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3. Reverse Turn
Fact Sheet
Official Name:Reverse Turn
Dance / Level:Full Bronze Viennese Waltz
Aliases:Viennese Reverse Turn, Left Cross Turn

The Reverse Turn is a figure consisting of six steps that turns to the left and progresses down line of dance. Most of the ballroom dances have a figure called a Reverse Turn, each one having its own unique character based on the music, the actions involved, the amount of turn, the rise and fall, and so forth. The Reverse Turn in Viennese Waltz is unique because it includes a crossing of the feet, once each for man and lady.

In the Viennese Waltz, all 6 steps of the Reverse Turn are taken approximately down the line of dance, with the dancers completing one full turn overall. The man's and lady's parts are identical, taken in alternating succession. The partner moving forward will begin facing line of dance and step forward with the left foot, then side and slightly back with the right. The "slightly back" is of particular importance, because it creates a small space that allows the left foot to cross in front of the right foot on the third step. Meanwhile, the person moving backward will step back with the right foot, then side with the left foot, and finally close the right foot to the left. Each three steps result in 1/2 turn to left.

Because the turns begin and end on the same alignment, they can be repeated as desired. So whereas the alignments of the Slow Waltz turns dictate that only one Reverse Turn can be taken at a time before one must change to a Natural, in Viennese Waltz the dancers will often take several Reverse Turns in a row before following with a Closed Change to begin dancing the Natural Turns.

Because the line of dance is counterclockwise, Reverse Turns must be slightly overturned as dancers move around corners. The total amount of turn will depend on the size of the room, but 1 & 1/8 to 1 & 1/4 turn per Reverse Turn is typical. This makes Reverse Turns much more difficult than Naturals, which can be underturned, as a means of turning corners.


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