Thursday, May 31, 2012

General Theory of Blending Leader's and Follower's Sacadas (Very Advanced)

Instructors: Homer & Cristina Ladas
Providence, Rhode Island
May 12, 2012
Video courtesy of Steven Spura

This advanced class will develop the foundation for creating the flow in continuous sacadas for leaders and followers.  It will then branch out into often unexplored territory showing how to stay connected and at-ease during the most creative sacada endeavors...  You must have some experience with leader's and follower's sacadas on the social dance floor to attempt this class.  Not for the faint of heart! If you are not an advanced dancer, you may take this class at any level provided that you have a partner that you will stay with for the whole class.

In this class, we were going to use Sacadas as a vehicle for trying to communicate elasticity and connection.

He Goes, She Goes Sacadas
We began with alternating she goes, he goes sacadas, using our outside legs.  Here the goal is for the Leader to lead the Follower to do a forward sacada into him, and then the Leader doing a sacada into the Follower.  Our outside legs were the sacada-ing legs.  We were to incorporate transitions and use rock steps.

Backing up to work on the fundamentals, the Leader leads the Follower to walk into him.  He does this by leading the Follower to make a forward step with her outside leg toward his trailing foot.  Then he does a sacada by walking forward with his outside leg toward her trailing foot.  So the Leader steps across the Follower, and then the Follower steps into the Leader.  The Follower steps across the Leader, and the Leader steps into her.  We drilled this so that we could feel and understand in our bodies the concepts of space and timing.

Simple Pattern:
Next, we did a simple pattern that started with doing some side step hypnotizing.
Then the Leader leads the Follower to stand still on one leg.
Then Leader does a “sneak attack”, by making a reaching side, slightly diagonally forward step with a weight change, while NOT changing the Follower’s weight so she remains still.
He then leads the Follower to step into his other leg as he rotates his body as he arrives on his new leg.   As his weight transfers to his left leg, his chest rotates to his right.  If using the other foot, as his weight transfers to his right leg, his chest rotates to his left.

The Follower needs to step long and around the Leader, just the same as if she was doing it for a turn/molinete/hiro.

We then did this in teapot embrace (Leader’s right hand at the small of his back as the handle, left arm up as the spout; Follower’s left hand on his right tricep).

The Follower needs to allow the embrace to stretch open and close by staying back on her standing, supporting leg and taking long reaching steps into the Leader.

We drilled this a lot with each other, as it was a difficult concept to master, especially where the Leader leads the Follower to stand still and not change weight while he does his sneak attack and changes weight.

However, there were some advanced couples in class, and they moved on to doing a leg wrap using the Captain Morgan set-up.

Advanced Leg Wrap:
Here, the Leader plants his left foot and leads the Follower to sacada it with her left foot, but instead of his left foot being free to be taken out by the Follower in her sacada, he instead keeps it on the floor, though unweighted but firmly planted, as he takes the Captain Morgan stance (see  The Captain Morgan stance enables the Leader’s left leg to be unweighted and free to pivot and out and offered up to the Follower to wrap.  His left foot remains on the floor as he leads the Follower to step into him with her left foot, and since her body is rotating and his leg is offered up slightly, her right leg is free to wrap around it.  The trick to the leg wrap is for the Leader to put more weight into his leg in the Captain Morgan stance, and do more rotation and blocking energy to lead the wrap.  The Follower needs to let the embrace be elastic.

Piecing it all together:
He goes, she goes sacadas.
Leader turns 90 degrees while keeping the Follower on her right leg to lead the Follower to step around him while he keeps his axis.  (Imagine that the Leader is the Earth and the Follower is the Moon.) 
As the Leader changes axis, he turns his body and has the Follower walk around him through the sacada leg. 
Leader: make the step and turn to the right as weight is going on to his foot.
Follower steps around the new axis in a straight-on forward step (not a front cross step).
Dancers are perpendicular with hips at 90 degrees to each other.

The difference/secret between the timing of Leader and Follower sacadas.
Both are based on turns, but the timing is different.
In the Leader sacada, the Leader turns first, then reaches. 
In the Follower sacada, the Leader leads the Follower to reaches first, and then arrives on it, and then turns.  So the order of the reach and turn are opposite.  This is the key difference.

Maestros concluded with a demo to Cat Power’s (I can't get no) satisfaction.

Notes courtesy of Anne at

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