The Key Ingredients to Smooth Salsa Dance Spins

Erika Briones is a San Diego salsa dancer and a contributor to Addicted2Salsa articles. The opinions expressed in this commentary are her own.

Smooth Spins

What makes salsa dancing so great for the ladies? Is it the beautiful styling which includes beautiful arms, isolations, and body rolls? Yes, styling is fun to do but that also can be found in many dances such as tango, flamenco, jazz. Can it be the ability to spin endlessly? The answer is yes.

The great quality of dancing in salsa is doing multiple spins. This may be an opinionated answer, but there are many great female dancers which capture how spins can be one of the best aspects of salsa dancing.

These ladies you will find on the addicted2salsa website are known for not only being spun by a partner, but spinning on their own and "stopping on a dime". Some of these salseras have not obtained that gift of spinning over a day or weeks, but sometimes month or even years. Some people I recall speaking to about spinning have told me it took them either 2 or even 5 years to do multiple spins. Other people who have a well-developed dance background can obtain that skill earlier that a few months or even within a year.What is so great about spinning? Here is there scenario. You are dancing with a partner and leads you to do multiple spins, but you stop yourself from spinning so much. Some girls who I have spoken to told me that some problems of spinning include: out of balance, are dizzy, or can't control the spin. The other girls who I have spoken with have different reactions to spinning and state that it is many factors that attribute to great spins. In the beginning I remember almost falling out of a spin, almost knocking the guy out with my arm, or wobbling out of a spin (not spinning in place). I'm not an expert yet on spinning. However after a year on focusing on this technique I discovered the key to spinning. I have taken jazz classes, private lessons, group classes, and as well as advice from friends on spinning. After experience and observation I have found 5 steps to doing multiple spins. 1.) The Prep: Some ladies I have spoken to told me that the prep initiates the spin which helps maintain ones balance and creates momentum. How one preps also determines how fast one spins. For example, when a gentlemans arm goes down and up like the letter K (called the J-hook) he is warning you that he is about to spin you more than one time. Get ready ladies. One prep that I learned is that the right leg swivels to the right (twist your torso and right leg slightly to the right) then shift your weight all on your right foot keeping your left foot close to your right (feels connected). Finally push off on your left leg. Ready for lift off, I mean spins2.) Keep your legs closed: When first learning how to spin, some girls tap while spinning. This is in order to keep the spins going. Tapping is like the training wheels for spins. However, if you keep your legs together and knees slightly bent, you will see a huge difference. Make sure your weight is all on one foot (right or left) which depends which direction one is spinning. This really helps with balance. 3.) Keep a 90 degree angle: Make sure your arm looks like an L which is a 90 degree angle facing your partner. Also you want your arm to be nice and strong. No spaghetti arms. You don't want your arm behind your body. If you feel your arm upwards, create an arm bar. For example, have your right arm in a 90 degree angle while having your left arm hold your right arm in place. This bit of advice ensures that you will wobble less and also have the lead have more control of where you are spinning. This may even prevents the guy to get injured like an uppercut.4.)Keep everything tight: It does not matter how fit you are because if you keep everything tight the faster you will spin a lot faster and smoother. In order to keep everything tight make sure you keep your stomach nice and strong (hold it in girls) and keep your fanny tucked (squeeze). This also enables guys to have a better control of the spins. 5.)SPOT: This is the best piece of advice not only because it keeps one less dizzy, but it makes one spin so fast the guy will think you have disappeared. I'm just exaggerating, but it is very important to spot. Spotting is "process of delaying the rotation of the head, relative to the body's rotational speed, by way of visual focus on one or more fixed points in space. " ( Spotting is when you look at an object in the room or your partner and make sure that when your spinning that object or partner is the first and last thing you see. While spinning your head should be the last thing to turn. The faster you spot, the faster you will spin.You got that ladies:<ul><li>Make sure to prep (be warned to spin a whole lot)</li><li>Keep your legs closed, and slightly bend your knees</li><li>Make sure your arm looks this–} L facing your partner</li><li>Keep your stomach tight and butt tight (Your can squeeze a penny if you do it right)</li><li>Never take your eyes off him: SPOT!!!!</li></ul>Pretty soon you will do multiple spins and it will feel great because it feels like you are flying in another world.- Erika Briones a. k. a. (Latina Skin) </a>