Instructors: Homer & Cristina Ladas
April 6, 2013, Yale Tango Fest
Maestros demonstrated the simple step we would learn in this class: the rock step to the Follower’s forward ocho, to the Leader’s parada on the close side, to the Follower’s pasada to the open side.
The class was first separated into two sections with Leaders on one side and Followers on the other side facing the Leaders. Maestros then went through the footwork first and the students mimicked them from behind.
Then the groups were reunited.
The Rock Step
We began in open embrace and focused on doing the rock step and Follower’s ocho and step around (so we did not do the Leader’s parada at this point)
Leader’s left foot rock step forward
Right foot rocks back, crossing behind
Right foot opens to the right as Follower walks forward, she does a weight change, then pivots.
As the Leader leads the Follower around, the Leader goes with her and pivots on his left and steps off.
The Follower’s right foot steps back.
Then her right foot rocks forward where she takes a long step around the Leader and does a big forward ocho pivot on her now-weighted right leg as the Leader’s right shoulder opens up.
The Follower then steps around the Leader with her left foot and then back out with her right foot.
If we found this easy, we were to do it in Teapot Embrace (Leader’s left hand up and out as the spout, right hand at the small of his back, his right arm as the handle).
In tango, for both Leader and Follower, we must always maintain the three Cs:
From here, we moved to the Sugar Bowl embrace (aka the “Less Blame” embrace), with the Leader’s hands at this small of his back and both arms as the handles. This embrace is “Less Blame” because the Leader’s right hand is not on the Follower’s back so he can’t push her around.
The Big Ocho Pivot
In doing the rock step parada pasada, there is a transition period where the embrace starts with the dancers in close appilado style with a tilted axis, to a fully vertical one at the point of the Follower’s pivot. To lead this opening up of the embrace to fully vertical, the Leader needs to take his axis to fully vertical. The Follower will automatically mimic this movement and take her axis at the point of her big ocho pivot on the close side of the embrace.
The Follower needs to take long, reaching steps around the Leader to remain close to him, because if she takes short steps not around the Leader she will end up being very far away from him. The Follower’s default should be long, reaching steps. To illustrate this point, the Rule of the Hip was introduced.
The Big Ocho Pivot: The Rule of the Hip
The Follower’s hip will touch the Leader’s hip at the end of her big ocho pivot. That’s how close they should be. This rule applies to both the close and open sides of the embrace. Here the Leader has to make his base small with his feet together (not apart), otherwise the Follower will have more difficulty getting around him.
The Follower at the moment of the ocho must be on vertical axis, as this will help her pivot a lot and maintain balance. In all our dancing, we must exercise control. We must not fall forward and we must not rush to the next step (which for Followers is the pasada).
The Leader’s Parada
To add the Leader’s Parada, we began with working on an exercise to get the Leaders used to the footwork.
The pre-exercise was the pivot with a little kick around with our bodies like a block.
The exercise was the Leader standing on his left foot and then pivoting around while fanning out his free foot in “ronde” movement. With each pivot/fan, he would try to turn 90 degrees. The Leaders goal was to use the movement of the ronde to get around.
Next we drilled and became infinite ocho parada machines.
The Follower’s Pasada
When stepping over, the Follower should not step over as if stepping over a box as this is very inelegant. Instead, she should imagine her foot as an airplane coming in for a landing to have a smooth, gliding effect.
Maestros concluded with a class review and a demo to El Yacare by Angel D'Agostino with vocals by Angel Vargas.
Notes courtesy of Anne at http://scoutingtour.blogspot.com