Left Turn With Inside
by Tim Eum
The Left Turn with Inside Roll is one of the most frequent figures
encountered when dancing slow two step. It is one of the first figures
done in the classic dance Rachel’s Song, which is one of the first slow
two step dances that many round dancers learned. There is one bit of
awkwardness that most dancers feel doing this figure, but there is a
little “trick” that you can do to fix it that is basic to many other
round dance figures as well.
A typical sequence (such as in Rachel’s Song) is “Underarm Turn; to a
Basic Ending; Left Turn with Inside Roll; Basic Ending; to another Left
Turn with Inside Roll; with Basic Ending;” Note that you begin and end
a normal Underarm Turn to a Basic Ending facing wall or COH. To those
who do not know the “trick”, doing the Left Turn with Inside Roll from
here (facing wall or COH) becomes awkward because the Left Turn tends
to go towards LOD (or RLOD) and not wall and it seems difficult for the
lady to adjust since she not only has to pickup but also set up for an
inside roll all on the first step. Indeed, Roundalab specifies that you
should modify any figure prior to a Left Turn with Inside Roll by
picking up on the last step of the previous figure (i.e. the Basic
Ending). Note that Roundalab thus changes the first step of the Left
Turn with Inside Roll from the normal side step in slow two step to a
forward (for man) and back (for lady). But this is unnecessary if you
know and do the trick.
Here’s the trick: Turn your body before taking your first step. If you
are in BFLY facing wall with lead foot free, begin a Left Turn with
Inside Roll by turning your body left face, and only then step side
& forward (lady side & back) with lead foot and continue to
turn (i.e., swiveling) left after taking weight on that lead foot.
Because of the body turn the side & forward first step does not go
toward LOD but toward DLC, which leaves only about another 1/4 turn to
swivel before taking the second step. This first step, i.e., the Left
Turn, is thus done easily ending in BFLY facing approximately DLC.
To finish the figure, the man steps side with his right (turning
another 1/8 LF) and then crosses left in front to face COH and partner
while the lady steps side & forward with her left foot turning left
face for her inside turn and finishing by stepping forward & side
turning left face on her right foot..
The timing for the figure is of course the characteristic slow two step
rhythm of SQQ.
Throughout round dancing, turning the body prior to taking the step
occurs often in turns. Indeed, one primary use of Contra Body Movement
is to initiate turns in the step prior to the turn by turning the hips
& upper body before turning on the foot in the next step. But CBM
is another lesson.
prepared many Round Dance Tips for Calls 'n' Cues,
WASCA, for his weekly Rocket Rounds email reports, and for
publications. This article was prepared for the RAL Virtual Convention,
2021. DRDC is
grateful for permission to collect and reprint. A Tim Eum archive.