Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Exploring Stylistic and Functional Use of Colgadas (Advanced "Exploration" Class)

Song: Anibal Troilo by Julio De Caro
Instructors: Homer & Cristina Ladas
New York City
October 16, 2011


Homer & Cristina Ladas Workshops in New York City:

Weekend Theme: The Body-Spiral and Body-Axis

2.30pm: Building One Social Dance Step-Over Colgada (Intermediate "Foundation" Class)

4.30pm: Exploring Stylistic and Functional Use of Colgadas (Advanced "Exploration" Class)


Exploring Stylistic and Functional Use of Colgadas (Advanced "Exploration" Class)

Video Courtesy of Luis Campos

Since this was an advanced, exploration class, it went very quickly with Maestros demonstrating the colgada, and then the students trying to replicate it or just play with it and explore it to see how to Lead/Follower it and get used to the muscle memory, physical feeling of executing it.

Two new Back Step-Over Colgadas were introduced:

1) Left-Left-Left: Leader’s Left Foot traps Follower’s back cross Left foot and they turn to the Left with She Goes, He Goes exit

2) Right-Right-Right: Leader’s Right foot traps Follower’s back cross Right foot and they turn to the Right with Spin exit


The Leader’s left foot traps the Follower’s left foot back cross step of the turn (molinete), and she steps over behind. He should not put weight on his left foot, until he intentionally transfers it, which will get the colgada.

The Leader’s right foot traps the Follower’s right foot back cross step of the turn (molinete), and she steps over behind.


We worked on a She Goes, He Goes colgada to the left, where the Leader leads a full turn first, then catches her left foot back cross step, and as she goes out in her back step-over colgada, he pivots a little, and steps through with his right foot, while she does a long side step simultaneously with his right foot step through.

On the Left-Left-Left Back Step-Over Colgada, if the Leader’s thigh is too high, the Follower may do a gancho. He can close the space by keeping the thigh low and his weight on his right leg.

Contact in the thighs/leg would lead to a gancho/wrap and start and stop energy.

We can add a barrida after on the left foot back step-over colgada. The Leader needs to gently lead the Follower through by rotating his torso and providing continuous energy.

We also tried boy ganchos after his step through, he can pivot a little to do a gancho.

In the Left-Left-Left back step-over colgada, the Follower step-over is her right foot up and collected back down, then her right leg goes down and out to the side.


On the Right-Right-Right back step-over colgada, there is a spin exit where the Follower pivots on her right foot and the Leader goes around her as much as he wants, knowing as always that he should keep it in the line of dance.


In our work with the functional use of colgadas, we did the 8CB to 5 (cross), then the Leader places his left foot or right foot next to the Follower’s left foot, sends her back in the line of power, and then brings her back in to wrap around either his left or right leg. This is more of a linear wrap, not a circular one. This works if the Follower knows how to do a wrap/gancho. The Leader stops the Follower as she is over her axis to do the gancho/wrap. If she is off axis, this will be a volcada.

The Follower compresses.

The Leader has forward-oriented Captain Morgan legwork, so he opens up his thighs and knees, with a little bit of weight on it, forward orientation, so that the Follower has space to wrap around his leg and is mentally comfortable to do so.

The exit is simple and elegant: The Leader goes a little to the right so that she does a right foot tight back cross against her left foot. This can also be done from the ocho cortado, especially during fun rhythmic tandas (Rodriguez, D’Arienzo).

As always, we should try to be aesthetic, musical, and creatively based in our dance, and to have graceful exits.

Maestros concluded with a class review and demo to Julio De Caro’s Anibal Troilo

Notes courtesy of Anne at

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