Belt Loop

Type   Turn
Level     Level 1 Beginner
Other Names   Back Slide, Belt Buckle, Waist Slide
Comes From    Open Position, Outside TurnTornadoLoop
ArchToss Away SpinSide LeanHip Push SpinStraight Jacket Twist
Leads To    LoopInside Turn, Cuddle, Cuddle DipTornado
ArchLasso (end Right-to-right), Toss Away SpinSide Lean,
Tunnel Tabletop Combo (end Right-to-Right), Shoulder Lean (RR),

Description

The Belt Loop (or Back Slide) is a spin for the leader. He turns into his own arm at the belt-line, and lets the follower trace his back to reconnect in Open Position.

Lead

  1. Footwork is the same as the Loop: L R L, with counts 1 & 2. Turn your left foot out on the first count, on the & bring your right to your left and complete the pivot turn, then rock step back on your left foot on the last count.
  2. Begin in Butterfly Open Position with both hands connected, or in Open Position with the lead’s left hand connected to the follow’s right hand.
  3. On beat 1, let go with the right, and place that hand on your heart. At the same time you step forward with the left foot, turning it on an angle outward to prepare the turn. 
  4. On &, step your right foot to your left as you turn 90-degrees to the left. Immediately move your left hand to your left side by your waist, ready for the follow to catch it as her hand slides off your back.
  5. On beat 2, rock back on your left foot. Let the follow trace your belt (hence the name), around to your other side as you turn to face her again.

Follow

  1. In the Belt Loop, you will walk one half circle around your lead counter-clockwise (CCW) from his left side to his right. Keep the circle tight and maintain connection with his body at all times.
  2. Footwork is RLR with counts 1&2. Pivot on the &, rock step on the last count.
  3. Your hand wants to find his again, so trace your fingers on his back with a flat hand until you feel his fingers again, then make a “C” hook with your fingers for him to catch onto.

Tips

  • As another dance instructor put it, bring your bellybutton to your hand, not your hand to your bellybutton.
  • If you’re struggling try this other visual, the lead will “karate chop” over the connected arm. The key is that the free arm has to go over the other arm and then reconnect with the free arm after the turn.
  • Both lead and follow: Maintain connection through the turn by tracing your partner’s back and then their forearm with your fingers. Curled fingers create a hook to catch at the end of the turn. Remember, your hands are always working to find your partner’s hands.
  • Styling: The lead can also put his right hand on his hat during his turn. Some guys with cowboy hats take it off and put it back on.
  • If you don’t catch the other hand, end with an inside or outside turn.
  • The Belt Loop is almost exclusively a turn for the lead, because the follow would need to back-lead or hijack to get herself to turn in the same way.

Variations

  • Use the Belt Loop to get out of an Open Facing Right-to-right grip.
    1. Turn Clockwise (CW), bringing your bellybutton to your hand. Put your left hand on your chest.
    2. Allow the follow to trace your back, and as you are coming around extend your left forearm for the follow to trace.
  • Use the Belt Loop to get into Open Facing Right-to-right grip. Same as above, but turn CCW and extend your right forearm.
    • Leads, I find that the clearest signal for this variation is to wrap your right forearm across your waist. That way, your follow is highly likely to catch it in time.
  • There is another move like the Belt Loop but with the arms arching overhead instead. I’m calling that one the Loop. The difference is mainly whether your arms are above and at the belt line, or only at the belt line. They can be combined together easily, for instance, a common combo is–belt loop for the lead, loop for the follow.
  • Another common combo is Belt Loop for the lead, Inside Turn for the follow.

21 thoughts on “Belt Loop

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