How to do a giro


What role does giro play in the dance? It’s the mark’s time to show off. And it’s the revel’s chance to give back, to support our mark in gratitude for the sweet walking, the sexy-dramatic voleos, and the whee-whirly things.

She’s willing to provide strength, support, and power, but you need to let her do her work. You cannot ask her to support you while marking her in a way that makes her fall. 

To wit: She has no chance of being stable if you knock her over by shoving or yanking on her base to accelerate her step.

The lead for giro is a consistent lateral pull along a perimeter circling the mark’s body. Whatever the mark is doing with his legs must be restricted to what he can do while providing a smooth pull and allowing the revel to make the necessary pivots without destabilizing her base.

All rotation around the body is controlled by the obliques. The mark for giro is made with the obliques. 

how to practice giro lead

I see a lot of mistaken solo practice, in which the mark yanks his shoulders in order to turn his base leg. Even if he can survive this maneuver solo, the effect of that yank on the revel will generate forces that will in turn likely abridge his pivot. The solo practice should be to generate all the power and control for the pivot with the obliques, fortified with the base leg. Check that you are not yanking with your shoulders as this will destabilize the obliques’ insertion point, which prevents them from working with maximum strength. The base leg’s side of rib cage should remain aligned atop its foot. Marks should pivot in two feet stably before attempting one foot pivots.

The second aspect of a giro mark, which you can practice solo, is keeping your arms attached to your legs. As your legs pivot with newfound power, you want that power to be conveyed into the smooth pull along the perimeter you want her to travel. To do this you need to make sure that your arms move integrated with your legs.

When revels are shoved into giro, they develop an experience of it as a situation of rushed obedience. When they are pulled gently into giro, they have a chance to control their bodies and use their strength to travel on the defined circle.

contributing to a giro

To be strong, stable, and predictable, revels should make every step of the giro even in both space and time. (If the mark wants the sidestep accelerated or shortened, he will mark it that way.)

To ensure that you stay on the circle in your back step, check that the angle and placement of your side step is inside the circle, not on a tangent to the circle.

Check the alignment of every step to be sure that the shape and position is predictable. In side step, your two hip bones should be equidistant from the mark’s center. In front and back steps, the line between your hip bones should be radial to his center.

The mark may want to use your movement to create momentum for his pivot. He may do this by pulling gently against your motion. Just understand that in this moment, he needs your strength.


Do you want to be a better dancer

but don’t feel you are getting what you need from your teachers?

Or do you get contradictory advice from different partners?

I got tired of hearing men tell me to be “natural”, “don’t do anything”, and “you’re floppy”, followed by “you’re stiff” …  So I studied biomechanics until I could teach perfect connection quickly.

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