Cuban Salsa: Four Step Right Turn – Pirouette – Pivot -Chaîné
Using four steps to walk a 360 degree turn is by far the most common way to turn in social dancing. This is surprising considering that Four Step Turns don’t count as a proper way to turn in any dance style, and they are not included in any textbook.
There are three common ways to walk a 360 degree turn with four steps: Four Step Pirouette, Four Step Pivot, Four Step Chaîné. Four Step Turns are most often failed Three Step Turns. The Follow try to walk 360 degree with three steps but fails. She is X-number of degrees short of doing the full circle. Step four closes the gap, and the Three Step Turn becomes a Four Step Turn.
Four Steps are ok
As long as step “4” only closes a few degrees to complete the 360 degree full circle, nobody will notice on the social dance floor. At a Practica Training Session with me, I notice right away!
Four Step Turns are much easier than Three Step Turns, and they are softer on knees and feet, and will work at any fitness level. Four Step Turns also work on any surface including sand and broken glass!
For those reasons, and in the name of inclusiveness, Four Step Turns should be accepted and taught as proper textbook turns. They are a necessity for some Follows and can be a handy option for even the best Follow.
Sometimes the best
Even the best social dancers sometimes use Four Step Turns for a special reason. Since Four Steps are easier and requires less preparation and effort, they can be made more smooth and elegant than the more demanding Three Step Turns.
Three Step Turns is the only good option if the intention is to make double turns or to get more dynamic flows of dancing up and running. But even the best Three Steps often have a tendency to “rock the boat” a little.
If we want a quiet and romantic dance with a lot of closed position, and especially to slow music, Four Step Turns, closing a small gap, are sometimes the best option.
Use Three Steps as default
If a Follow is fit for fight, without a knee or a feet problem, on a decent surface, Three Step Turns should definitely be the default.
Double Turns will suffer if the first step is not spot on. Or rather: If a follow cannot do the first 360 degree turn from an ideal start position, the Lead should skip a second turn from a less optimal start position.
If step “4” needs to close a gap of more than 10-20 degree, the Lead will sense, that the Follow is “heavy”, that she can’t do proper turns, and the Lead will adjust the level accordingly.
Leads love Follows that can step proper 360 degree turns with three steps. Little gives the Lead and the Follow more self-confidence and satisfaction than the feeling of spot on 360 degree turns.