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What is the Free Spin?
The Free Spin is simply a variation of the inside turn for the ladies, where the lead guides her forward and sends her into a spin, just as he lets go of her hand.
Guys, the footwork for the Free Spin is very similar to the cross body lead, with one exception. As you move on to the rail on counts 1, 2, 3, normally you would square up to your partner at a 90 degree angle and give her the line of dance. This time, you want to over rotate and face the direction you want her to go. To finish the step, follow up on the 5, 6, 7 and collect her.
Ladies, your footwork for the free spin is going to be identical to that of the inside turn. Start your basic as your normally would on 1, 2, 3. Then, on the count of “5&” the lead will indicate that he wants you to turn. When he does that, it tells you that you have to start initiating your turn by stepping forward on 6. In order to rotate to the left, you want to keep your bodyweight over your front right foot and pivot on it 360 degrees. From there, continue stepping forward on 7 and 1. As you come out of your Free Spin on 1, pivot on your right foot 180 degrees and finish your basic step traveling back towards your partner.
Tips for the Ladies
Keep those hips swivelling in your basic at all times. This will help you prep for your turns and be ready no matter what the lead throws your way. Without these hip swivels, you won’t be very responsive to the lead’s signals, making it both your life and your partner’s more difficult.
Leading the Free Spin
Fellas, as you approach your partner on 1, 2, 3, connect your right hand with her left wrist. Once you’re on the rail by 3, give her arm a gentle pull forward on “&5” and initiate the spin with a subtle inwards pull on “5&”. After you initiate the turn, let go of her hand and follow up towards her.
Tip: Guys, you can lead the free spin with either your right or left hand. It really doesn’t matter as long as you have the technique right.
Time to Practice!
The Free Spin lesson comes with two detailed video tutorials on the lead and follow’s footwork as well as a lesson on partner work technique and tips to avoid common mistakes. Try this move now, by logging in or becoming a member. Want to see more steps? View our intermediate Salsa steps here.