Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Colgada/Volcada Connection with Mixed Music (adv)

Song: Querer from Cirque de Soleil’s Allegria
Instructors: Homer & Cristina Ladas
February 19-20, 2011, Stanford Workshops, California


We began with an exercise where the Leader tries to send the Follower away and then bring her back. It was an exercise in hanging out and pushing in. The Follower’s feet remain in the same spot while the Leader steps in and steps out. This exercise was for the Leader to figure out timing and feeling of opposition.

With respect to posture, have the hips under, send the Follower out, and do not bend the knees. We were to use our backs, and use our strong back muscles and our strong core muscles.


This is more a fake volcada, where the Leader inserts his right foot between the Follower’s feet, sends the Follower’s hips out in Colgada, and then brings her back in in the volcada, so her left foot swings out and in to front cross in front of her right foot. To execute this correctly, the Leader needs to know where the Follower’s axis is, and he needs to step into it to get the Follower to do the “out” action.


The Leader sends the Follower back in colgada, and then brings her in and around into a wrap of her left leg of his right leg. The shape feels like an ellipse or a backward D. Note that Follower is on axis at the point of the wrap. The Leader’s contact with his thigh to the Follower’s leg is the invitation to wrap.

Our exploration involved doing no volcada in this exercise, with a bare minimum of effort (the Homer wrap), or with maximum energy (the Cristina wrap). You can do either the minimum or maximum energy wrap depending on how you are feeling in the moment and what the music is saying.

But if you do, the energy should be opposite each other:

Big Colgada, Small Volcada, OR

Small Colgada, Big Volcada

The Leader can start the Colgada with leading a few Follower shimmies before sending her back in Colgada.

During the wrap, the Leader should not go too far away from the Follower’s axis.


For the Follower wrap, there are two styling options:

(1) Raise the knee up and then back down to collect.

(2) Keep the feet low on the floor and collect.

Either styling you choose, the Follower should always have control of what her leg is doing. The music will tell us how much time we have to exit, and which styling option might be more suitable/expressive of what is going on in the music.


The no-pivot wrap works because of the Colgada. The Leader sends the Follower out to the side and then brings her in to axis.

Leader catches the Follower’s middle of her right foot on her forward (front cross) step in the clockwise turn/hiro/molinete with his right foot so that both feet are parallel. As the Follower transfers weight to her right foot, the Leader shifts the weight to that same foot, sending her out to the side in Colgada. He then brings her back in to wrap with her opposite leg (her left leg across her body to wrap the Leader’s right leg). We tried this in open embrace. He stops her when she returns to axis.

The Follower’s forward (front cross) step should be around and close to the Leader, so when he puts his foot next to hers, he doesn’t need to go too far.

We also tried this type of no-pivot wrap from the promenade walk.

Then we drilled just exploring on our own doing wraps from different colgadas and volcadas.

After a short question and answer class review, Maestros did a demo dance to Cirque de Soleil’s Querer (from Allegria).

Notes courtesy of Anne at

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