Saturday, September 21, 2013

Close Embrace Surprises (Intermediate/Advanced)

Song: Fumando Espero by Orquesta Tipica Victor
Instructors: Homer & Cristina Ladas
September 1, 2013, Denver Labor Day Tango Festival

Maestros began with a demo of a split-weight surprise.

1st Surprise: Split-weight stops with weight transfers and penguin walk side steps
We began with walking. Then we did side steps.  Then the Leader does a playful stop foot work as he steps inside her feet, one foot then the other, and then plays.
The details: Leader does left foot rock step, turns his body, and then steps back into the space he just left. He leads the Follower to do a right foot side step, then he stops/meets her left foot with his left foot. Then he shifts his left foot to her right foot and his body shifts the weight to his left foot. Then his right foot sneaks in next to her left foot.  The Leader’s left foot sneaks to the other side of the Follower’s right foot, and then they can do the side penguin walk side steps continually together linearly on the close side of the embrace.

We drilled this to Donato’s Carnival de mi Barrio. 

The Leaders shifts the Follower’s weight from one side to the other as his left foot blocks from her left foot to her right foot, and then his right foot sneaks in to block her left foot.  He does a little lift to make her right foot collect as he gets to his left foot.

The Follower should be straight up and down when the Leader is that close to her during his steps. 

2nd Surprise: Follower’s split-weight pivoted change of direction

From the parallel system walk, on the Follower’s right foot back step the Leader stops her in the middle of her weight, pivots her on both feet clockwise, and then steps out in forward step (Follower’s left foot forward step). During this pivot, the Leader sends the Follower around (like a small stirring motion at the point of her pivot), stirring the caramel.  The caramel is the middle of the stir.

(1)   Can do the other side – called the hard side promenade and needs to be open
(2)   Swivel on one side, then go back to the other.  In the Swivel, the energy is from the Leader’s hips, so he needs to do it himself as well.

Leader’s weight change
Can do a volcada
To catch a wrap

In open embrace,
Leader offsets his foot work with Follower’s. 
Leader’s side step, changes weight, takes two forward steps with the Leader’s left foot forward as the Follower does her right foot back step.
Leader steps around the Follower and gets her to swivel her hips
The Leader’s right foot forward step is in between the Follower’s two feet in her back step before she pivots. 
The Leader’s steps are around the Follower’s.
The Follower Pivots and she steps over in a parada (doing the usual ocho parada exit)

Maestros concluded with a class review and a demo to Orquesta Tipica Victor’s Fumando Espero.

Notes courtesy of Anne at

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