Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What a Catch

Song: Que Haces Que Haces by Edgardo Donato
Instructors: Homer & Cristina Ladas
December 22, 2008, The Beat, Berkeley, CA

This was a holiday class, and the point was to have fun and be playful and musical in our catches. The foundation of our catch work is the turn (molinete), and in our work we utilized the pull technique for Leader, with Follower making sure her nose does not pass the Leader's and that she is really connected to the leader with her left hand so that she feels the pulling sensation and follows it. The goal of the class was to create an illusion of stop action in rhythmic, playful ways in our catches. We explored many different types of catches.

We began with very simple catches, which began with the Leader doing a rock step, and then catching the Follower as he leads her to a full forward step that curves. In the teapot embrace (with Leader's right hand behind his back while Follower's left hand is on his bicep or behind his shoulder, and his left hand holds Follower's right hand normally in the open side of the embrace), we practiced to the Donato's El Acomodo, where the Leader catches with his foot on the Follower's right leg forward step during a clockwise molinete. Here, the Follower has to have good molinete technique, and really be connected to the Leader with her left hand, to really follow and feel the pull of the Leader's torso as he leads her to step around.

We also worked on the same figure in a counterclockwise molinete. Then we practiced different other places to catch, as the Leader can trap any foot on any step, and can do it with a front catch or back catch.

We then practiced the exit on the Leader's back catch, which can be a colgada.

Next, we did a silly catch, like a little Evil Knievel, where Leader walks forward, Follower walks back, Leader does a very quick weight change, then his left foot catches Follower's right foot, and then he sandwiches her right foot with his right foot. It is almost like a jump (and can turn into a jump) because it's very fast. One variation of this is the shimmy step or pitter patter step, and resolution can be a Follower colgada.

The Leader can also do a more complicated Evil Knievel, by doing a jump with crossed feet. Here, he can lead this by doing it with a super deep back cross to catch Follower's foot. Here, it's important that the Leader does not clamp Follower's feet -- he should give her lots of room when doing this Leader crossed jump step.

Next, the Leader can do the Windshield Wiper catch, where his left foot moves like a windshield wiper on the floor from her left foot to right foot (and back to left foot), as both her feet are planted on the ground, but her weight changes from left to right to left. He can also bring in his right foot to trap her left foot so her legs are kept apart. Here the resolution can be a counterweight movement like a colgada.

Next, Maestro showed us the Mountain Climber, whereby the Leader does a series of soltadas as he steps around Follower, trapping her feet as he steps around her (and sometimes he traps her feet with crossed feet).

Next, Leader leads Follower to do forward boleos and tries to catch her foot/leg as it is in the air.

Next, during ganchos, Leader can squeeze his thighs while Follower ganchos. Doing this during overturned back ganchos looks better, but is more difficult to lead/execute. For all the ganchos with catches, it is very important that the Leader not knock the Follower off her standing leg. For the Follower, the gancho technique is that the leg really needs to wrap from the hip (not just the knee).

Next, we did a breaking of embrace belly catch, as Follower rocks forward and back, facing away from the Leader (almost like the Leader is leading a soltada, but then changes his mind and puts her back in place).

Notes courtesy of Anne at http://scoutingtour.blogspot.com

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