Song: Alma by Adolfo Carabelli
Instructors: Homer & Cristina Ladas
June 29, 2009, The Beat, Berkeley, CA
The theme of the night focused on the transition, the zone between the boleo and sacada. Our focus was on the Follower’s boleo and the Follower’s sacada, and joining the two together like brother and sister, as the energy flows from one to the other, from boleo to sacada.
We focused on the topic by breaking it down, and really working on boleo technique and sacada technique.
The Follower’s forward boleo is led from the ocho, with the Leader doing a quick weight change (little sashay) to lead the Follower forward boleo. This was done in open embrace, with the Leader in teapot hold with his right forearm and hand behind his back. This was so he could really lead from his spine and chest, and not rely on his right hand/arm to steer the Follower, and for the Follower to maintain good spiral energy and not rely on the Leader to turn her body to help her pivot.
Follower’s Technique for Open Embrace Ocho:
Follower should keep her chest facing the Leader while her hips turn 90 degrees away. Follower should have an active left hand, and not let go of the Leader’s right bicep, and she should remain on axis with no lean forward. The embrace is the conduit where the Leader communicates the ocho and boleo. Follower should keep her hips close to the Leader.
Leader Technique for Open Embrace Ocho / Boleo:
The Leader should make really good size side steps, which give the Follower enough time to complete her pivot. If his step is short, he will not give her enough time to pivot, and she may not pivot enough to have enough space to do a forward boleo.
Follower’s Technique for Boleos:
For the boleo, what we are hoping for is a satisfying “thwack” against the outside side of the butt, as it is a whipping action, and the “thwack” occurs at the end of the whip. We can accomplish this by having good articulation in freeing the femur, so that the leg wraps around and the foot kind of spirals up the leg. The top of the thighs touch each other, are very squished close together, and in the boleo the leg crosses over the other leg very tightly. Don’t let the knee bend when there’s space between the thighs. The knee does not go up until there’s no space between the thighs. Keep the spiral in the upper body, with the shoulders and chest facing the Leader, even though the hips face away. Pivot a lot, be very active in your hips. Don’t rely on the Leader to help you pivot.
Leader’s Technique for Boleos:
Timing is key. At the middle of the Follower’s ocho is where the Leader’s weight change should occur. When the Follower’s hips are directly facing the Leader, that is the Point of No Return. If the Leader jumps the gun and changes weight too soon (before the Point of No Return), he will end up leading a rebote. If his timing is right (much later than the Point of No Return, when the Follower’s hips are well past facing the Leader), he will lead a boleo.
The Boleo-Sacada Connection
For the figure, the Follower’s boleoing foot does a side step sacada of the Leader’s trailing foot as he steps away from the Follower. It is important to employ good walking technique, and good reaching technique.
Follower right leg forward boleo directly into right leg side step sacada of Leader’s trailing left back foot as he steps forward (away and across from the Follower) with his right leg clockwise.
Follower left leg forward boleo directly into left leg side step sacada of Leader’s trailing right back foot as he steps forward (away and across from the Follower) with his left leg counterclockwise.
This Follower side step sacada is a side step facing away from each other, and then they pivot to face each other at the end, resolving into a molinete.
Technical comments on the figure:
The Leader’s right hand doesn’t hold on to the Follower’s back, but the Follower still holds on to the Leader’s right bicep with her left hand.
The Follower should really think “side step”, and really track where the Leader is the new center of the circle and where his axis is. Follower should not let the Leader pull her into the side step. The Follower should really stretch in the side step, trying to touch the Leader’s thigh.
We concluded with a study circle review of the things we learned:
(1) Timing is key.
(2) Keep your chest up.
(3) There can be a slight hanging away from each other.
(4) Follower should really stretch in the side step, trying to touch the Leader’s thigh.
(5) Hips are ocho factories.
(6) The Boleo-Sacada combination is like brother and sister.
(7) Have good, strong ochos.
(8) There is elasticity in the embrace.
(9) The Point of No Return is when the Follower’s hips directly face the Leader’s.
Maestros ended the class with a demo to Alma by Adolfo Carabelli that had many different types of boleos (linear, back, forward) and different types of sacadas (forward, side), and from different body positions (promenade).
Notes courtesy of Anne at http://scoutingtour.blogspot.com