Looking for info on spinning without spotting

My spins need serious work, and yet I cannot spot (eyes don't focus quickly plus neck problems). So I've been hunting for resources that might help, and not finding very much. All of the spinning threads I've found here talk mostly about spotting.

I found mention of one video, Turns & Spins by Kelly Buckwalter (now Casanova), which discusses a strategy for spinning without spotting. But as far as I can tell it's no longer available and I can't find any copies for sale or at libraries. I've emailed her to ask if she can recommend any other resources, but no response yet. If anyone has seen that video and can summarize what she says, that would be great!

Thanks in advance for any pointers or words of wisdom...


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given how often I forget to spot and it still works, I would say that my main focus is about establishing balance over the axis of my foot, hip and shoulder and making sure that I do not turn until that has been established...that is an oversimplification of something we have pages of posts on ...if you will do a search...and welcome
I have done quite a bit of searching here, actually - while there is lots of discussion on spinning, most of it ends up discussing spotting. I know there are other techniques, I just haven't been able to find much info on them. Maybe I'm just not searching for the right keywords?


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it is possible...look for not only spins but go back and run through the archives in ballroom where most of the technical threads are located


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My spins need serious work, and yet I cannot spot...
Hi janineanne, please excuse my english, what do you mean by spinning: solitary vueltas (as in salsa or modern dance) or swivel turns with your dance partner (as for instance in viennese waltz)? If you mean the former than it should got to do with your hip angle.


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You just learn not to get dizzy.

Sorry, I know that's not really helpful, but for skating that's what we do because 99.999% of people cannot spin and spot on skates (the tiny fraction who can look VERY strange, especially the .00001% who can spot WHILE JUMPING.) For me, it goes with 1. not focusing my eyes on any fixed point, and 2. maintaining as vertical an alignment as I can from the top of the head down
Thank you Larinda, I will read those threads!

To answer opendoor's question, our primary dance is West Coast Swing, so the majority of my spinning issues are there. But we are working our way through most of the major dance styles so all styles will come up eventually.

My big problem isn't getting dizzy, although that does sometimes happen. I struggle with balance, with going the right direction, and with having enough "oomph" to keep going if the lead wants me to spin more than once. So pretty much every aspect of spinning, I think. :)

I will be back if I have more questions after reading the above. But if there is anyone out there who has seen that "Turns & Spins" video I would love to hear a summary of what she says on it. Her website says she is re-filming all her videos to put them on DVD so maybe it will eventually be available again, but there's no date on that note so it's hard to tell how much of a priority project it is for her.


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Here are my tips for success in spins:

1. Take small steps. With certain exceptions, it's harder to control a spin when your steps are too big. Especially in WCS, where you don't need big steps anyway.

2. Stay very upright, with all your body parts in alignment and eyes level. You can learn to shape and do arm stuff when you spin, but at the beginning keep your axis as straight as possible from front to back and side to side.

3. Use your core muscles--pull your tummy muscles to your spine and squeeze your legs together.

4. Think from the opposite side of the body. If you are spinning to your left, think about bringing your right side around, like it's trying to catch up with your left side. Of course, that's impossible because you can't fold in half vertically, so you spin instead. Think dog chasing its tail.

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