Monday, December 6, 2010

Part II: Close Embrace Alteration & Turn with Di'Sarli with Roberto Rufino on vocals (Advanced Class)

Song: Cosas Olvidadas - Carlos Di Sarli con Roberto Rufino
Instructors: Homer & Cristina Ladas
November 27, 2010, Ashland, Oregon

Our goal in this class was two-fold:
(1) Do a close embrace alteration, which is a change of direction with circular energy.
(2) Make the turn to the right in close embrace with dynamic, but still have control.

The Leaders footwork is side step left foot, weight change right foot, left foot long forward step to the outside, right foot hooks behind on line, pivot on both feet clockwise as weight is split, to walk out.
The Follower's footwork is side step right foot, back left foot, right foot crosses in front, right foot big round forward step around the Leader as she pivots on her left foot, left foot side step, right foot back step.

How does the Follower know not to do an ocho? The Leader blocks her by stepping beyond her foot and the focus is taking her around the Leader's axis (Leader is the center of the circle and Follower goes around him).

We did a lot of drilling to this to Cascabelito by Di'Sarli with Rufino on vocals.

The Follower should use everything in her body to create the curve and length of the forward step around the Leader. The Leader's cross behind is supposed to create the space to open up his right hip so the Follower can have enough room to walk through. We tried this in various speeds, first slow slow slow, and then quick quick slow on the Follower's forward and side step.

We drilled this to many songs:
Tristeza Marina
La Pasao Paso
En un vida
Adios Te Vas

One option we worked on was to do it all in open embrace. The close embrace can open up like a hinge by the Leader. We also tried to do it on the other side. Here too, the close embrace on the other side can open up like a hinge by the Leader.

If the Leader's right hand is evil and he pulls her in, he should practice doing this in teapot embrace (with his right hand as the teapot handle behind his back, and his left hand and arm up as the spout, supporting the Follower). The Follower still hangs onto the Leader, and he still turns to his right.

The Leader does a right foot tight back cross behind his left foot, to make a tight turn to the right. Then he collects, and left foot steps out. Here, each step pivots.
Since it seemed like the Leaders had problems doing TIGHT back crosses (many were not at the Beginner lesson earlier in the day when we worked on our tight cross walking exercises), we backed up to do more tight back crosses, imagining that we were speaking behind a podium, and doing tight back crosses so smoothly that no one knew we were doing them. Next, we did tight back crosses in a circle, trying to walk forward to get to the middle. The big toe caresses the floor. Next, we tried doing tight front crosses, walking back. When we cleaned up the Leader's tight back and front crosses, we then drilled the footwork for the continuous turn.

The Follower's back cross step is truncated, tight and small.

We also tried this in open embrace to get the timing synchronized where the Leader and Follower step at the same time.


The Leader does a right foot sacada on the Follower's right foot on her left side step during her molinete/hiro/turn clockwise around the Leader. We can add these sacadas to our footwork so that we end up with full turns to the right. The Leader needs to think about evening things out in his steps and the dance.

The class concluded with a student review and maestro demo to Adios Te Vas.

Notes courtesy of Anne at

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