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Doing The Basic Left Turn With Checks

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The Basic Left Turn

The left turn is done counter-clockwise and is executed over one full basic (6 steps), so don’t rush your steps, or the lead!

Ladies Footwork for the Left Turn

To start the left turn, do the first three steps of your basic. On count 5, step your left foot towards 1 O’clock and push off of it, rocking your weight back onto the right foot so you can make a 180 degree turn with a pivoting motion and continue stepping with your left foot towards the back wall. On the counts of 1 and 2, step with your right foot towards the back wall and pivot to your left another 180 degrees until you are facing your partner again.

Leading the Left Turn

Fellas, begin the left turn with the first 3 steps of your basic. On the count of “and 5” shift the ladies hands slightly to your left and settle them down so you indicate to her that she should be heading towards her 1 O’clock. Next, leads raise their left and rotate their wrist outwards to initiate a gentle counter-clockwise left turn for the ladies.

What are Checks?

In the video above, the checks start at  the :13 second mark. This move begins like a basic right turn where the follow steps to 2 o’clock. Then, the leads, the sneaky guys that they are, are going to hijack the follow’s right turn to make the ladies do a cross over basic, a.k.a. checks.

Both of these moves are basic elements and like all basic elements, variations derive from them. Learn these well and we can quickly and easily coach you through additional variations.

The Footwork, Lead and Follow for the Checks

This move consists of the cross-over basic for the ladies and the back basic for the fellas. Ladies, the cross-over basic is a simple one. After the first 3 steps of your basic, step on a 45 degree angle out to the front on the counts of 5 and 1, alternating until you are given the signal to exit the checks. When the guys indicate that they want your hand, make sure you’re paying attention and give it to them. This is your cue to start the exit into a left turn.

Give This Lesson a Try

The full tutorial for this lesson comes complete with detailed instruction on the lead and follow techniques, common pitfalls, and tips to execute the left turn and checks flawlessly.

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Left turn with checks beginner salsa turn dance dojo