How to Waltz – Underarm Turns

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 65,444
    Dance expert Terry Dean demonstrates how to do waltz underarm turns.

    Terry Dean

    Terry is the owner and principal male dance instructor of Terry Dean’s Dance Studio, in Charlottesville, Virginia. He has been teaching ballroom dancing for 30 years and opened his own successful studio following a 19 year career with Arthur Murray Dance Studios. Terry has received accolades for his choreography and has been honored as Virginia State’s Top Studio and Top Teacher twice. He and his staff teach students of all levels, whether they are interested in social dancing, exhibition dancing, or competitive ballroom dance sport. He has led many of his students to win top level gold medal competitions, and he is pleased to share his expertise with you today.

    Terry Dean: Hi! I am Terry Dean from Terry Deans Dance Studio. We are teaching you the waltz.

    The next ballroom dance pattern that we are going to do is an underarm turn; most dances have many underarm turns. This is our basic underarm turn in the waltz and it's very simple. What happens is here in this case, the man is going to actually continue to do this box step, while the lady is the one who does most of the underarm turns. So, this is going to be very simple. I am going to demonstrate it first and then what I am going to do is breakdown the individual pieces. So, first the demonstration. The box step and then the underarm turn, back to the box step. So, when we do the box step again the man part is just doing the box step again, but there is a slight difference. After, he leads the top of the box, which does rotate one, two, three as he does the bottom of the box, which he continues, he lifts up his left arm and guides the lady through, but he no longer rotates. Then when he finishes the bottom of his box, he picks the lady up as he does the top of the box. So, let me demonstrate that again. I do the top of the box rotating one, two, three the bottom of the box with no rotation I step back on one, I lead her under on two, three. She keeps circling for the next one, two, three as I do one, two, three, I pick her up and now we are back to the box step again. So, we always come back to the waltz box step.

    The lady's part let me demonstrate it one more time and then I will break it down. I do the top of the box one, two, three, no rotation as she starts under one, two, three and we come back together on the next half of the box and we do the box step. Let the breakdown the lady's part. So, ladies you have your nice dance position, you are going to do the bottom of the box on one, two, three, you are going to step forward as if you are going to do the top of the box on one, then he leads you under and you are going to turn your head to the right and go under two, three and then do another one, two, three, one, two, three and then back to the top of the box, one, two, three.

    So, what happens is again, you do the bottom of the box one, two, three then the underarm turn starts on two, one, two, three, one, two, three, then back to the top of the box.

    Again, let me demonstrate one, two, three she goes under one, two, three, one, two, three, one, two, three, and then you just back to the box step and everything is back to the beginning. Next thing we are going to do is try to put all of these together, so you get an idea what is going to look like when you put all of the pieces of the waltz together.