Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Pivot versus No Pivot Wraps

Song: Canto de Amor by Osvaldo Fresedo
Instructors: Homer & Cristina Ladas
February 22, 2010, The Beat, Berkeley, CA

Our music for tonight was Fresedo. The goal was to work on the pivot and non-pivot wraps with elegance.


We began with Non-Pivot wraps, going directly into it after maestros showed us.

From the forward / front cross step of the molinete / turn, the Leader steps outside of the Follower’s foot to lead a wrap. The outside (small toe side) of the Leader’s left foot meets the outside (small toe side) of her left foot. He then sends her out a little bit off axis with a little bit of colgada energy out to the side, and then brings her back in, up to axis, at which point she wraps her right leg around the outside of his left leg.

We also did this on the other side, where his right foot meets her right foot (both at the small toe side), and she wraps with her left leg around the outside of his right leg.

The Leader must not lead a pivot for this to work, because if she pivots, she won’t be in the correct position to do the wrap.

The timing is very important. The Leader has to lead the wrap as the Follower’s weight is arriving on her foot, NOT when she’s already collected—it’s too late by then.

The Leader lifts his heel and bends his knee, and goes in to the Follower to get the correct energy to get a wrap.

The Follower’s forward / front cross step needs to be long so that the Leader has enough time to prepare for the send out energy.

When the Follower does her wrap and passes through her center, her toes point down, as if she is crossing her legs, but the Leader is in the way.

Note that for the pivot and non-pivot wraps we worked on, the Follower is on axis at the point of the wrap.

The Leader needs to maintain a strong core, with left arm firmly attached to his back so he doesn’t let go, especially when wrapping on his left side, the more difficult side.

He needs to capture her foot as early as possible (so that her weight hasn’t completely arrived on her front foot yet), and then send her out at the point where she’s strong and stable on that leg.

We spent time several songs repetitively drilling these non-pivot wraps, on the left side and the right side, to figure out the timing, positioning of feet and body. The Follower focus was on good molinete technique and remaining on axis with no lean in, and Leader working on foot placement and sending the Follower out, and both getting used to and trying to get the ideal the wrap feeling in the Follower’s legs against the Leader’s, which was based correct positioning and timing.

After we cleaned things up a bit, we attempted to do the double wrap.


The lead for the Double Wrap is very quick, with a boom-boom energy. To lead a double wrap, the Leader does a small, short, quick twist of his spine while maintaining the embrace.

It is important when attempting the double wrap that the Follower feels good on her axis. We also attempted to do this with elegance.


From Follower forward ochos, the Leader sneaks his foot in on the inside of the Follower’s foot (big toe sides of feet meet) to do a wrap. He comes into her as she tries to finish her pivot, thus causing her to wrap.

After the Leader sneaks his leg in to lead the wrap, it turns out a little to get parallel to the Follower’s leg. This Leader leg turnout prevents them from knocking knees during the wrap. To turn out easily and fluidly, his heel is off the floor, and his knee is forward and lifted.

During the Follower ochos, she needs to pivot enough, and keep her hips close to the Leader’s hips. Her front cross steps should be toward the Leader (not away from him), so that her steps are easy to catch. She should stay on axis and not lean forward.

Next, we drilled from one to the other: pivot, non-pivot, double and single.

It is important for the Follower to match the Leader’s embrace and energy. When he compresses/stiffens, Followers should as well.

The more we do these wrap movements, the more subtle we can be.

The Follower chooses how high to go with her wrapping leg; she should go high enough where it feels good on the fleshy part of the Leader’s thigh (“the meat of the chicken bone”). She also gets the energy, space, and comfort zone from the Leader, which will dictate how she responds / shapes her wrapping leg.


This is a more advanced, volcada-type wrap. With the dancers in promenade walking position, with the Leader’s right leg in light but firm contact with the Follower’s left leg, he leads a wrap of her right leg across the front of her body and around his right leg.

The Leader does not send her out, but rather, takes her in with a lift. There is no pivot. The Follower leans toward the Leader as he tilts her, with the Leader giving her lots of support. A lot of tilt is not needed or necessary; there can be just a little tilt. Because of the simultaneous lift with the tilt, and Follower will naturally respond to the lift by wrapping.

Then we spent a few more songs mixing them all together, and playing with the size: non-pivot, pivot, double, to the left and to the right, big and small, and the off-axis wrap from promenade.

If the Leader gives the Follower more energy, she will do a higher wrap. He can also change his position to get more energy. But he should start with low wraps first, then do higher ones.


The Leader’s position and energy are key.

The Follower has her axis at the point of the pivot and non-pivot wraps.

The off-axis wrap needs to have lift and support from the Leader.

The Follower has control of the leg and control of the exit in the wraps.

The Follower needs to keep her hips close to the Leader and take long steps to be in the correct position for the Leader to lead the wraps.

Maestros concluded with Fresdo’s “Canto de Amor”

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

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