How to Improve Your Spins in Dancing

Posted on over 7 years ago

salsa_dancing_spinsIn this episode, we will provide you with three great ways to improve your salsa dance spins. While most of them tend to be 'known' to most intermediate dancers, we have noticed it does not get addressed soon enough to early beginners. Here are the summary of items this episode will cover:

  • Frame and Position

  • Dance Prep

  • Spotting

Frame and Position

Having a proper frame and posture is one of the key elements of becoming a better dancer. The lack of having a good frame, straight back, soft knees and keeping your chin up will cause you to not be in control of your movements and lose your balance.

Dance "Prep"

Short for "preparation", this is the main launching point for your spins. While turns and spins may technically be the same term, we do make a small distinction. We consider a turn a type of rotational movement that does not require a wind-up prep and whose axis of rotation can move in any linear direction. You can think of these as your traditional single right turns and chan turns (a.k.a traveling turns). A spin however, requires a prep (like a wind-up) and will generally stay on an axis with a fixed location (it does not travel). We will explain how your weight should move between the feet in order to perform a proper 'prep' for multiple spins.


Spottingis the process of delaying the rotation of the head, relative to the body's rotational speed, by keeping your visual focus on a fixed point in space (ooooo, I like when you talk nerdy to me). Spotting is an essential tool in order to reduce dizziness and maintain balance and dance direction, regardless on whether you are turning or spinning. Most ladies will be in partner position when spinning in salsa dancing, which means your fixed point should be your partner. A few benefits of spotting are (reference):

  • Keeps dancer oriented and aware of the movement, direction, and location of the body in space.

  • Prevents disorientation caused by lack of visual focus.

  • Increases the overall speed of the rotation.

  • Makes the spin appear much faster and sharper than it actually is.

  • Reduces dizziness associated with spinning.

Do Shoes Really Matter?

This is a frequently asked question among beginners. The performance of the shoes are only as significant as your ability to use them. Your spin technique is the most important factor that will most contribute to your dance spins. Good quality dance shoes do matter, but they they only come second to your dance technique.

There is a lot more explanation in the video, so watch, enjoy and share!

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