Friday, June 3, 2016

Colgada into Leg Wraps with Back Hook Exit (Advanced)

Song: Down by Jason Walker
Instructors: Homer & Cristina Ladas
England International Tango Festival
May 29, 2016, Ardingly College, England 

Exploring Colgadas
We began with doing a back step over with no Colgada, turning to the left of the Leader (counterclockwise), in open embrace using the teapot embrace.

The Leader captures the Follower’s back step whereby he gets the inside arch of his left foot to her outside foot in her left foot back step, then gets her to step over with her right foot.

We also tried this on the other side: Leader captures Follower’s right foot back step by stepping inside the arch of his right foot, so that she steps over with her left foot.

The Leader uses pull energy as he leads Follower to go around him in her turn.  Follower uses both sides of her embrace to remain connected with the Leader.  The Follower will feel contact with the Leader’s foot when he captures it.  She can cross in front, and then step over to step over as gracefully as possible. 

Next, we learned out to create counterbalance to be stable.

At the point of our feet meeting, the Leader prevents the Follower from stepping over.  He steps in so his feet are parallel.  He then becomes like a mountain (Mount Teapot) and the Follower hangs away.  The exit is a side step together.  The counterweight should feel like you are both stable, so it is not a huge Colgada. 

The Leader sends the Follower away by leaning toward her a bit, and then leaning back to create a stable counterbalance.  Here we learned how to hold each other.  If things aren’t going well, and the Follower feels like she is falling, she can employ the Golden Parachute (put her foot down).

The Follower can play with her right leg/foot as she is strong on her left foot with the 4 corners of the feet pushing into the floor.  The Leader can get the Follower to lift her heel off the floor by leaning back a bit more so he can sway or pivot the Follower on her standing / supporting leg.  Follower’s hips should be under, but she should not sit.  Follower should not open her hips.

How do we build trust?  How do we initiate the Colgada?

Someone interrupts the Follower’s step.  The Leader changes his body to create the Colgada.  The Leader interrupts the turn at the Follower’s back step.  The Leader creates the off-axis orientation of the dancers by employing the Line of Power, going from his back foot to his forward foot.  He comes in and sends her back and she allows her body to keep going back until the Leader counterbalances her weight.  Follower should keep her hips back.  

Some Followers are afraid to go back.  She needs to trust the Leader and their embrace.  The Leader should not collapse his left hand.  We backed up to doing the counterbalance exercise in sugar bowl embrace.  Followers should be like tigers and really send their hips back.

She Goes, He Goes
If the Follower goes into Colgada, the Leader can step through as well. This is the “She goes, he goes”.  Leader steps forward with the Follower with his inside foot after she does her Colgada.

The Follower should have lots of pivot in her back step so the Leader can easily capture that foot. 

The Leader steps over to the open side of the embrace.

If things are going well, you can add the Baby Boy Gancho.

Baby Boy Gancho (from left foot to left foot colgada)
Leader’s left foot gancho after his right foot forward step in the She Goes, He Goes, whereby he holds Follower so that she does not completely change weight on her right foot forward step (so she is about 80% on her right leg, 20% on her left leg) and Leader does a left foot back gancho between her two legs after his right foot forward step.  The Leader locks the Follower in place with his left hand during his left foot gancho and he embrace changes so dancers are closer.

Follower’s Boleo into Spin (from right foot to right foot colgada)
Spin (Hurricane) or Boleo into spin because of the nature of the embrace.

In the process of the dance, be there, look at your partner, do not look down but use your peripheral vision.  Do not just be focused on the pattern/step.

Outside leg wrap
After the Colgada, the Follower’s free right leg wraps around the Leader’s left leg to hook behind her right foot against her left foot.  Here the Leader’s left thigh makes contact with the Follower’s left thigh (“the thighs have eyes”).  The Leader can lead this wrap by giving her linear energy (Homer’s preference, forward-backward energy) or circular energy.  Follower can shape the wrapping leg, trying to be as elegant as possible.

Maestros concluded with a class quiz and demo to Jason Walker’s Down.

Notes courtesy of Anne at 

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