Friday, November 4, 2011

The Art of Surprise - Part II (Int/Adv) (Focus on Telescoping)

Instructors: Homer & Cristina Ladas
Providence, Rhode Island
October 29, 2011


The Providence Tango Tricks and Treats Weekend with Homer & Cristina Ladas

Friday, October 28, 2011

Something Scary Spins This Way (Int)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Art of Surprise - Part I (Int)

The Art of Surprise - Part II (Int/Adv)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Cool Tricks and Traps for the Social Dance Floor - Parts I (Advanced)

Cool Tricks and Traps for the Social Dance Floor - Parts II (Master)


Video Courtesy of Steven Spura and Bill Pease

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Art of Surprise - Part II (Int/Adv) (Focus on Telescoping)

We explored more advanced forms of social dance surprise, some building on the previous class and some new directions as well. This was a new, experimental class, with a sophisticated, complex topic related to the arms and how we use them with a focus on the concept of telescoping.


Maestros began with a demo of the Body Slam (chest bump)

The Body Slam (chest bump) doesn’t/shouldn’t hurt. The Leader does an arm send out, and then brings her back in, so the move goes from close embrace, to open embrace, to close embrace.


The Leader leads whatever he wants from the Sugar Bowl Embrace

-Axis is key.

-Lead in this embrace only.

-Things to think about: If an Astronaut is in space and turns a wrench, and there’s nothing for him to be grounded to, he will spin around.

The Leader leads whatever he wants, ONLY leading with his arms/hands (not his spine/body).

-Make it feel good

-As long as it feels comfortable, use your arms as much as you want, but you will find that your body is still behind the lead. You need to use your body no matter what you do. You should use as much of your body as possible, then use your arms.


Here, our goal was for the Leader to disassociate the lead.

Both dancers were to keep stable and balanced. The Leader sends the Follower out, and down, and then he goes. He needs to really plant the Follower in place, and then go. His thoughts should be “I lead my Follower, I go myself.” The Leader should play with how much weight the Follower puts on her back foot, playing with leading her to collect.

We drilled and played with this concept, doing forward, back, and side steps, or with her doing two steps in He Goes, She goes (or She goes, He Goes). The Leader was to project his axis, then telescope the arms/hands. This is the reverse of the Body Slam (Chest Bump), going forward then back. The Leader’s right hand needs to be sent back as he walks back to keep the Follower back and still as he walks back (telescoping his arms). If he keeps his arms fixed, they/he will get whiplash.


This step happens a lot in milonga so our music for this drill was milongas.

Doing this step, we were to do it in He Goes, She goes, where the Leader projects with his rib cage and right arm, to lead the Follower’s weight change and do a weight change himself, pulling with his rib cage and arm, too.

What do you use in your body to make this happen?

Cristina’s Method for the Lead: Comes more from the rib cage

Homer’s Method for the Lead: Has more of a down and into the floor sensation

There is a “U” or “O” energy of down, over, back up, settling at the top. Try to lead this movement without a lot of flexion in the knees (so more in the arms).

We also tried going to the side.

For the Follower, this type of communication takes a lot of listening and control. Do it slowly, wait for the Leader to lead the collection. We drilled this to two songs: (1) with our usual dance partner, (2) with someone else. We were to think about the telescoping idea, and which one method will be most successful in the milonga: She Goes, He Goes doing the Cristina Method or the Homer Method. The key is to stay grounded and not fall, and be consistent. The two ways to lead the She Goes, He Goes is to project the body forward all the time, or go back a little. With both you can telescope as much as you want.

Follower needs to pay attention:

(1) To the lead for the weight change

(2) Wait for the lead to: - reach, - transfer weight, - collect without transferring weight.

The Leader should have the option to plant in between.

In leading two steps for the Follower, the Leader needs to think about how much to project his body and how far to lead the Follower step back so that he has enough room to project for her second step back. The Body Slam is the opposite of going out, then in versus He Goes, She Goes, which is going in, then out.

After the class review, Maestros demo’d to Orchesta Tipica Victor’s Cacareando.

Notes courtesy of Anne at

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