How do you spin a girl while dancing?

You start with a head spin, and keep your feet in place; your body follows the head spin, while your head is still. It’s a pretty amazing thing to watch.”

And this is an example of the way that, through dance, the viewer is brought into the dancer’s world.

That’s right. You’re introduced to the dancer, not the music.

“With music it gives you the sensation of being involved in some sort of physical activity,” she said. “It’s different for each person. You can do something different depending on how you’re feeling physically and how you’re thinking about the choreography.

“But we’re getting into the realm of the visual realm a little bit. There’s a visual element to it. So a lot of dance is about perception of that moment when you’re on the ground dancing and seeing yourself in motion. We’re talking about how perception of that moment can alter the perception a little bit, like if you look up you might think you’re looking down, but if you’re looking at your arms you may think you’re looking behind you, which is why it’s so important when we do things like head spins we do them with someone else.”

Hip Rotations

The final part of the exercise is a hip rotation. “It’s what happens when the dancer does an elaborate hip rotation. They spin around a circle,” said Baskerville.

The dancer does a simple hip rotation, which consists of a head turn or a half-turn, then another turning circle. She then adds another round of spinning around in the same direction.

The dancer then turns her torso around to face herself. She spins the body 180 degrees, while turning her head the opposite direction — so her head is actually looking behind her to maintain the angle.

Hip rotation is similar to the movement made when a person walks or bends. “In this particular example, we’re talking about how the dancer’s posture changes during hip rotation,” said Baskerville. “She’ll use her torso to prop up her pelvis, just like when you’re walking or bending.”

She can take things one step further, then add her arms to complete the rotation.

You’ll notice her arms are extended on each arm rotation. “Her knees bend, and that helps her hip rotate,” she said.

The dancer doesn’t turn in midair like we often do when doing a back turn in aerial or hip toss.