Wedding Dance Curriculum – Part 3

Today it's all about turns! 

We teach On the Spot Turns for leaders and followers and Traveling Turns for followers. We also show a few variations.

The 3rd video is about Brushes. This technique definitely goes into the "optional" category. It's nice when it's done smoothly but if it's not smooth it's...well, terrible. There is no middle ground here.


Everyone will expect turns in their choreography, so here they are!

The turns are relatively simple and the couple has had some experience with turns already when learning the basket.

The mistakes we observe while teaching turns are:

  • A tight hold rather than a finger touch hold. This makes the turns look awkward at best, but it can very quickly hurt the followers. We keep a very close eye on the hold!
  • Wrong height. Instead of going around the head some leaders will lead from way above the head. It's uncomfortable and unbalancing for the follower.
  • Anticipation of the lead. This mistake from the follower can happen anytime in the dance, but this a good time for the follower to hone on her following skills. The leader's hand raising is not a signal to turn as quickly as possible.

Traveling Turns

The traveling turns are a little more challenging and for this reason, we don't teach them to everyone. They are great to cover the floor and give a great flow to a routine but are not strictly necessary to a choreography.

All the advise that we give for the Spot Turn are relevant here. We also want to make sure that the leader stays close to the follower and accompany her travel. If he stays on the spot while she travels away from him at some point he will unbalance her.  


There are many variations to this technique. Over the follower's head, over the leader's head, left or right of the head, straight hold, crossed hold, elbow high, elbow low...

We will only show 1 or 2 of these variations. Keep it simple!

As I said earlier these techniques are nice when they are executed properly and smoothly. Some couples get them straight away, some need practice and some will always look like they are starting to fight...

2 key things to remember here:

  1.  The leader's arms should be very relaxed and hold no tension at all.
  2. The follower should keep her head up and straight, no ducking under the leader's arm.

Any comments or questions please use the box below!

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