How to Learn Rock 'n' Roll Lifts

Three Methods:Performing a Ferris Wheel Aerial StuntAdding a Ground Flip to Your Dance RoutineLearning the Roller Blind Dance Move

Rock 'n' roll aerials, lifts, and stunts can be great ways to spice up a traditional dance routine. Holding your partner in midair, or twirling them around can capture the attention of the dancers around you, and make your dance routine the life of the party. However, at first, these moves may seem insurmountable. They do involve some strength, muscle movement, and agility. Even though they do require some practice, your moves will gradually improve, and advance. Soon, you will be out on the dance floor twirling your partner around!

Method 1
Performing a Ferris Wheel Aerial Stunt

  1. Image titled Learn Rock 'n' Roll Lifts Step 1
    Create space between the partners. The girl should stand about 2-3 feet away from her partner. The girl's body should be perpendicular to that of the guy's. The girl should hold the guys hand, in midair, gracefully. The partners should be looking at each other, so that they can maintain their presence, and concentration.[1]
  2. Image titled Learn Rock 'n' Roll Lifts Step 2
    Make the first move. The girl walks in front of the guy. First her left foot, and then her right. The girl's body should remain perpendicular to that of the guy's. Both partners should continue to hold each other's hands, and maintain eye contact.[2]
  3. Image titled Learn Rock 'n' Roll Lifts Step 3
    Lock your bodies into place. Both partners lock with each other's bodies. This first involves the girl moving her arm. She will unlock hands with the guy, and place her arm underneath the guy's shoulder, placing her hand on his back. The guy releases his hand from the girl, and places his arm around her back. Placing his hand underneath the girl's armpit.[3]
  4. Image titled Learn Rock 'n' Roll Lifts Step 4
    Maintain the pivot point of the rotation. The guys arm should remain strong. The arm should remain straight as it rests on the girls back. Make sure it does not buckle. This arm is the pivot point of the ferris wheel. Try to tense your muscles so that you can create some extra strength. The girl's body will revolve around this arm.[4]
  5. Image titled Learn Rock 'n' Roll Lifts Step 5
    Create momentum for the big move. The guy should place his right arm behind the girl's right knee. The guy's right arm is what will create the momentum and the force that is used to swing the girl around. The guy will want to put almost his entire weight into the right arm, while keeping the left arm straight and locked.[5]
  6. Image titled Learn Rock 'n' Roll Lifts Step 6
    Begin the lift off. The girl swings up her left leg. The girl should keep both legs equidistant apart from one another. The kicking movement upwards should be smooth, and straight. This kick upwards is what will springboard the entire ferris wheel dance move.[6]
  7. Image titled Learn Rock 'n' Roll Lifts Step 7
    Hold steady as the dance move occurs. The guy maintains both his right and left hand positions. As the girl is swinging in the air, the guy holds his left arm straight and on her back. This will create a pivot point for the procedure. The guy will also maintain the right hand presence. This will keep your girl from falling as she is swinging in midair.[7]
  8. Image titled Learn Rock 'n' Roll Lifts Step 8
    Use your knees as a brace. Bend your knees as the girl comes down. When the girl comes down, the guy should bend his knees, as well as the girl. If you do not bend your knees, this could cause unforced pressure on your knees, and a potential injury.
  9. Image titled Learn Rock 'n' Roll Lifts Step 9
    Spring upwards when the move is complete. Once both dancers are safely on the ground, with their knees bent, the girl and guy should both lift up their knees. You can take a bow, or lift up your hands. You can also go straight back to dancing or into another specialized dance move.[8]
  10. Image titled Learn Rock 'n' Roll Lifts Step 10
    Perform all of the steps very fast. At first, if you are practicing, do the move at a moderate speed. Remember, you need enough momentum to get the girl in the air. When you are in the air, you can take the swinging motion pretty slow. If you are dancing on the dance floor do the move pretty fast, which will amaze your audience, and look more professional.

Method 2
Adding a Ground Flip to Your Dance Routine

  1. Image titled Learn Rock 'n' Roll Lifts Step 11
    Double hand grasp with your partner. Both the girl and the guy should hold each other's hands, almost at eye level. This will provide leverage for the girl to hold onto as she is being moved, and swung. Both partners should be facing each other as their hands hold together.[9]
  2. Image titled Learn Rock 'n' Roll Lifts Step 12
    Make the first move. The girl steps back with her right leg. As both partners continue to hold hands, the girl first steps back and then steps forward, into the guy's chest area (about 6 inches away). As the girl does this, she lets go of the guy's hands and wraps her hands around his neck. The girl should maintain a tight grip around the guy's neck, because this will keep her from falling.[10]
  3. Image titled Learn Rock 'n' Roll Lifts Step 13
    Lock your bodies into position. The guy wraps his hands around the girls hips. As the girl breaks away from holding hands, the guy should immediately place his hands on her hips. Make sure that his hands maintain a tight grip. The guy should try and position the girls hips to his right, because that is where the first swinging motion will take place.[11]
  4. Image titled Learn Rock 'n' Roll Lifts Step 14
    Start the momentum of the swing. The girl lifts her legs up into the air. The girl should kick her legs to the guy's right side. As she does this, the guy maintains his grip on her hips. He swings her back, to his right side, never letting her touch the ground. He then swings her back up, in front of him, holding her in midair.[12]
  5. Image titled Learn Rock 'n' Roll Lifts Step 15
    Swing to the right and left. The guy swings her to his left side. As the guy maintains her position in midair in front of him, he then swings her back to his left side. This should all be done without letting her touch the ground. The guy then brings her back up to the midair position again.[13]
  6. Image titled Learn Rock 'n' Roll Lifts Step 16
    Rest your bodies. The guy rests her on the ground. After the guy has the girl in midair, he swings her down beneath his legs. He then, calmly rests her on the ground, trying to not bang her head against the floor. Make sure the guy's stance is wide enough that the girl can slide easily through. She should be laying on the ground, her face looking up at the guy's pants legs.[14]
  7. Image titled Learn Rock 'n' Roll Lifts Step 17
    Change positions for the next step. The guy turns his body around. At the resting point, the guy should be able to look down at the girl's face. To do the next step, the guy needs to change positions. The guy should simply turn his body around. Still in the same position, above the girls face, except now he is facing her legs.[15]
  8. Image titled Learn Rock 'n' Roll Lifts Step 18
    Lock bodies back into place. The girl raises her arms up to the guy's arms. Both partners should hold hands using a thumb handhold (thumbs on tip of one another's). This will form a tight grip for the next flip. The guy should flex his elbows so that there is room to flip the girl upwards.[16]
  9. Image titled Learn Rock 'n' Roll Lifts Step 19
    Form a tight bond. The girl lifts her legs upwards. She then wraps them around the guy's back, crossing her feet. The guy maintains strength in his arms, and tight grip around her hands. The girl's hips should press against the back of the guy's palms, so the guy can maintain the brunt of the weight as he flips her.[17]
  10. Image titled Learn Rock 'n' Roll Lifts Step 20
    Perform the final piece of the dance move. The guy flips the girl upwards. The guy straightens his back, as the girl comes up in front of him. The partners maintain strong grips with their hands so that the girl does not fall. The guy then lowers the girl to the ground. Both partners bend their knees and lift up again, maintaining a resting position.[18]
  11. Image titled Learn Rock 'n' Roll Lifts Step 21
    Do these steps very fast. Especially with the initial side-to-side lift, you want to do that fast, otherwise the guy might lose his balance, or not be able to hold the girl's weight. In the second flip upwards, the guy can hold her midair as long as he likes, before lowering her to the ground. The faster you perform the moves together, the more crisp and professional it will look. Practice slowly first, and then gradually build up your speed.

Method 3
Learning the Roller Blind Dance Move

  1. Image titled Learn Rock 'n' Roll Lifts Step 22
    Maintain distance between one another. Both partners stand side-by-side next to each other. The partners should be separated about 3 feet from one another. The guy puts out his right arm, while the girl put out her left. Both hands grab onto one another. If the partners are too close, step slightly to the sides until the interlocked arms are straightened.[19]
  2. Image titled Learn Rock 'n' Roll Lifts Step 23
    Lock your arms and bodies into place. The girl turns her body towards the guy. This means that the girl will slightly twirl to her left, and step towards the guy with her right foot (foot pointed towards his body). This should be done with both partners' hands still interlocked. The girl continues to twirl a second time until her interlocked hand is on her left hip. This entire move should be a 360 degree turn by the girl.[20]
  3. Image titled Learn Rock 'n' Roll Lifts Step 24
    Form a tight grip. The girl then lifts up her left leg. The guy catches her left leg with the upper part of his left forearm. The left hand of the guy wraps tightly around the girl's left leg, and pulls her up. The guy should now be supporting her midair. His left arm around her left leg, and his right hand still interlocked with her left hand. The girl should be facing away from the guy.[21]
  4. Image titled Learn Rock 'n' Roll Lifts Step 25
    Make it easy to swing around. The girl locks her legs together. This will make it easier for the guy to spin the girl around. The guy then makes a full, 360 degree turn, holding the girl in midair. The guy should maintain a tight grip at all times, otherwise the girl could fall down.[22]
  5. Image titled Learn Rock 'n' Roll Lifts Step 26
    Perform the dance move. The guy shifts his left hand and switches his grip. He goes from holding the girl's left leg, to holding her right leg. The guy then pushes the girl's body forward with his chest, twirling the girl forward. As he does this, his hand is still interlocked, and his other hand grasps ahold of her leg. The girl can then spray her right arm outwards.[23]
  6. Image titled Learn Rock 'n' Roll Lifts Step 27
    Finish off the routine. The guy lifts up on the girl's right leg slightly. The guy then lets go of the girls leg, and lets her come to the ground on her two feet. Both partners bend their knees, and lift up. Finally, the partners can release their hands.[24]
  7. Image titled Learn Rock 'n' Roll Lifts Step 28
    Do these steps fast and smooth. It may take a few days of practice. The first step, getting the girl in the guy's arms, should be your first goal. Once you are in that position, the guy really has full control. He then can spin around fairly easily. The most difficult step is the last. Just make sure the guy's grip is tight enough so that she does not fall when twirling outwards.


  • Take a break in between learning steps. You will need to catch your breath, and clear your mind.
  • Always warm up. You want to stretch your legs, and your arms. You can do some simple exercise routines like crunches, or jumping jacks.
  • Once you have successfully completed learning the dance routines, try combining them together. Mixed in with a little standard dancing and shaking.
  • Break the dance routine down into component parts. If you get the first part down, take a break, and come back to it. Add a little more as you go along.


  • Start easy before advancing. You do not want to risk pulling a muscle the second you begin a twirl.
  • Always practice in a large open space. This will keep you from bumping into walls, or tripping over items on the floor.

Sources and Citations

Show more... (21)

Article Info

Categories: Dancing