Monday, December 6, 2010

Exploration of Styles Within Colgadas with Mixed Music (Advanced Class)

Song: No Te Mires En El Rio by Enrique Rodriguez
Instructors: Homer & Cristina Ladas
November 28, 2010, Ashland, Oregon

We began with Cristina leading some physical body warm-up exercises so that we could be grounded and our bodies could be nimble and flexible.

In the first colgada class, maestros gave us a simple structure (the step-over colgada). In this class we were given options to develop our own style.

The basic foundation was the step-over colgada. It doesn't need to be too big, and can be done in open embrace. We were to stay in the line of dance.

We reviewed the counterbalance exercise and hip under posture. We were not to arch our back or have ballroom posture, we were not to plank, and we were not to collapse in our shoulders or upper body.

The idea of this class was to explore what works, and what doesn't work.

We experimented with the counterbalancing exercise with different postures and embraces:
cross hand hold
arch back/ballroom
collapsing in shoulders or upper body.
If doing any of these options hurts our backs, we were to go back to the basic step-over colgada with hip-under posture.

Next, we experimented with changes in height, changes in embrace, and changes in the leg, and turning it even more.

Our goal was to experiment with different postures with the underlying thought of "How can I make this work?"

The Follower would decide one posture, and the Leader would have to counterbalance it.

The default is that the Follower should not change her height.

The Leader has to adjust instantly.

Option 1: If the Leader changes his height (by bending his knees), the Follower copies the Leader.

Option 2: The Leader changes his posture; see how the Follower responds (she usually copies it).

Since there were some students in this class who were not in the previous class, the concept of "The Wall" was reviewed.

The Leader needs to be a wall that the Follower wants to hang from. In teapot embrace, the Leader's left hand stays fixed so that the Follower can hang from it. If the Leader's left hand/arm has give, the Follower will want to step down earlier than she should. The Follower needs to be able to use the wall. The Follower has an elastic embrace, sometimes engaging more than usual. In the teapot embrace, the Leader should practice keeping his spout (left arm) solid. The Leader uses his back to keep his spout (left arm) solid to open up his lats. In teapot embrace, the Leader should not telescope his left arm.

Going back to our colgada experimentation, we were able to change:
suspending it and letting the Follower initiate the ending.

The Follower should try to copy the Leader first before she becomes disobedient (experiments).

What does the Leader do when the Follower does an abrupt change? Colgadas have a built-in parachute if something goes wrong. You can put your leg and foot down (step). If you are in trouble, put both feet on the floor to prevent falling. If something really bad happens, like someone get stuck in their pant legs, the Leader falls first and then the Follower is cushioned by him. Do not let go of the Follower, otherwise she will fall first without cushioning.

The class concluded with a student review and maestro demo.

Notes courtesy of Anne at

No comments: