Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Happy Sacadas with Francisco Canaro (Intermediate Class)

Song: El Rey del Bosque by Francisco Canaro
Instructors: Homer & Cristina Ladas
April 6, 2013, Yale Tango Fest

Video courtesy of Steven Spura

We began with a warm-up song, just doing regular dancing for the first half of the song. Then the song was paused and we were instructed to then dance the second half of the song doing as many sacadas as we knew.

Next, we were told to dance doing forward sacadas, seeing how many we could do in a row with each other (so both Leaders and Followers doing sacadas to each other).  Here the communication and integrity of the embrace are key.  We were to try to get 4-6 in a row, on either side, although it was easier to do left leg sacadas during turns to the right.

The idea of this class was to have fun and be happy playing with sacadas to the mellow, easy beat of Francisco Canaro.

We started with the forward sacadas. 

Sacadas are like Closets
In their home, Cristina has more shoes, more clothes, and more grooming products than Homer, so she has more closet space, more shelf space, because she needs it.  The same is true for Sacadas.

In Sacadas, the Leader needs to give the Follower more space for her to do her Forward Sacada into the Leader, but when he does his forward sacada into her space, he can be closer.  If the Leader walks near/around the Follower, the Follower feels crowded and may hesitate and feel uncomfortable about walking forward in her sacada.

Elasticity of Follower’s Embrace
The paradoxical nature and idea of the elasticity of the Follower’s embrace is to allow it to stretch if it needs to so that the Follower can take her long, reaching steps into the Leader during her forward sacada.  She should use her embrace to help facilitate this.  However, she must always hold on and maintain connection with the Leader in her hands, with the pads of her fingertips

During the Follower’s Sacada, the Leader should maintain visual connection with the Follower by looking at her as he walks away from her in a tangent to lead the Follower to do her Forward Sacada step into him.  He should create the space for her to feel comfortable walking into his space.

Both dancers must control the speed to make it a nice, smooth movement, keeping the embrace elastic as there will be points where we need to be farther way from each other, and then closer.

The Leader is leading two things:
  1. The Follower’s Forward Ocho
  2. The Follower’s Hiro while the Leader is stepping away in a tangent to her.
We worked on doing this in Sugar Bowl (aka “Less Blame”) embrace, to help us understand that the Follower needs to be more active in her embrace.  Here, the pads of the Follower’s fingers are always on the Leader’s arms, but her arms are flexible so she can open up the embrace a bit when she needs more space to take long reaching steps into the Leader’s space.  In her Sacada, she should reach with her foot and leg first, then bring her hips forward as she transfers the weight and takes his space during the sacada.

We then switched gears and started with the side-step hypnotizing setup.

Here the Leader steps side to side, and the Follower follows with her side steps.
The Leader then plants his left foot, pivots 90 degrees so that he is perpendicular to the Follower, and then he steps forward with his right foot on a line tangent to the Follower with his right foot. This leads the Follower to step forward into his space in her sacada.  The Follower needs to recognize that after the Sacada, the Leader is leading a movement: the forward ocho (forward pivot).

The keys for the sacada are:
·         The lead for the Sacada is based on the Hiro
·         Both Leader and Follower need to do Big Ochos right before walking into their partner.

Other tips:
  • Keep your chest up.
  • Do not rush.
  • Follower needs to have good ocho technique with good energy in her hips.
  • Leader needs to have good ocho technique with good energy in his hips. If he does not, then he needs to work on his Follower’s technique.
Stride Length
The Leader enables the Follower to make good steps by not constraining her. He must not push her or rush her step and give her clear space. 
The Follower must still be connected to the Leader with her hands and pads of her fingers, even though her embrace opens up with elasticity in her arms.

Next we changed the exercise:
Still starting with the hypnotizing side steps.
The Leader extends his left foot in a sneak attack, then transfers weight and turns to the right to lead the Follower to do a right foot forward sacada into his trailing, now unweighted right foot.

We also tried this on the opposite side:
The Leader extends his right foot in a sneak attack, then transfers weight and turns to the left to lead the Follower to do a left foot forward sacada into his trailing, now unweighted left foot.

As we do these Follower forward sacadas into the Leader, he becomes a moving target as he changes the location of the axis.  The Follower needs more space to feel comfortable walking into him.

Snakey Sacadas
The Leader leads mini forward sacadas in sequence (snakey sacadas).  These are snaky ochos into him. The Follower should not fall forward in her forward steps. She needs to reach, and arrive completely instead of cutting through the movements and moving continuously.  When she arrives, she needs to really connect the four corners of the foot to the floor.

These continuous snaky Follower forward ochos are an academic exercise as it goes against the line of dance as the Leader is walking backwards and the Follower walks forwards into him.  If done on the social dance floor, the most you would do would be 1 or 2. Otherwise, you will crash into the couple behind you.

The secret to doing continuous Follower forward sacadas is to take it back at an angle by turning our shoulders diagonally opposite (like what we did in our earlier sneak attack exercise), and then do another, angling it a bit.

For the Leader, it is very important that he collect in between the steps. However, if doing this move in double time, he will not be able to collect. If the Leader does this in double time, he still needs to have control. And the faster they go, the more the Follower needs to hold onto the Leader.

Maestros concluded with a class review and demo to Francisco Canaro’s El Rey del Bosque.

Notes courtesy of Anne at http://scoutingtour.blogspot.com

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