"Go Back" Underarm Turn

This move is part sugarpush and part inside underarm turn. The gent stays in the slot the entirely sequence.

On count 2 the gent raises the lady's right arm which she knows is a lead for her to turn. But unlike with the regular underarm turn, the gent is planted in the slot still. To use the door analogy, the door is closed. So the lady knows that she is to "go back" to the end of the slot where she began, and in doing so, she turns.

Here's a subtle point: on count 3 the gent inches the lady's raised right arm ever so gently over her right shoulder to emphasize the turning lead to her.

Since the gent is in the
slot, the lady knows she
will not be crossing to
the other side of the
slot. The gent stops her
with his right hand
and lifts his left
hand to lead the...


6-Count west coast swing foot rhythm (6 counts, 8 steps)
with descriptions in quotes for the "Go Back" Underarm Turn



Men Do
(start left)

("stay in the slot & raise Lady's arm")
("in place")
Tri-ple step
("in place")

Women Do
(start right)

("turn - a - round")
("in place")

This turn is an outside right turn. That terminology is explained next.

Inside and Outside, Left and Right Turns:

It is useful to know how turns are described, especially since the words themselves are not terribly helpful. To explain clearly, let's use this figure. It is an outside right turn. Here's why.

It is a right turn because the lady's right shoulder is the first shoulder to the back (she is turning with her right shoulder leading).

It is an outside turn because her right hand is being held during the right turn. A right turn with a right hand held means it is right outside turn. If the left hand were held during a right turn, that would be the opposite, an inside right turn. Are you following? If a left hand were held during a left turn, that would be a left outside turn.


  • left shoulder, left hand = left outside turn
  • left shoulder, right hand = left inside turn
  • right shoulder, right hand = right outside turn (e.g. the Go Back Turn, above), and
  • right shoulder, left hand = right inside turn

For terminology purposes, it does not matter which hand of the gentleman holds the lady's hand because the terms are referenced from the right or left hand or shoulder of the turning dancer (here the lady) without regard to the other.

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