Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Funny Volcada

Song: Fumando Espero by Carlos DiSarli
Instructors: Homer & Cristina Ladas
September 10, 2008, Cellspace, San Francisco

It's called Funny because it's at a funny 90 degree angle of Leader and Follower. It's a very nice transitional step to go from open embrace to a closer embrace, capturing the partner in the end. The Funny Volcada is similar to the calesita, the main difference being the Follower taken off axis in the Funny Volcada. Typical Follower volcada posture rules apply: core strength is key so that hips and back do not break/collapse; the left arm digs down and pushes down to get upward lift as if getting out of a swimming pool, and to make a lengthening strong core, with support right down to the supporting (right) leg.

We began with a trust/support exercise: Follower falls forward, and lets her left leg go forward and back at the same time while keeping her right leg strong and straight. Leader has his hands on the tops/fronts her shoulders and prevents her from falling too far or stepping completely onto the floor with her foot. The purpose of this exercise is to practice supporting her weight on his part, and trust on her part. What kills the Volcada is (1) if the Leader goes down or (2) goes straight back over his axis. These actions have the effect of bending her back. We then did open embrace Follower back ochos while Leader had the teapot arm positioning (leading with his left hand only, his right hand behind his back; Follower has her left hand on his bicep with thumb in front at the indentation).

For the Funny Volcada, Leader leads back ochos, then catches her at the closed side of the embrace to step to right to transition closer to Follower so that they are at a right angle (perpendicular) to each other. Here Follower needs to change her embrace too to be closer. The Leader, beginning with his left foot, takes three steps backward while Follower, being taken off axis sideways, does a fanning action with her left foot going forward and out counterclockwise. For resolution, leader takes a side step to make her pivot out (unwind) of the volcada. Technical points: it is important for the Follower not to to unwind too quickly and straighten up too soon/early. It is important for both to consider how to use the embrace to give maximum support, and provide continuous support until Follower unwinds to resolution (with no air bubbles or hiccups in the embrace). Follower footwork on the fan: foot can be pointed, like for ballet, or with heel down and foot flexed, which is more sassy. To practice this at home, Follower can push against the wall with her left arm supporting her while she leans on it, with weight on her right foot, and practice the movement of her left foot fanning out.

Notes courtesy of Anne at

No comments: