Cross-Handed Open Position

Type    Position
Other Names    Handshake (Right-to-right variation), Upside Down Handshake (variation)
Level     Level 3 Beginner
Comes From    Basic StepCrossed Arm SlideSpinneroo, Tunnel Tabletop Combo, Ravioli Twist, Tunnel 
Leads To    Waterfall, Outside Turn, Tabletop, Lasso, Double Lasso, Toss Away Spin, Roll Off, The Chase, TornadoBow and ArrowFall For Me DipHigh Five Spin, Tunnel Tabletop Combo, Ravioli Twist, Tunnel 


In Cross-Handed Open Position, the leader and follower are connected right-to-right, and often with left-to-left as well. This position is important to a whole category of cross-handed moves. Steps in this article will teach you a few easy ways to get into this position so you can unlock many new moves.

Cross Handed Open Position with Upside Down Handshake

There are several ways to get into the Cross-Handed Open Position. Many times it comes from the end of another move.

The simplest way to get into it:

  1. Leads, begin in Butterfly Open Position, and keep the Basic Step throughout this move.
  2. Let go with your left hand, quickly bring it to the other hand to take hold of your partner’s left hand.
  3. Take your right hand, and reach over top to grab your partner’s right hand.

Another easy way is with a hand substitution during a spin.


  • Typically, you should be able to exchange hands to this grip within two counts or less, just before your back step to prepare for your next move.
  • Sometimes, you will need an upside-down handshake variation of this to set up the next move. For example, the Tabletop. This variation is included within the steps for the first part of each move that uses it.


  • When you’re coming off a move such as the Cross-Arm slide that leaves you in Open Facing RR (Handshake), bring your left hand over top of your connected arms.
  • Some moves may only require one hand to be connected. Typically, it’s the Right in Open Facing RR. 
Open Facing RR, a move related to the Cross-Handed Open Position

18 thoughts on “Cross-Handed Open Position

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