Monday, June 4, 2012

Something New, Cool and Simple

Song: Mendocina by Pedro Laurenz
Instructors: Homer & Cristina Ladas
May 19, 2002, Northampton, MA
Video Courtesy of Todd Griffen

We did an exercise called Project M.  This was named after one of Maestros’ students in the San Francisco bay area about seven years ago named Muliono, who was a very creative dancer.  Muliono could act out anyone in dancing (Fabian Salas, Chico Frumboli, etc.) and look just like them when he danced.

Exercise 1: Leader is back-leading Follower
We reverse the embrace so that the Leader is now in the Follower’s position, but he is back leading her to lead him to dance.

Exercise 2: Leader ochos during Follower side steps
In normal embrace, we did side steps, then Leader changes weight and does back ochos while he still leads the Follower to do side steps. The Leader can try doing forward ochos as well. To get out of his back ochos, the Leader pivots, changes weight, and then steps side to side with the Follower.

In all of these exercises, the Follower is not passive. 

Exercise 3: Exploring the rock step, making it turn and making it travel
Leader does normal rock step
Turns it
Can be in the middle or outside partner, and rotate in the line of dance and march it down the line of dance.
We should keep our thighs together.  The Leader’s thighs should touch the Follower’s thighs for more connection and communication.

After drilling this, we added a bit of sway to the movement.  The Follower should keep the connection and not go away from the Leader.

Exercise 4: Crab Walk
From the rock step, we did the crab walk with the Leader in front going down the line of dance using rock steps.  Each of the Leader’s feet are pivoting, so he can rotate a little to get down the line of dance.

Exercise 5: Follower rollerblades while Leader does sexy back ocho crab walk
Follower should do her side steps with elegance and she collects in between. 
Leader does rock steps down the line of dance, so dancers’ hips are perpendicular to each other.

Exercise 6: Follower forward sacadas to Leader’s sexy back ocho crab walk
The Leader leads the Follower to walk into the Leader down the line of dance as he does the crab walk rock step.
Leader leads the Follower’s forward steps on his forward steps so that the Follower sacadas the Leader’s trailing feet. Follower makes long, reaching steps.

The Leader does ochos and then gets into perpendicular hips with the Follower. 
Follower makes long, reaching steps.

Maestros demonstrated the class concepts to Pedro Laurenz’s Mendocina.

Notes courtesy of Anne at

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