Introduction: A Bronze level move for VW
Frame: Standard. Count: 1-2-3 (fast).
Leaders and Followers: Leaders and Followers move the same as one unit.


Instructions (Leader & Follower Perspective)
So, you've read (hopefully) about Natural Turn and Reverse Turn. If not, go back and read them please.

Anyway, I discussed how you do Natural and Reverse Turns, but didn't mention how you transition from one to the other. Natural Turn, you're going clockwise, Reverse Turn you're going counterclockwise. Something needs to be there to bridge the two and that's Closed Changes. Similar to Closed Changes in English Waltz, Closed Changes in VW accomplish the same thing and are essentially the same steps, just compressed to fit the VW time.

Closed Change Forward
By Forward, I mean that you're facing Line of Dance. Let us assume you are transitioning from Natural Turns to Reverse Turns. Feet are close together, weight is on your left leg. Right foot heel is slightly lifted in preparation to drive forward.
1) Drive right foot forward, just like if you were doing another Natural Turn.
2) In Natural Turn, you would weight transfer to your right leg and then pivot on it to swing your body around. To indicate that you're instead doing a Closed Change, you still do a weight transfer to right leg, but DON'T PIVOT. Instead, Keep on facing the way you are, slightly right of Line of Dance. Bring your left foot forward, in which it should go slightly past your right foot.
3) Your right foot closes with your left foot. Keep your weight on your right leg since to do Natural Turn, that's where the weight needs to be when you begin.

Now, if you were going from Reverse Turn to Natural Turn, you do the exact same thing, just flipped legs. So your left foot would be the one to go forward, your right foot the one to go past the left in count 2, and keeping your weight on the left leg on count 3.

Closed Change Backwards
Backward? Going backing Line of Dance. Assume you are going from Natural Turns to Reverse Turns. Weight is currently on your right leg, left heel slightly off the ground in preparation to drive backwards.
1) Drive left foot backwards, just as if you were doing another Natural Turn.
2) Similar to Closed Change Forward, you now weight transfer to your left foot. In doing so, your right foot goes past your left foot by about 9 inches (or whatever amount is comfortable. Small steps don't look as good as big steps but are easier to execute).
3) Left foot now closes with your right foot. Weight is on the left leg in preparation to do a reverse turn.

Going from Reverse Turn to Natural Turn, it's the exact same thing, but flipped.

Tips and Tricks
  • Calling the Shots: Note that the above instructions are written for both Leaders and Followers since the steps are the same for both. But Responsibilities do differ. The Leader is the one responsible for determining when to execute a closed change and is responsible for doing the appropriate signaling (not pivoting as one would normally do in a Turn). The Follower is responsible for following the signals and not attempting to do a Turn when the Leader signals that he would like to do a Closed Change.
  • Corners: Primarily, Reverse Turns are for straightaways and Natural Turns to negotiate short sides and corners. That being said, you want to have ample time to switch from one to the other, so don't wait until the last minute to try to do a closed change in a small amount of space. That is difficult.
  • Consideration: Leaders. Ahem. You're calling the shots in VW. Which means, you're driving. Which also means, if you crash, it's your fault predominantly. Be considerate of your partner and make sure to do liberal doses of closed changes as required in order to prevent her and you from becoming dizzy.
  • Forward v. Backwards: It's easier to do Closed Changes going forward, which means leaders, you should try to do Closed Changes going backwards (at least when you start) in order to make it easier for your partner to read when C.C. is happening. After all, you (leader) know when you want to do a closed change, but your partner won't until you signal her (or lack of).


Advanced Concepts
  • Testing Testing 123: In theory, you should be able to do nothing but closed changes going down the floor, just alternating from one to the other. As a practice exercise, leaders can lead their followers and then throw in a long sequence of closed changes in order for the follower to understand what a Turn vs. Change feels like.
  • Sway: Yep, there's sway in VW. And at least in Closed Changes, if your right foot is the first one going forward, spine curves slightly to the right and vic versa for the left foot. Going backwards, the same is true (left and left, right and right). This helps with rotary motion and executing closed changes.