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American Style Waltz
Underarm Turn to L.
17. Underarm Turn to L.
Fact Sheet
Official Name:Underarm Turn to L.
Dance / Level:Full Bronze American Style Waltz
Aliases:3-Count Underarm Turn to Left, Inside Underarm Turn
Left Box (Reverse) Turn

The Underarm Turn to Left is a simple figure where the man dances either 4-6 Left Box Turn or Promenade Close, while leading the lady to turn to her left under a raised LH-RH hold. The lady dances 3 steps, beginning forward with her left foot, and pivoting just under 1 & 1/2 turns to left over the 3 steps. The couple resumes closed position at the end of the lady's turn.

As written in the man's and lady's charts, this figure moves down the line of dance. But it can also move diagonal toward wall or center. Since he is backing blindly into oncoming traffic and has less control of his partner than when they are in a fixed closed hold, it is not recommended to attempt the Underarm Turn to Left either across or against the line of dance.

Like the Left Box Turn itself, the Underarm Turn can be rotated 1/8 more or 1/8 less. With the default starting alignment, it would end with man facing either wall or line of dance, respectively. When combined with the above variations of starting alignment, it's possible to end with man facing anywhere between diagonal center and diagonal wall against line of dance.

The most common precede for an Underarm Turn to Left from closed position is steps 1-3 of the Left Box Turn, and from promenade is steps 1-3 of the Forward or Back Twinkle. However, several more possibilities exist, such as a Hesitation taken from closed position (alignment permitting), a Promenade Hesitation, or any of various figures in the silver and above levels. For a complete list, see the precedes & follows tabs above.

It is strongly recommended that if dancers are in closed (contact) position, they use the preceding figure, or at least the final step or two of the preceding figure, to separate slightly into a non-contact position. The slight separation over the preceding steps allows more space in the position to begin the underarm turn, where it would otherwise feel quite crowded and uncomfortable at the onset.


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