Sunday, May 21, 2017

Intermediate & Above Class: Follower’s Flowy Back Sacada

Instructors: Homer & Cristina Ladas
May 19, 2017, Genesis Dance, San Francisco

The topic for this class was the Follower’s Flowy Back Sacada, because it is easy to communicate and to get into the line of dance.

We began with a warm-up exercise in partnership, hand to hand hold, doing back ochos.
Dancers hold each other at the hands and both do back ochos.
Dancers are close to each other, with hips in line next to each other going in opposite direction, almost touching. Their pivots need to be big, and the outside leg needs to step back diagonally across the lines, reaching toward the other dancer.  Keep the chest up, do not lean forward as your leg goes back.  The pivot needs to be complete before reaching in the next step back.  Do not step too far. Be precise.  In stepping back, aim for your partner’s standing leg.  Reach with control.  This is not a speed exercise.

Next, we proceeded to get the hard part out of the way.

In open embrace, the Leader does side steps (keeping arms low) while leading the Follower to do back ochos (these are “with” ochos).
Leader does right foot side step, then turns to his left as he leads the Follower to do the Follower left foot back sacada to the Leader’s trailing left foot, which he has left as a “goal post”.

Take care of your axis.
For the embrace, sometimes there are changes from close to open. 
The Follower’s Back Sacada is an illusion.
Going from the back ocho to the turn (overturn) is challenging.

When does the Back Ocho become a Turn (Hiro/Molinete)? When the Leader steps on his right foot. 

Follower should be sensitive to the lead.  Is he leading a pivot or he asking you to step around the Leader?  The Leader turns his sine both ways in both instances.  Is the lead around the Follower’s axis or the Leader’s axis?
Next, we worked on a simple Leader’s Sacada
The Leader settles on his left foot, turns to the right, Leader’s right foot reaches forward diagonally to the Followers trailing right foot in a forward sacada.  The Leader’s spinal rotation is such that the Follower steps around the Leader’s axis.
Then he turns to the left and leads dancers to go back to their original spots.

Next, we linked both steps together, the Leader’s Forward Sacada and the Follower’s Back Sacada.
First, we did the Leader’s Simple Sacada.  Then, instead of going back to the original spot, the Leader leads a back ocho, then another overturned back ocho, so the Follower does a back sacada of her left foot to the Leader’s trailing left foot (in Captain Morgan stance).

We drilled doing: 

Leader’s right foot forward sacada.
Into simultaneous back ochos for the Leader and Follower, Follower stepping back with her right foot, Leader stepping outside left foot back in his back ocho in the same direction as Follower. Next, Follower’s left foot back ocho into a counterclockwise turn (Hiro/Molinete) or into an overturned back ocho to left foot back sacada.

The technique is very important.

The goal is the process of getting there.

Why are we doing this?
The Sacada is an illusion.  It’s more about how we turn and relate to each other and timing involved and rotation in leading an ocho versus asking the Follower to walk around the Leader.

The Follower needs to be sensitive.  Don’t be rushed into the next step. 

For the Follower’s sacada, the Leader’s position is to get used to the Captain Morgan Stance in his trailing leg, where the knee is able to pivot to be more open and the heel is up to receive the Follower’s back sacada.  The Leader can do his kick around as the Follower comes around.
The Follower pivots a lot to step around the Leader, with long reaching steps. 
The Follower should employ good walking technique, both linear and circular.

Notes courtesy of Anne at

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