by Joseph Baker
Dancers should try to avoid losses of connection. Maintaining frame and connection during turns is critical to leading and following. when Leading spins and turns, a cup and pin hand connection system is usually the best technique. In this system, the follower cups her/his hand and provides a cavity for the leader’s pin, which he/she forms with one or two fingers held vertically and pointing down. The orientation of the follower’s cup is thumb down for inside turns and thumb up for outside turns. Connection does not have to be lost when transitioning between inside and outside turns.
As important as the cup and pin connection system is the follower’s frame – specifically, the position of her/his arm being led during the turn. The forearm should remain approximately vertical and in the front quadrant of the follower’s body, never moving behind the follower’s midline. The upper arm remains approximately parallel to the floor. The cup remains approximately above the follower’s elbow, never directly above her/his head. In this way, the leading action through the turns traces a halo above the follower’s head. Such a system provides a form of a crank that the leader can use to more precisely control turning speed and turning direction. The leading pressure is applied during the part of the halo that is in the direction that the leader wishes the follower to travel.