ISTD Tango: Overturned Natural Twist Turn

Hi, I need help with how to properly lead and dance an Overturned Natural Twist Turn. Any help from someone who has danced this step (or if you "test-dance" it now) would be appreciated.

From the ISTD manual, The Ballroom Technique (1994), p. 111
step 12: Natural Twist Turn

Copied from the book:
Note: 7/8 to R could be made to end facing LOD. The following Promenade would move DC. 3/4 to R could be made at a corner or at the side of the room to end facing DC. The following Promenade would move to centre. When following with Back Corte or LF Rock, Man will turn a further 1/4 to face partner.

So the overturned variation, this is a SQQSQQ step that is a 1¼ turn to the right: there is no turn on the first 2 steps, so that turn must be made in the latter 4 steps.

My question is how do correctly you squeeze out an extra ¼ turn, on a step that is already difficult for the man (hence there are underturn variations). The uncross is almost a step you need to begin at the end of the prior step in a body turns less than feet and catchup fashion.

In the normal variation, step 3 is ¼R, step 4 ⅛R, and steps 5 and 6 are an uncross that is 5/8 turn R.

In the overturn variation, where do you add the extra ¼ turn??? It seems impossible to uncross more than 5/8 while remaining a tango foot look (otherwise, it will be on your toes like a rope spin for female in cha cha), so I'm assuming the extra turn happens ⅛R extra in step 3 to end backing LOD, and ⅛R extra in step 4 to end backing wall (that is a 3/8 for step 3 and a ¼ for step 4), and then the 5/8 uncross for steps 5-6 and in such a case the male needs some momentum to successfully do that step.

Yet is turning 3/8 on step 3 in a such a move too "violent" in an attempt to cross in front of the lady? Hard to describe into words but if you dance it, you may see what I'm talking about.

Is this the proper way of doing this overturned step ... can you uncross more than 5/8? ... if so how do you achieve it with the body and feet (aka what's the foot positions)... how does the lady react to the man whipping around her in such a fashion ... where would ladies have to adjust in this figure?

Any comment would be helpful in helping me better visualize the best way to successfully dance an Overturned Natural Twist Turn. Thanks


Active Member
I suppose this combination is assuming doing a twist turn as usual, ending in PP. After that, man does the first step of corte or rock, closing himself to the lady at the same time (during 1st step), hence the additional 1/4 to R, instead of proceeding to some promenade figure as usual
As with you previous question, I've never seen somebody doing that, however I don't claim that it's not used at all.
In my BR days, we never did it with full turn either - we used it mostly in the corner, turning 3/4, or along the wall turning 7/8 max
I get that the overturned might be a rare variation and the underturned at a corner is a popular variation.

"Natural Twist Turn overturned" is listed as a precede on p106 for back corte, so it is a valid move. I'm just trying to get down every combination before moving onto variations videos and the Geoffrey Hearn's masterpiece "A Technique of Advanced Standard Ballroom Figures."

On your response here, I'm just not so sure I agree that the turn is after step 8 and before step 1 of the follow as you are already in the PP position so you can't break the PP and do a back corte then ... by turning earlier, you get into a non-PP position ending position ... I just don't know how you capably turn earlier.


Active Member
That was just my guess. Problem is that description in the book doesn't make much sense to me: it doesn't state that there is no PP, and in that case, there is no need for the man to make additional turn to face the partner as stated, because you are already facing her. The same with Ballroom dancing book by Alex Moore. And there is not enough time to open her to PP and then close to her during last 2 steps either

I found correct explanation in WDSF book: it may end in closed position. In that case, man will turn 7/8 to R on steps 5-6. Follow with Rock on LF or Back corte

Now, how to do it ... for the twist turn to work nicely, you need to use the body in a sense that on the beginning of the twist (step 4) you turn hips more than shoulders. Then you untwist the core ending the turn ... if overturned, you need more of this preparation and continue to turn on the ball/flat of RF as the lady is walking around ... not much different than in any kind of turn/spin
The only way I've ever done it is with no PP at the end, going into a back corte BDC. If you want to exit it PP you can't overturn it, with the twist action there's no place to put the extra turn and still exit in promenade.

EDIT: It would probably be more helpful to visualize the movement to PP as turning to the left 1/4, in which case not going to PP will turn you an additional 1/4 to the right, thereby overturning.
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I don't have the WDSF series of 10 syllabus books but I did find online the 132 page WDSF document which is a very abbreviated syllabus and it confirms what you said about the 7/8 R on steps 5 and 6. For me at least I find it might be too much turn even with very powerful step 4, to avoid either getting stuck uncrossing OR losing balance and falling backward OR using all ball of foots and no heels. When you uncross after 7/8, is the man's left foot slightly above or below the right foot? I have the left foot below the right foot and isn't closed position the opposite?
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Active Member
As you might conclude from my answer, I never danced that combination. If I were to dance it, I would try doing it similar way like one figure in salsa, where I also cross RF behind LF, doing almost full turn while uncrossing the feet (called a hook turn in salsa), and then if I want to continue turning on the RF for one more complete turn, holding LF near it without weight. And I would conclude turning the RF while moving the LF into 1st step of Corte. Lady would need to do last step longer, around me. Don't know is it the right approach in ballroom, although I suppose it can't be much different

Surely you would need to practice your part alone first, and prior to doing that, practice 1st part of the turn (twist) and second (a kind of spin) separately, until you are able to do it in balance and complete the needed amount of turn accurately, and probably asking some advice from a teacher


In figures that turn to the right, the lady is essentially turning a little more than a man to end up in promenade. So in this case I would expect you could think of the man making up for that extra amount of turn by turn in a little more through his upper body near the end of the figure. So he doesn't stop while she opens up to Promenade. But rather his upper body follows her around a bit more to keep the figure closed.

And says the final two steps for the lady are on quick quick, you don't think of holding that position, but rather continuing into the slow of the back corte. A popular open variation would be to continue from the twist turn into pivots.

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