Side Lean

Type   Lean
Level   Level 4 Intermediate
Other Names
Comes From   Shadow Position (lead in front, hands low), Double LassoBelt Loop, Loop, Inside Turn (right-to-right)
Leads To   Shadow Position (lead in front), Lasso (right-to-right)Belt Loop, Open Position (left to right, front facing)


For the Side Lean, the leader positions the follower beside him in a low cross-handed position, then lunges to the side to have her lean against him and wrap her leg around him. It is very stylish and flirtatious. This is similar to the Back Lean.


  1. Get into Shadow Position with you in front and follow on your right. Do an Inside Turn with basic footwork so you wind up offset with your partner, then exchange your follow from your left hand to your right hand and step through to the right.
    • Alternatively, you could do a Double Lasso
  2. Inside Turn the follow again, this time with a right-to-right hand grip. Halfway through the turn, put your right hand on her right shoulder.
  3. As the follow is passing behind you, let your hand slide down from her shoulder to her hand, and tuck it to your right hip and hold it there.
    • Ideally you stay hip-to-hip for this part for the best leverage. If you lose that closeness and/or need to reach for their hand behind your back, you can pull both hands into place and your follow onto your hip on the next step.
  4. When the follow is on your left hip, place her left hand on your chest and step out to the side with your right foot and lunge in one smooth motion. The follow will lean against your side.
  5. Straighten your right leg and step your right foot to your left. to come out of the lean.
  6. End with one of the moves suggested above.


  1. Follow the momentum through the first part, and step left until the lead is on your right side.
  2. Spin in place on the right-to-right inside turn.
  3. When the lead has your shoulder, maintain the connection with that arm. You are responsible for keeping your arm extended so he can trace down to your hand. Step to the left while this happens. I like to end this part facing my partner, or you can be a little behind them facing the same wall. Your right hip will be a little behind your partner.
  4. On the lean, tuck your left leg around the lead’s thigh.


  • The key to the set up is to get your hand grips low.
  • You will have the best leverage for the side lean if you are hip-to-hip just before the lean. If the follow has to rush into the lead’s hip, she could compromise his balance.
    • Better to add a beat to set up this move than to rush through it. Just slow it down there, and it will look sexy and intentional.


4 thoughts on “Side Lean

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