Princess Dip

Type    DipLift (Variation)
Level     Level 4 Intermediate
Other Names    Hip Lift Dip, Air Dip
Comes From   Spin OutOpen Facing, Inside Turn,
Leads To   Push-off Spin, Sway Step,


This is a variation on the Basic Dip that looks impressive and especially great in photos!

Steps for leads from a Spin Out:

  1. Do a Spin Out with the follow to your right (an easy way to do this is from the Cuddle to Spin Out). Step back with your left leg as you do this to prepare a landing place for the dip (You don’t have any other footwork for the rest of this move!)
  2. Flick and release your right hand backward to spin the follow back in.
  3. Place your right hand on the follow’s mid-back as she is turning.
  4. Ensure that you are tightly hip-to-hip with your partner before you dip.
  5. Squat and twist left (very slightly!) to dip the follow. The follow should be resting on your right thigh.
    • Alternatively, you can “compress” your follow down like a spring by holding her waist and bending slightly at the knee. This is a clear signal to hop.
  6. Bring the follow back upright. Finish with one of the moves suggested above.

Steps for leads from Open Position:

This works from Butterfly Open Position and Open Facing.

  1. Footwork is L R L. The length of time after the right step will vary.
  2. Pull the follow toward you, sweep your right leg forward behind the follow’s leg, and place your right hand on the follow’s mid-back.
  3. Bend your knees, then pop up and step out to the left for a squat.
    • You may also have your left leg out to the left before you squat.
  4. Straighten your legs and bring your left foot back to your right foot to get out of the dip.

Steps for follows:

  1. On the spin, keep your weight over your toes and feet relatively close together to spin tightly.
  2. When you are face-to-face with your lead, grab onto his shoulders for support.
    • Shoulder with your right hand and forearm with your left hand also works and looks more open.
  3. If your feet are on the ground, lift and bend your left leg (the one on the outside) to make a figure “4.” You may bend either leg for the lift variation of this dip.
  4. If your lead wants you to do the lift variation, you will know if he “compresses” you down to spring back up. Hop onto his hip.


  • Leads can place their left hand on the follow’s upper back for extra support.
  • Do not twist excessively, or you risk knocking yourselves off balance and/or hurting your back. If you need to, the lead may take an extra step with their right leg for support just before the dip.
  • Follows should not jump into the Princess Dip. Even for the lift variation, you only need a little hop (if any) to get yourself up on your partner’s hip. Never, ever jump and tilt your body backward. Instead, hop upright and let the lead guide you to lean back when you are secured.
  • With confidence and experience from both partners, you can experiment with letting go with one hand–the lead’s left & follow’s right hand. It’s not critical to the dip. I’ve even seen the lift variation of this dip with no hands!


  • Lift variation: Use more momentum and squat deeper to get the follow to raise her legs up for a lift dip.
    • You should be hip-to-hip for every dip, but it is even more critical for lifts to keep that tight connection for balance.
    • In some cases the follow may have to hop to get up onto the lead’s hip. The hop is straight up and not jumping into the lead, or you risk knocking him off balance.
    • Follows may bend either leg. For extra support bend the outside leg and place it against the lead’s upper arm. Point the toe of your other leg toward the ceiling.
    • Leads, if your follow has a taller torso or is taller than you, air on the side of caution so she doesn’t hit her head on the floor. Modifications for taller follows include squatting a little less and relying on the momentum, or using resistance from your right hand to keep her from tilting fully.

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