Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Leader's Back Sacada from Close to Open

Song: Soy Aquel Viajero by Carlos DiSarli
Instructors: Homer & Cristina Ladas
Sunday, February 21, 2010, Stanford University

In this class we continued with music by DiSarli with Podesta on vocals.

We were going to work on two Leader’s back sacadas:
(1) Organic Back Sacada
(2) 4-Step Shortened Organic Back Sacada which is better to do socially

First, the Leaders and Followers were split into their respective groups.

For Leader's back sacadas, the molinete (turn) technique is very important for Followers. So we began with Followers perfecting their counterclockwise molinetes, the goal of which was that the Follower take big smooth steps around the Leader, and employing good technique during her reach, collect, pivot, and weight transfers. To make this exercise extremely challenging, the Followers partnered up and tried to get completely around their partner by doing just the three steps of the turn/molinete: forward cross step, side step, back cross step. Follower should make steps as even and smooth as possible, really stretching the steps, and really pivoting in this exercise. She must keep her spine straight, chest up, have no forward lean in her posture and maintain her axis. This three-step molinete exercise is more difficult than what we would encounter on the social dance floor. This is so that when we try to do it on the social dance floor, it will be easier.

For the Leader, there is a pull lead in his left hand (as opposed to a push lead). This Leader's left hand pull lead is important because for the organic back sacada, the lead is also from the pull of the Leader's left hand (as felt by Follower's right hand).

The Leaders worked on doing a linear grapevine pattern of right foot FWD – (pivot 90 degrees) - left foot SIDE – (pivot 90 degrees) right foot BACK – back ocho counterclockwise all the way around, left foot BACK step (this left foot BACK step will be the Leader’s back sacada). The Leaders were to try to do this in one straight line as much as possible. This requires a 360 degrees turn for the back ocho pivot, to finish with the back step in a straight line. This exercise is more difficult than what we would encounter on the social dance floor. This is so that when we try to do it on the social dance floor (where the back ocho pivot might only be 270 degrees), it will be easier than when we tried it in our exercise.

The Follower takes big, equal steps, especially on her side step, where she receives the Leader's back sacada. For the Follower, her steps are left foot BACK – right foot SIDE – left foot FORWARD – right foot SIDE (on this side step is where the Leader does his back sacada through her legs).

At the point of the Leader's back sacada, the Leader releases the hinge of his right shoulder to give Follower room to get around because he is coming into her space. His left shoulder needs to open so that he leads her to takes her side step around him. The Leader's back sacada might not be directly on the line (but should be very close to being in line). The Leader must really engage his left arm lead so that Follower feels his pull through during his back sacada.

For Leader's technique, since the foundation for the Leader’s back sacada is the overturned back ocho, he needs to work on his back ocho to get good spiral in his body and good pivot in his feet and hips. He also needs to collect after his back ocho pivot, before he sends his left foot out in a back step / the back sacada. This is so that he can find his center and then walk gracefully into the back step. For the pivot he should keep his spine very straight to keep his axis, and not tilt his head forward or back or in a strange way as it will throw his balance and posture off. For the Leader during his back sacada, his heel should be pointed down, not up.

For the exit when Follower receives the sacada, there are options for her free left leg:
(1) She can keep it on the floor, opening out and away in a fan, and collecting afterwards.
(2) She can receive the sacada and have her leg peel away with her knee up, bouncing off, raised but keeping her leg close to the Leader's body. Her toes should be pointed down to the floor, and she should not open up her hips, but keep them close.

With both of these options, the Follower needs to be strong and supportive in her standing leg so that the free leg can be articulate (and she has more control over the movement and aesthetics of what the free leg is doing).

For the Leader:
(1) Leader steps side left (Follower steps side right) as if he is getting on the balance beam.
(2) Leader right foot steps straight forward.
(and) Leader pivots, with hips coming around 70% of the way, and right hand needs to let go and drop. At this point the Leader's left hand compresses in to stop Follower from stepping, because any pressure will make her step to the side too early.
(3) Leader's does back sacada with his left leg as his hips pivot around the rest of the way (30%).
(4) Collect.

For the Follower:
(1) Follower steps side right.
(2) Follower left foot steps straight back.
(and) right foot collects.
(3) Right foot steps side right, curving around Leader.
(4) As Leader does his organic back sacada, her left leg peels away as a consequence to exit.

We can start this step in close embrace, but Leader must let Follower go to her axis at the point of the back sacada by letting go with his right hand, while his left hand stays fixed.

Note that there are no back sacadas in close embrace. There is no physical way to do back sacadas in close embrace.

Though the two Leader organic back sacadas taught in class today can begin in close embrace, they must transition to open embrace at the point of the Leader back sacada. This is because the Leader must have his axis to be able to pivot as much as he needs to (270-360 degrees), and the Follower must to have her axis to do the turn around the Leader.

Maestros concluded with a demo to DiSarli's Soy Aquel Viajero.

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

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