To Twirl (a Lady) or Not to Twirl

Wherein is DESCRIBED the SECRET of this GENTLE art 

If Gentlemen (or men) Do NOT Twirl ladies ---


---Who Does?

For GENERATIONS, members of the female sex have been twirled, whirled, spun, tossed, flipped, pushed and shoved by the males of the species. Whether through lack of KNOWLEDGE,  Or EXPERIENCE, this lamentable practice continues to the present day in traditional and other dance forms.

Since TWIRLING is a part of MANY dance forms and can add to the pleasure of the dance
Since a Statement has been made, TO WIT: Gentlemen do NOT twirl Ladies
And a question posed:  Who Does?

The following CLUES, to be verified by OBSERVATION, are offered:

LOOK at the motion of a couple's joined hands during the act of twirling. If the man's hand describes a large oval, THUSLY:


One can be SURE that such "Cranking" is a certain mark of Inexperience and/or Lack of Proper Dance Knowledge.


ON THE OTHER HAND, if said joined hands travel in a very small oval, thusly:


One is watching KNOWLEDGEABLE dancers and the Great (and very old) Secret of Twirling has been revealed!

So ---  Who Then, Does the Twirling?

The LADY, of Course!

She being the Only dancer who has the Right to Twirl. And that Right is for herself only.

GENTLEMEN (and males) have NOT RIGHTS in the matter. Privileges only, if granted by the Lady.

So then ---  How is Twirling accomplished?


  • The Gentleman's hand is offered to the Lady, Palm Up
  • The Lady's hand is placed in the Gentleman's Palm Down
  • The Grip is Finger Tip and LIGHT
  • The Gentleman raises his hand (with the Lady's) and SHE TWIRLS – (His hand/fingers being a point of pivot for the Lady, and he being ready to check or guide if necessary.)

and ---  If the Lady is

Then  ---  She simply Lowers the raised hands and smiles sweetly.
A Mature Male will take no offense at this, as none, indeed, is intended.

It has been said that there is a limited number of twirls in all humans and when that number runs out, well…

So then is the SECRET (Not because the dance teachers have ever wished it!) OF TWIRLING revealed!

Go now and enjoy!

This piece was originally prepared by C. Cyril (Chip) Hendrickson, Dancing Master, 1983

Here's a picture of the To Twirl or Not to Twirl tiny pamphlet you can download and print out to hand out at your dances.  You'll need to cut the edges off (it ends up about 8"x10", or 4" x 5" folded).