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Spins and Turns - Volume 1
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Spins and Turns - Volume 1

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Brandi Tobias, Michael Kiehm
Starlight Dance Studio
Beginner, Intermediate
Running Time:
60 minutes
Release Date:


An introduction to pivot turns, traveling spins, stationary spins, and ways to get more than one turn out of a spin. Topics covered include:

• Difference between Spins and Turns
• Concepts for controlled spins and turns
• Basic exercises to improve spins
• Applications for basic turns in Swing, Hustle, Salsa, & Cha Cha
• Spinning applications for West Coast Swing
• Advanced shadow tuck and spin
• Four count spin
• And more!

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Member Reviews

LJH - February 12, 2017

Spins and Turns Volumes 1 and 2, Michael Kiehm and Brandi Jillion

These discs, ported over from VHS tapes, deliver a lot less than they promise in their product description and on-screen outline. Despite very detailed screen shots of what is to come – basic turn technique, balance, posture, centering, prepping, and so forth – what follows is actually an often meandering discussion of some of these things as the minutes tick by and you wonder, more and more, “What section are we in…?”

It’s not that the information isn’t good; it’s that the information isn’t at all step-by-step so that it builds to any particular point, skill, or, outcome. If you knew about pivot turns, spiral turns, arm leads, hand leads, body leads and so forth before you started watching – then much of this is somewhat interesting. If you didn’t know these things before you started watching – you probably won’t know much more by the time you finish…

And, it’s a shame too… Brandi and Michael know what they are doing in terms of movement, but it seems they got a lot better later in their careers (at least I know Michael did) in terms of how to explain it. The discs aren’t titled, “How to apply yourself better to Spins and Turns in Hustle, Swing, and Cha-Cha, but that might have been more accurate. As Michael says several times, “You should know these other dances in order to…”

The one exception to the “They didn’t really follow any order or break it down…” is in Volume 2, “Pivot Technique” – which is really about a “couple’s pivot” and which is taught more “from the ground up” in that section - about like you would have hoped all the sections would have been “taught.” It is a comparative “nugget” of gold among a lot of common rocks, stones, and pebbles.

Beginners and Advanced dancers should take a pass on these discs… It’s too soon for beginners to sort through this. Advanced dancers have already heard it and done it. Those people moving from beginner to Intermediate, or, struggling as Intermediates, might find much of what is talked about here somewhat useful in terms of it reinforcing what they’ll be hearing in classes and in private instruction…

More immediately helpful discs for Spins and Turns might be Gary McIntyre’s discs, or, Toni Redpath’s discs (among others) on dance exercises and techniques, also available here on Danceflix. Their focus is on different dances than Kiehm’s are here, but learning how to do Spins and Turns, etc., in themselves is probably more important than how to do them within “a” particular dance.

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