What is Spotting and Why should you do it.

Question by User pavizla

I want to communicate well to the follower. I’ve only done a few social dancing, but I’ve spotted followers starting with 1 hand/arm hold and her other arm is styling or flailing around. Other followers are moving side to side, or seem to want to break pattern.

I’m not whining or complaining but it’s a very interesting experience. The recent social dance was heavy on bachata, and I was told most were beginners with salsa. So I can understand what the one hand was for (which eventually turned two two held hands after I signaled) and there was some confusing side to side pattern.

I tried my best to flow and compliment the follower’s energy which went all in all great. Is this what “spotting means”? How do you spot or how can spotting help?


User papawinchester 

Spotting is when you keep your eyes on a certain point in space while turning and/or spinning so that you dont get dizzy/stay in place/line. At least that’s what it was when it was explained to me.

Like an owl moving its head .

User TijoWasik

Turns have three components to them.

One is aiming. The follow will aim their eyes where they want to go, so if you’re doing a Cross Body Lead with an inside turn, your follower, before turning, should aim their eyes across your body in the line they want to turn. They may also do this with their free arm(s).

The second is the turning which is self explanatory, but during the turn, you have…

Spotting. The third component here. This isn’t necessarily only a follower thing – anyone who turns should do this. Your head should not turn at the same rate as your body, it should snap to where you want to turn to and stay there. You obviously can’t do this immediately, so the idea is – you keep your head on one spot (the spot you’ve aimed at) for as long as possible. Once you can’t keep your eyes there any longer, your head should snap to where you should be looking when you end your turn successfully. If you’re doing more than one turn, you should spot the mid point, usually one full turn, so where you aimed, then spot again for the second (sometimes just half) turn.

It’s for a couple of reasons.

Aiming keeps your line straight whilst turning, so the follow doesn’t fly across the floor. Spotting is for two things – if your eyes are there, your body will naturally try to stop itself where your eyes are, and the second bit is that your head is actually really heavy, so if you let it flail, it’ll give your body a lot of unwanted momentum, whilst if you keep it spotted on where you want to end up, it will take the momentum away towards the end of the turn (which is what you want, as you want to stop at the end of the turn).

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