Cuban Salsa: Four Step Coca-Cola Left Turn
Traveling Three Step Turns are the default way to turn in Cuban Salsa, making it easy to turn both in the first and in the last half of an 8-count, at least if the Follow doesn’t back-step but walks forward on “1-2-3” as well as on “5-6-7”. A Three Step Turn simply means to use three steps to walk a 360 degree turn. A half turn of 180 degree between the first and the second step, and another half turn of 180 degree between the second and the third step.
The reality is different! Since Three Step Turns are a little difficult, many or even most Follows actually use four steps to walk a 360 degree turn. After three steps, X-numbers of degrees are missing, there is a gap to close to get to 360. The Follow closes that gap as she steps forward adding a forth step. The Three Step Turn is transformed into a Four Step Turn.
If only a few degrees are missing after the three steps, like 10-15 degree, it will hardly be noticeable, that the Follow actually uses forth steps to do a 360. Four Step Turns can even look good and function well except that they make double turns impossible or very unlikely to succeed.
The video shows me demonstrate the Follow’s Four Step Turn, using Pirouette, Pivot and Chaîné turn techniques.
Four Steps are ok
Even though a Four Step Turn is most likely a failed Three Step Turn, they are not all that bad as long as there only is small gap to close. Four Step Turns are easier than Three Step Turns: It’s easier to maintain the balance and it makes the Follow less dizzy because the turning is slower with the extra step. Four Step Turns and softer on feet, hips and knees, making it possible for more people to participate in the befits of social dancing.
In the name of inclusiveness, Four Step Turns are a legitimate way to turn in social dancing, and should be taught as a proper textbook turn for use in special situations or out of necessity.
Four Step Turn are a good Plan B for any Follow if tired, on a bad dance floor, or to very fast music.
Four Step Turns with a very small gap can also be more relaxed and smooth than Three Step Turns. Three Step Turns always demand more effort and will always rock the boat a little. That is, even the best dancers sometimes use Four Step Turns in romantic or meditative dancing in order to gives the dance a more effortless look and feel with no pretensions.
A Follow should definitely use Three Step Turns, if at all possible, using Pirouette, Pivot or Chaîné technique, in order to make double turns realistic and in order to inspire the Lead to level up instead of to level down.