You may be asking: what in the bananas is a “Switch Turn”??? If you googled it, you’ll find yourself in a land of electrical wall switches! No No No. Here, we are talking about a turn that is similar to the “Spot Turn” (which has a stroking leg action as you turn), but in the case of the “Switch Turn”, you nail your toe in place while you turn. AND its real awesome-ness is that you get a huge amount of technique in your body by practicing it: Swivels, Walks, Side Walks, Forward Walk Turning, and more! Let’s take a look at the do’s and don’ts for this step… Fasten your dance belts, ladies and gentlemen!
Mistake #1: Bouncing-A-Lot
Practice Tips – Keeping the Body Level:
1. Make sure your knees are straight when you land/ shift weight onto that leg.
2. Start the turn by swiveling on the ball of your foot and keeping your leg straight.
Mistake #2: Collapsing to Outside Edge of the Feet
Practice Tips – Using Inside Edge of Feet:
1. Keep contact with the floor using your big toes at all times (NOT the outside edge of the pinky toes).
2. Keep your turnout throughout: USE these exercises to improve your Latin turnout
3. Make sure you keep working your inner thighs forward/ heels forward, especially during the swivels.
Mistake #3: Moving the Foot on the 2nd Step
Practice Tips – Anchoring the Foot on the 2nd Step:
1. For Switch Turns to the Right:
As your left leg crosses over, Anchor your Right BIG toe on the floor the whole time.
2. For Switch Turns to the Left:
As your right leg crosses over, Anchor your Left BIG toe on the floor the whole time.
Mistake #4: Keeping Your Weight In Your Heels
Practice Tips – Keeping Weight Over Ball of the Foot:
2. Engage your core by imagining that you are pulling your abs into your spine.
3. Keep your pelvis strong by engaging your glutes. Check out these exercises for glute strengthening!
4. When you slouch, the tendency is to roll your weight into your heels. So, counter that by keeping your spine tall and stretched!
Mistake #5: Indirect Eye Line
Practice Tips – Keeping Eyes Direct:
1. Keep your head stacked directly above your spine and your eyes looking forward.
2. Look in the direction your shoulders are facing.
3. Keep your eyeline straight ahead.
A Final word about the Switch Turn/ Spot Turn:
The best way to practice is to use our DanceInsanity.com videos, DUH! 😉 But another great way to practice is to video yourself before and after. Are you brave enough? I can only do so much via the web, that’s why we have our Yups and Nopes so that you can train yourself to self correct with this method. Can you say, “I’m improving so fast, it’s INSANE”? Yes you can!
Of course, there’s also: foot timing, hip action, hand styling, arm styling, face styling, using your seventh chakra to levitate seven inches! (pre-requisite: 20 million hours of meditation) – how do you practice those? Drop me a line below and I’ll enlighten you on all your dance needs! 😉
PS: Practice this step in Cha Cha & Rumba.