Saturday, June 28, 2014

Dynamic Close Embrace, Single Axis and Hurricane Spins (Advanced)

Song: Que Te Importa Que Te Llore by Miguel Calo
Instructors: Homer & Cristina Ladas
May 24, 2014, Ardingly College, England

We were to explore single-axis turns, building toward Hurricane spins.
Since this was an advanced class, there was no change in partners.

For our class, we would work on turning to the Leader’s right.

Close embrace chest-to-chest connection.

We did 1 dance turning to the Leader’s right with no separation, doing 1 or 2 full turns. To exit, the leader led an ocho cortado or walk out.

Leader’s footwork is:
Leader does left foot rock step forward to sacada
Hook Behind
to Ocho Cortado

Leader’s secrets to turning to the Right:  There needs to be sustained energy for the turn.

The Leader’s footwork to enable the turn to the right: Leader does left foot rock step forward, right step hook behind.

Follower’s right foot forward step is long and reaching around the Leader.  The Follower’s forward cross step is truncated.

Leader’s right foot sacada to Follower’s right foot.

Follower does hook behind quickly for functionality. 

The Follower’s job is 50% of the movement, creating smart legs where she creates the shape of walking around the Leader. She needs to be plastered to the Leader in close embrace.

Follower’s footwork:
Forward step
Side step is in relation to the Leader is near him, not away from him, otherwise she will pull him.
Her right foot hook behind is tight, whereby her right hip does not open since there is no time and she will float away if her right hip opens, and her hook won’t be tight.
The Follower continues to press into the Leader to be near him.
At the change of weight, her feet are very close.
In order to create the appropriate shape, she needs to be active from both the standing leg and the reaching legs. Both legs are working (there is no such thing as the free leg).

For the Follower, there are two points of energy to power herself:
(1)   The Follower’s forward step as it makes her launch as she is in spiral. With this dynamic change of weight from left to ride, the side step can be very powerful.
(2)   When the Leader does the Sacada at the Follower’s side step, into the hook behind so that she takes his energy and puts it onto her hook behind tight.  If her hips open up instead, then the energy spills and she doesn’t hook behind but does more of a regular back cross step.  
The Follower needs to maintain close embrace and be close, like a tomato sandwich where her hands are the pieces of bread and the Leader is the tomato.  So there is horizontal energy in the Follower’s body toward the Leader the whole time.  The energy needs to be contained so that it doesn’t spill out.

Next exercise:
In Sugar Bowl embrace, with the Follower’s embrace of one arm under and one arm over to maintain close embrace.  We did turns, with dancers in synchronicity. 

The Leader’s right foot sacada needs to be next to the Follower’s right foot.
Leader’s  footwork is right foot sacada, left foot side step, right foot hook behind to quick weight change, repeat (right foot sacada, etc.). 

In turns, the Leader is the center of the circle, the axis.

In the teapot or regular embrace, the Leader puts power into his footwork.  He needs to think about where the energy will come from for the next step.   The Leader’s torso starts to spiral: the energy builds up in his upper body and then gets released.  The Leader can move the turn, but keep a tilted relationship with the Follower to keep it from going around.  The Leader needs to make sure the Follower is in the right place for the Leader to do is sacada.

Tango is an interdependent dance, not a co-dependent dance.

The Follower’s hook behind does not allow her right hip to open, otherwise it will flail out.  She needs to keep her thighs together, and her left foot flexes at the metatarsal with her knee bent, and she should take care not to scrape the front of her ankle with her opposite stiletto heel, as she is pushing on the front two corners of her foot into the floor as the foot arches.

We drilled to two songs, with the Leader putting power into the turn with his sacada.  The Follower’s steps need to be near and around the Leader, including (especially!) her left foot side step.

The Follower needs to wait for the Leader a little more.

There is a lot of fire, power in this turn.

The Follower waiting will help her calibrate with the Leader so they can step together, with the Follower reacting to how the Leader’s body is moving.  The Leader’s left foot is the axis.

Leader’s left foot front enrosque.
After the Leader’s right foot sacada (of Follower’s right foot on her left foot side step), he does a left foot forward enrosque, immediately into a right foot hook behind extension to get in really tight center. 

Hurricane spin
For the Leader’s right foot hook behind, he waits a bit and captures the spider, whereby his right foot goes back (more straight than cross) to capture the Follower’s right foot forward step so that he can be around the Follower’s axis.  As she puts weight on it, he puts weight on it also, so they both give a little bit at that point. 

The Leader walks around the Follower, with his left foot pigeoning as it turns in, and right foot turns out, left foot toes point in, right foot turns out, etc., as he goes around Follower in Hurricane.  Follower is on her right foot as the Leader goes around her. The Follower leaves her hips back a little as she arrives on her right foot, as there is a little bit of colgada motion in that she is a little back.  The Leader holds Follower with his right arm to contain her so that she doesn’t have time to reach in a side step, and the Follower connects to the Leader’s right arm as she hangs back in a little bit of colgada energy.

Maestros conclude with a class quiz and a demo to Que Te Importa Que Te Llore by Miguel Calo

Notes courtesy of Anne at

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