Spotting is a technique used in spins to improve your balance, keep spins in a line, and create a pulse to the spin. The basic idea is to focus on a single point with your head as your body rotates. When you can no longer focus on that point without contorting your neck, you quickly flip your head around back to that point, while your body catches up with the head.
There are many drills you can do to learn to spot. Once you can comfortably rotate your head at a different speed from your body, you can add spotting to your spins.
The Drill: Without a partner, do a series of spins. Pick a point on one of the walls to focus on, and spot that wall as you spin. Pick one spot for each full rotation; even if you are doing pivot turns that only rotate halfway around, you should spot one wall rather than a wall for each half rotation.
A common question is whether you should spot down the line or to your partner when you spin. Either option is acceptable, and you will probably find one option feels more natural to you. It’s never a bad idea to learn to spot both ways, because each method is useful in specific situations:
- Spotting your partner makes the dance look more connected.
- Spotting down line makes it easier to stay in the slot as your spins travel.
- Spotting your partner helps complete the spin because the flip of your head helps bring you back to your partner.
- Spotting down line makes the first part of the spin faster because the flip of your head accelerates the first half of the spin.