In the Straight Jacket Twist, the leader wraps the follower into a front cuddle and rotates side-to-side.
This move starts the same as the Cuddle Dip so it is helpful to know that move first.
The timing of this move is flexible to the lead, musicality, and number of repetitions you choose to do. In general, the counts land on the big beats (1 2 3, not the &s). The instructions below are for a standard 3 twist combo, which keeps the lead and follow expectations consistent (The Rule of Three!).
- Get into the Cuddle position, but instead of allowing the follow to get to your side, create a barrier with your right arm to keep the follow in front of the you. This step is the same as the Cuddle Dip. Be sure not to lunge so she doesn’t interpret this as a dip.
- Your left hand will come to your belly button to help control the movement and put the follow perpendicular (at a right-angle) to you.
- Keep your feet planted about shoulder width apart until the end.
- Once the follow is resting against your right arm, you want to alternate the position of your arms–if she was resting against your right arm and your left hand was at your belly button, you want to switch those positions to the other arm.
- The lead is similar to good form in boxing–follow through with your shoulder and twist your torso side-to-side a bit.
- Following the rule of three, she will be on your Right, Left, then Right, and then you will take one of the following exits:
- Exit A: Perform a Hammerlock turn.
- Exit B: Perform an Outside Turn that is lead at the hip. Whichever hand you extend last, deliberately place it on her hip or waist, and pull back toward yourself. The other hand will perform the turn. If you follow the rule of three and go RLR, the Outside Turn will be standard. Otherwise, it’s the opposite hand.
- Exit C: Perform a Free Spin that is lead at the hip. Bring both hands deliberately to the follow’s waist or hips, and whichever hand is in front pulls back while the other pushes forward. Push/pull and release. Extend a hand just before the follow finishes her turn to reconnect.
- You will interpret this the same as the Cuddle Dip at first, but no lunge = no dip. Generally, the lead will switch arms within one beat anyway.
- Keep your feet in the same place on the dance floor for each twist, but shift your weight onto your toes and bend your knees slightly to make the twisting comfortable.
- The footwork for the spin at the end is the same as all other Outside turns (1 & 2 &).
- It helps if you don’t anticipate the type of move it will be and number of reps, but instead go when and where your lead directs you.
- Leads (Especially shorter leads): Instead of keeping your feet completely planted, you could alternate lifting the toe of each foot. It will be more comfortable and help you to twist.