Friday, November 4, 2011

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

Instructors: Homer & Cristina Ladas
Providence, Rhode Island
October 30, 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

Sunday, October 30, 2011

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

This advanced class both grounds us and expands our horizons. We began by refining the circular ocho cortado, including lead/follow variations. From there, “The Felipe Reverse Ocho Cortado” and its variations were introduced.


We began with a warm-up dance working on the ocho cortado, doing it linearly or making it as circular as possible. When doing the Circular Ocho Cortado, we need to be aware of where we are facing (opposite Line of Dance).

In the Circular Ocho Cortado, the Leader’s hips face the Follower’s hips, and he should keep his heels together, even if he “V’s with his feet. The Leader pivots on his left foot to open his hips.


The Leader has the option to really lead a split weight on the open step, or to transfer the Follower’s weight fully to her left foot before leading her back around into the cross. It is important that the Follower take long steps around the Leader, unless the Leader constrains or cuts her step. The Leader needs to be able to control this side step of the Follower, so that he can maintain it at split weight, and neither dancer should overrotate. We drilled this concept, really working on trying to control the Follower’s side step with split weight.


We worked on the American Twist Shimmy, where the Follower’s hips are in the middle with weight split, and then she pivots on the balls of both feet, as her knees turn one way and then the other (a la Elvis).

For the Leader, he leads the ocho cortado, stopping the Follower in the middle, making her stay there. He then communicates with his spine/torso to lead the Follower to do her Twist Shimmy Swivel. We did this in QQS-QQS-S rhythm. The Leader needs to get in touch with his hips and how they communicate. They hips are the motor that can drive the movement in the chest. It’s a knees, feet, hips pumping into the ground sensation.

The Follower knows the Leader is moving her into compression through:

-the use of the embrace

-the direction of the hips rotate to the left (counterclockwise) to move her into the cross

-the Shimmy movement is more compact

We drilled this with our usual partner, then tried with another different partner for one song.


We worked on this in close embrace, so it becomes a surprise.

The Leader’s right hand lets go, and the Leader twists his body as much as possible and Leader twists Follower as much as he can (she is mostly on her left foot), rotating her hips as much as possible so that they become perpendicular.

The Leader needs to rotate the Follower, without her collecting. The Follower needs to be on axis, not tilted, and her weight is split about 60/40 or 70/30, but not more than that, otherwise she will collect. She is also not sitting back on her left foot. Being in the middle has to really resonate with her.

THE FELIPE REVERSE OCHO CORTADO (named after Felipe Martinez)

From the perpendicular position, in the Felipe Reverse Ocho Cortado, the Follower’s cross is a left foot back cross tuck (not a left foot front cross tuck in front of her pivoted right foot), to a right foot forward step, to a right foot pivot counterclockwise back into a normal left foot front cross tuck.

The Leader leads the left foot back cross tuck by circular rotation and linear energy to get the Follower to do a back cross tuck of her left foot behind her right foot. The Leader can add a little bit of telescoping in his arms to lead the Follower to get her to her back cross tuck. He also needs to turn and tilt the axis a little to create space for the Follower. He needs to transfer weight onto his right, and pull his left foot back so she has room.

The Follower’s left foot side step before her left foot back cross tuck needs to be really circular and around the Leader so she can end up perpendicular to him. She also needs to accept the transition from close to open embrace.

ROBERTO VARIATION (named after a student in class who came up with this during our exploration)

Left foot back cross, to come back out to uncross in a rock step back, into regular front cross. The Leader holding the Follower up is what makes the Follower’s weight change when she crosses back.


The Leader pivots on his right foot, pulls his left foot in to get it out of her way to create space for the Follower to step around the Leader and cross in front of him, and the Follower walks around the Leader in a counterclockwise turn/hiro/molinete.


To right foot unwind while she is on her weighted standing left foot to right foot back ocho (clockwise).

We drilled the various exits with the goal to try to figure out how to get back to close embrace smoothly and elegantly.

After the class review, Maestros demo’d to D’Arienzo’s El Flete.

Notes courtesy of Anne at

No comments: