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There are three primary types of rotation that affect ballroom dancers. The better we understand these forces, the better we can understand how they affect not only ourselves, but our partners. And that improves the way we move together.

Ballroom dancing is about two people moving together perfectly as one, in time to musical interpretation. This element of moving together is the most challenging to master, and that's why the ballroom genre always seems to be so hard when top dancers from other fields attempt this style. We can easily manage dynamic forces on our own bodies, but add another body to the mix and suddenly things that seem effortless become surprisingly difficult.

A moving object generates and deals with multiple dynamic forces. You have the force of momentum, which follows the direction of travel. In ballroom dancing we call this "body flight." There are side-to-side forces like Sway. Movement that travels upward, whether side to side or forward and back is known as Swing. All of these are relatively easy to deal with, even when working with a partner. Where things get interesting is when we begin to rotate.

There are three types of rotation that affect dance movements:

  • Moving Rotation, such as turning the body in CBM to step outside your partner or lead a turn.
  • Circular Rotation, such as the Double Reverse Spin or Standing Spin.
  • Torque Rotation, when the body is twisted in order to accommodate the partner connection.

This article looks at all three of these in more detail, to help experienced dancers create more connected rotational movement.

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George Pytlik

Author George Pytlik

Before turning pro, George achieved impressive results as an amateur competitor, holding the Senior (30+) Latin championship in BC, Canada for 7 consecutive years with his wife Wendy. The couple twice achieved a top-3 Canadian ranking in Senior Latin as well as a 3rd place Canadian ranking in 30+ Ten Dance. Today, George and Wendy are professional teachers with a vision of growing a strong dance community in Delta near Vancouver, BC.

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