Rotational Turn Subtleties

In practice the other day my partner helped me pay attention to a smaller, subtler aspect of rotational turns. We were working on a tuck turn that immediately goes into a step-step nearly in place turn for an 8 count move that ends where it starts. What we found is that I was rotating too far into the connection; more than was being asked for. This ended up making the turn harder as I needed to travel more distance and harsher than it needed to be since I was increasing the tension.

What helped was when my partner suggested that I focus on really feeling the connection with his palm on my left side and how far it was asking me to go. When I did this it was obvious that it wasn't asking for much and was a soft connection. The result was I travelled less, had more time to milk the move and the connection felt more relaxed/gentler over all.

Similarly, we were working on an open rotational turn starting with a lead-right follower-left hand connection. I really like these open-starting rotational turns because they can result in lots of fun spins (like triple step turns yesssss). Like the tuck turn issue, I was again adding energy and turning more than needed. (And for good reason, I'm so excited!). It helped to not reduce the excitment but still maintain focus on the beat and what the connection was asking for.

Another point that came up with this move was neseding to maintain the connection through my left side/arm for longers. As is so easy, once I got the lead for the rotational rockstep I went into auto-pilot and broke the connection since I "knew" the steps & directionality that was being asked for after. While this looks visually correct, breaking the connection limits movement possibilities. We practiced keeping the connection solid through the turn steps; this is most easily done by practicing going into a barrel turn I think. This was harder for me to do than expected; my left side is generally weaker and less controlled than my right. Time to strengthen it and get used to activating it in a more specific/controlled way.