Crossed Arm Slide

Type   Transition Move, Position, ComboTurn, Circle
Level   Level 3 Beginner
Other Names   Bow Tie, Arm Slide, Double Arm Slide, Double Overhead Slide, Double Arch Bridge Slide, Butterfly
Comes From   Butterfly Open PositionOutside Turn, Tornado, Zig-zag
Leads To   Tabletop, Duck Under Spin, Double LassoWindowHigh Five Spin, Right-to Right Open Position, Tunnel Tabletop Combo, Gravedigger, Tunnel 


The Crossed Arm Slide is one of the easiest ways to get into a cross-handed position. The leader guides the follow to loop her arm over her head while he does the same, then they slide off to a right-to-right hand hold.

This move usually follows the Zig-zag, but it can be done alone, too. The steps below describe how to do it in the fewest number of counts, but it may be lengthened by adding counts in the over-the-shoulder position.


  1. Overall footwork is LRL (pause). Counts are 1&2. Steps and rotation are the same as the Zig-zag when done in the fewest counts.
  2. From Butterfly open position, step your left foot past your partner. At the same time, bring your arms up as you stretch them out, putting your left arm over your own head, and right over your partner’s head. Both partners’ arms will be stretched out over each others’ shoulders as they face opposite directions. This happens in one count in one fluid motion.
  3. To close out of the move, release your left hand and walk back, Right, then left together with a quarter-turn (counts &2) to connect a Right-to-right hand grip with your partner. The quarter turn will be toward your partner’s face.


  1. Footwork is RLR (pause), counts are 1&2. Steps and rotation are the same as the Zig-zag when done in the fewest counts.
  2. Step your right foot past the lead.
  3. At the end of the move (counts &2), step Left, then right together with a quarter turn to face your partner. 


  • Keep your arms low for the zig-zag, and then bring them up when you’re ready to do the arm slide. This makes the signal very clear to read.
  • For the arm slide, when you lift above your head and your partner’s head it should be at the same time and proportionate to your respective heights.
  • I’ve seen some leads keep their arms close for the zig-zag even when they have enough space–you can still do the move effectively, but it doesn’t look as good as a stretch would. If you have space, take it!
  • To get the right amount of rotation on the zig-zag, think about trying to touch shoulder-to-shoulder when you come in closer.


  • Zig-zag and the Crossed Arm Slide are usually combined into one small combo to set up cross-handed movements.
  • Stay in the over-shoulder position and walk in a circle. 
  • (Uncommon) Do it to the right instead. Set it up by doing the Zig-zag a odd number of repetitions.

11 thoughts on “Crossed Arm Slide

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