Thursday, May 31, 2018

Volcada Odyssey: A variety of challenging, exciting and impressive off-axis figures (Advanced)

Song: Sideways by Citizen Cope
Instructors: Homer & Cristina Ladas
England International Tango Festival
Tonbridge, Kent, United Kingdom
May 26-28, 2018

This was an Advanced class, so no partner rotation and we got right into it.

Regular Volcada with Windshield Wiper

We began with doing a standard forward volcada, doing one and then multiples with windshield wiper footwork for the leader. In beginning the Volcada, Leader steps diagonally back with his left foot and his right foot is the windshield wiper foot, going into a U shape, forward and back, to lead Follower’s volcada leg to go back and forward.

For the technique, there is an embrace before, during and after. The Leader puts the Follower on one axis, gives her a little bit of a hug (compression), and then suspends her.  The Follower gives the Leader an extra hug, pushes down from the shoulder blade so she gets lifted up.  The pushing down comes from the standing leg.  Try to make yourself tall. This is the sensation similar to getting out of a swimming pool at the edge (without using the stairs ;o) ).  Try to create a strong line around the core, so that the Leader can manage you better.  The Leader should place the Follower’s foot with energy so she has a definite idea where to go and does not guess where to place her foot.

Preparation is key and starts with the embrace.  Suspension + Hugging = Volcada, so be ready for it.
2 ideas: playful resolution.

How can we maintain suspension?  The Leader puts the Follower on one axis or another, walks tiny steps back, to the side, do not let Follower transfer weight. Stop and unwind.

Down energy.
Leader walks around Follower when she is on 2 feet.

There are many possibilities here on how/where to do this, so we were to explore.

The Sustained Volcada

The difference between the Standing Volcada and the Sustained Volcada.

When the volcada starts to travel, it is a sustained volcada, so the 2 standard rule of the volcada are broken.

Standard Rules of the Volcada:
(1)    Whatever angle you have, you don’t change it.  
(2)    When the Leader steps back with a tilt, he does not change his height.

In Sustained Volcadas, these two rules are broken:
(1)    Leader changes his angle to take his axis
(2)    Leader's height can go up or down.
a.      When the Leader goes down, the Follower’s legs go out;
b.     When the Leader goes up, the Follower’s legs go in.

The Leader is completely upright and vertical and very close.

The Leader’s height change is dramatic, so the Follower knows to close her legs from split. They are body to body.  Sustained Volcadas can be done with the Follower going forward, to the side, or going backwards.  It can be done in a turn/hiro/circle too.

Leader has a straight spine when he goes down. He must use his legs.  Follower will feel the change of height and should hug the Leader more.

Follower’s back right foot can turn out a little bit.

Drilling other Volcadas (Back Volcada and Funny Volcada)

Next, we did the back volcada from the back hook.

We also explored the Funny Volcada.  It is “Funny” because the dancers are perpendicular to each other.  How can we turn the Funny Volcada into a Sustained Volcada?  The Leader takes his axis and goes down and comes up.  It is “Funny” because the Follower is falling sideways.  We drilled this, with Leader taking an odd number of steps, and then making a big step around the Follower.

In the Funny Volcada, there are several Follower free leg options.  We explored how long the Follower’s leg could stay in front of her before going to the outside of the Leader. Follower will feel from the Leader, always trying to track where the Leader is. Follower collects and clears the Leader’s feet before going from in front to the outside of the Leader.

In going from Funny to Sustained Volcada, the Leader goes around in a circle, then Leader starts to go in a tangent, taking his axis, then goes down and up.  We drilled this.

In the Sustained Volcada, the first thing to do is lead Follower to cross, depending on where Leader drives his axis. So it is doing the windshield wiper, except the Leader walks backward.  Left foot goes back, right foot goes in a “U”, with weight change in between, experimenting with getting a shallow cross or wide cross.

Maestros concluded with a class quiz/summary and demo to Sideways by Citizen Cope

Notes courtesy of Anne at

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