Sliding Door

Type    Combo
Level     Level 5 Intermediate
Other Names    Back-to-Back, Side-to-Side, First Look, Peek-a-boo, Hammerlock Shuffle
Comes From    Butterfly Open PositionSpinneroo, Pretzel (half)
Leads To    CuddleTabletop, Sliding Door Dip, Pretzel


Dancers go back-to-back and lean side-to-side to look at each other. This is a personal favorite because you can make funny faces at each other.


  1. Begin with Butterfly Open Position, then Spinneroo the follow to your right. Spring back away from your partner a little after the Spinneroo to create momentum to launch you into the next step.
  2. Step your left foot to the side as your rotate your body to the left. Rotate your hands clockwise to unwind them and bring them low when you are back-to-back with your partner. Your feet should be in a somewhat wide stance, matching your partner.
  3. Continue the momentum to the left for the first “lean and look.”
  4. Lean to the right, switch your hands when you are back-to-back so getting to the right is comfortable.
  5. Repeat again on the left, again, switching your hand hold.

To finish, do the last half of the Pretzel:

  1. Lean right and turn to your left, bring your left arm up for the follow to spin under it.
  2. Turn right under your own left arm.
  3. Bring your left arm between you and your partner to do an Inside Turn to Cuddle.


  • If you turn your hands palms up it will be easy to switch grips through the move.
  • Between steps 1 and 2, pulling back a little bit creates enough tension for the forward momentum needed for step 2. It also helps the follow continue the momentum through to the opposite side without getting confused about which way to look first.
  • Look at your partner on each of the “lean and look”s. Not only is it guaranteed to get them to crack a smile, but it will help you get to the full extension.
  • Don’t lean back on the “lean and look”s, instead lean only to the side.
  • The best number of leans to do is three. If you accidentally go to four, continue to an odd number (five is good) and the hand positions will be the same to get out of the move.


  • Sliding Door Dip
  • Other ways to start:
    • Hammerlock, or Half Pretzel – the lead brings the arm in front of him over his own head, and guides the follow to the opposite side. This also allows you to start to the left or the right depending on how you get into Hammerlock.
  • Other ways to get out of the move:
    • Leads, let go of the hand behind your back after the last look, and turn back toward your connected hand. It’ll feel like starting another lean (I’m not specifying left or right here because this is good for even or odd numbers of “lean and look”s).

4 thoughts on “Sliding Door

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