Inside Turn

Type    Spin
Level   Level 1 Beginner
Other Names     Right Turn
Comes From    Basic Step (closed position), Fall Through DipCuddle DipDouble LassoBow and ArrowHigh Five Spin, Arch, Ravioli Twist,
Knee Throw
Leads To  Basic Step (closed position), Belt Loop
ArchCuddleOutside Turn (Right-to-right), Open PositionHigh Five SpinArm Push Spin, AZ Winter, Knee Throw, Can Opener, Princess Dip,


The inside turn is very simple. The leader signals an inside turn by bringing his arm between him and his partner and then above the follower’s head.

When a move is initiated on beat 3, the sequence is extended to 4 beats to accommodate. Therefore, footwork for this is a modification of the basic step, it’s “L R L R, R L R L” or “1 & 2 &, 3 & 4 &,” then return to the basic step at the conclusion of this move and begin counting again from 1. By adding that extra Right step, you allow your partner time to get around smoothly and they stay in front of you instead of ending up far to your right.

Steps are given for the lead.

  1. Begin with the basic step for counts “1 & 2 &”
  2. On beat 3, take the first right step and bring your hand through the middle of you and your partner.
  3. The follow will turn over two counts (3 & 4 &), as you do the footwork “R L R L”
  4. If the lead walks with his follow to the right, she should stay in front of him and they will automatically be in closed position again.


  • It’s common to confuse the terms Inside Turn and Outside Turn. The difference is in whether the lead brings his hand outside the frame or inside the frame to do the turn. This is important to note, especially when you start doing these turns from cross-handed positions.
  • If you ever lose the footwork, just keep stepping on every beat “1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and” and try to maintain closeness to your partner. Another option if you end up too far away is to launch into the Belt Loop.
  • Leads:
    • Keep your hand directly over your follow’s head during the spins.
    • Do not grip your follow’s hand until and unless you are making an emergency stop. Your follow can spin more freely if you keep your hand open or cupped so her fingers can rotate inside your hand.
    • For multiple spins add extra steps in the direction of the spin to follow your follow’s motion. This elongates the sequence to 4 or more beats. The more spins you do, the more this will resemble a moon orbiting a planet rather than a line.
    • Be careful not to yank your hand away when you want her to stop, but deliberately bring it down as she is completing the spin and she will know to stop. If she goes into a second spin there’s no good way to stop it, so just let her complete it and then bring your hand down.
  • Follows:
    • Spin on the balls of your feet with small steps, but keep your heels low to the ground.
    • To brake, you can plant your heels, or use a small step back (rock step), springing off the ball of your hind foot. This second method is useful in combos.
    • Think tall to keep your center of gravity over the balls of your feet.
    • Tuck or extend your free arm so it doesn’t get trapped under your partner’s arm when you complete the turn and return to closed position.


  • Lead into the Open Position by catching your follow’s free hand at the end of the spin and take a back step (rock step) after to launch you into the next move. 
  • You can also reverse the spin to do an Outside Turn at the conclusion of the inside turn. An easy way to lead this is to have your right hand out to the side ready to push off the follow’s shoulder when she completes the turn.
  • You can also do the inside turn with a cross-handed position. The mechanics are the same.
  • Use a hand substitution in the middle of the spin to get in or out of Open Facing Right-to-right (Handshake Grip).

Combo Ideas

  • Cuddle Turn Combo: When you begin in open position and keep your hands connected, this is called a cuddle turn. This looks good when you go into Cuddle, then unwind your arms to repeat it on the other side.

26 thoughts on “Inside Turn

  1. I am really impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Anyway keep up the nice quality writing, it’s rare to see a nice blog like this one these days..


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