Type Aerial, Lift
Level Advanced 7
Comes From Open Position
Leads To Open Position


In the full combination of this move, the leader swings the follower from side to side, then holds her upside down above his head like a candlestick in its holder.

This aerial is quite a show stopper! I do encourage you to try this at home, but follow safety guidelines first and foremost. There’s a guy who killed his partner doing this move with her, because he lost control and dropped her right on her head. Sorry to be a downer, but I need you to take safety seriously. I want you to do cool moves, but I need you to do them well, okay?

In fact, let’s start with some tips that will help you be successful:

  1. Be sure you have the overhead clearance to do a move like this. Ceiling height should be greater than the combined height of both partners, and not directly under any hanging lights or fans.
  2. Be sure your dance hall allows aerials. Some bars and clubs ban moves like this one for safety and liability reasons.
  3. Communicate clearly with your partner so they know this move is happening.
  4. Don’t attempt this while drunk. I’m serious. Don’t be that person who ruins it for everyone else.
  5. Practice this move thoroughly with your partner before trying it in a social setting. Even if you and your partner have done it before with someone else, I recommend practicing it first.
  6. Practice with a spotter. Also use tumble mats if available. The spotter should stand behind the lead.
  7. If there’s any hesitation about going upside down, just do the easier variation.


  1. From Butterfly Open Position, Spinneroo the follow to the right. Step across to switch places with her.
  2. Put your hands over your head a la Break Up, and quickly let go of her hands and hold on to her lower waist above the hip (thumbs forward) and squat down to prepare.
  3. As you straighten your legs, use your momentum to help her jump and guide her legs to your left side. Squat again at the moment of impact.
  4. Repeat on the right, guiding her to the right. From here on out, thrust your hips forward when you straighten your legs to help continue the momentum.
  5. Repeat down the middle, the follow will open her legs and straddle you.
  6. Give an extra big hip thrust forward to help her do the next part where she goes upside down.
  7. When you get her upside down, her head will be on your right shoulder, and you will need to keep her balanced. Walk to balance if you need to.
  8. Bring her back down to straddle. Very important, do not skip this step!
  9. Pop up one more time, and push her out so she lands on the floor. Reach for hands in an Open Position.


  1. When the lead does the Break Up, thread your hands behind his neck for stability.
  2. You have to hop to get up on the lead’s left hip.
  3. Your legs should be straight when you are on his hip. It’s the same for all–left, right and straddle. You can bend your legs as you move, but it’s not strictly necessary if you bend at the hip to get around.
  4. When you’re going upside down, keep your elbows bent and put your head on his right shoulder. Point your legs in a figure 4 when you’re up.
  5. Don’t forget to open your legs again when you come down to straddle again!


  • Ensure you have clearance overhead to do this move.
  • All of the power to do the move comes from momentum and hip thrust.
  • If the lead puts his thumbs right above the curved line of the follow’s hip bones, that is the best place to hold.
  • The lead should aim for the follow to land on his hip for each of those steps.
  • The follow should not flail or move around when upside down–all smooth movements will help your lead keep your balance.


  • You can modify the move to decrease the difficulty:
    • Go up at a 45-degree instead of fully upright. No balance required.
    • Leave off steps 6-8 so there’s no upside-down part.

4 thoughts on “Candlestick

  1. Hi there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my facebook group?
    There’s a lot of folks that I think would really enjoy your content.
    Please let me know. Cheers


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