Barrel Roll

Type    Spin
Level     Level 2 Beginner
Other Names   Shoulder Roll, Barrel Turn
Comes From    Open Position
Leads To    Open PositionSpinneroo


In a barrel roll, partners are in open position and spin around at the same time with hands connected the whole time. They go back-to-back and face-to-face quickly.

Steps below are given for leads.

  1. Begin in Butterfly open position.
  2. On your backstep (beat 3), bring your hands to the right to prepare.
  3. On the next count (1), swing your arms to the left and overhead in a rainbow arch between you and your follow.
  4. Connect your right shoulder to your partner’s left shoulder, and roll across to the other shoulder as you continue the arm motion to make an arch overhead. You both turn with quick steps 1 & 2 &. 
  5. End in Butterfly open position with you back step on beat 3.


  • Keep your hands directly between you and your follow. If they are over your own head that means “I turn,” and if they are over her head that means “You turn.” “We turn” is the message you want to send so aim for between.
  • Connecting at the shoulder, while not strictly necessary, is helpful in preventing injury from over-rotation.


  • This can be done single-handed as well from either Open Facing Position, or Open Facing Right-to-right Handshake. This works best with some momentum behind the move that comes before.

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