ballroom dancing require 3 + 3 steps to accomplish a 3/4 turn to left or right (Reverse and Natural). So, when I heard this term for the first time in Latin dancing, I really did not understand the real meaning of it. Then, I realized that the turning concept in Latin Dancing is quite opposite to Ballroom.

As you know in Waltz, etc., if a man wants to turn right he goes forward on right foot to initiate the turn. In Latin it is just opposite. If you are turning right, you initiate the turn on left foot. This creates a spiraling effect and you know that a Spiral is nothing more than a complete turn just on 1 step. For example step forward on RF and make a complete turn to your left on this one weight change. You will notice that LF will spiral (wrap around) in front of RF and you have done a RF Spiral. Actually this is a Silver Figure in Rumba for Ladies. Similarly, you can do a LF spiral which will turn to right and the right foot will wrap around the left foot. That is how a lady starts steps in Rope Spinning.

So, What is a Three Step Turn? I want to keep it simple. To me, a Three Step Turn is simply a turn in Latin where you make a 'spiral turn using three steps'. Let's see some examples.

1. Three Step Turn to Right: Step forward (or to side, anything goes in Latin) on LF, start turning right and now step RF and then step LF making a one whole turn or more if you wish. You have done a Three Step turn to right.

2. Three Step Turn to Left: You will step forward or to side on RF and then complete turn to left on next 2 steps, LF, RF.

What is a Turning Chasse? If you turned in the same direction as the initial stepping foot and then brought feet together and finished the turn on the 3rd step, you have technically done a turning Chasse. No doubt when the feet got together there was a spinning effect. This turn was introduced to me as a "Chanee Turn" but I have never seen it written in a text book and don't know if this spelling is correct. I have conjured that the word is a combination of Chasse and Spin. Here also, we have used three steps to turn but are we going to call this a Three step turn?

So now, you! tell me what is a Three Step Turn? Or ask it to your teacher and see what kind of pandora's box you open.

This article is part of and should be seen in the frame context of Dancesport UK, Tid-bits