California Twirl

Starting formation Normal Couple only
Command example

California Twirl

With your partner, California Twirl

Lead couples, California Twirl

Center couples, California Twirl

Dance action Dancers raise joined hands to form an arch and exchange places with each other by having the woman walk forward and under the arch along a tight left-turning semi-circle. The man walks a slightly wider right-turning semi-circle. Dancers have exchanged places, passing right shoulders, and are both facing in the opposite direction from which they started.
Ending formation Couple
Timing 4
Styling

Man and woman use a loose hand grip. Outside hands are in natural dance position. For smoothness, the joined hands should move backward slightly while being raised to form the arch; this will give the dancers an initial turning motion toward each other.

The woman knows where her head and hands are, so she should lift her own hand far enough to avoid her head. If she is not comfortable raising her arm, or if the man's arms are not long enough, the dancers should slide out of the handhold, and gesture with fingertips at an imaginary arch.

It is important that the man does not "wind" or "crank" the woman. The man's hand should be used to aid the woman's stability as she provides her own momentum.

Hands should be adjusted to couple handholds after completion of the call.

Teaching Tip The woman knows where her head and hands are, so she should lift her own hand far enough to avoid her head. If she is not comfortable raising her arm, or if the man's arms are not long enough, the dancers should slide out of the handhold, and gesture with fingertips at an imaginary arch.