Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Leader's Back Sacada from Close to Open

Song: Soy Aquel Viajero by Carlos DiSarli
Instructors: Homer & Cristina Ladas
Sunday, February 21, 2010, Stanford University

In this class we continued with music by DiSarli with Podesta on vocals.

We were going to work on two Leader’s back sacadas:
(1) Organic Back Sacada
(2) 4-Step Shortened Organic Back Sacada which is better to do socially

First, the Leaders and Followers were split into their respective groups.

For Leader's back sacadas, the molinete (turn) technique is very important for Followers. So we began with Followers perfecting their counterclockwise molinetes, the goal of which was that the Follower take big smooth steps around the Leader, and employing good technique during her reach, collect, pivot, and weight transfers. To make this exercise extremely challenging, the Followers partnered up and tried to get completely around their partner by doing just the three steps of the turn/molinete: forward cross step, side step, back cross step. Follower should make steps as even and smooth as possible, really stretching the steps, and really pivoting in this exercise. She must keep her spine straight, chest up, have no forward lean in her posture and maintain her axis. This three-step molinete exercise is more difficult than what we would encounter on the social dance floor. This is so that when we try to do it on the social dance floor, it will be easier.

For the Leader, there is a pull lead in his left hand (as opposed to a push lead). This Leader's left hand pull lead is important because for the organic back sacada, the lead is also from the pull of the Leader's left hand (as felt by Follower's right hand).

The Leaders worked on doing a linear grapevine pattern of right foot FWD – (pivot 90 degrees) - left foot SIDE – (pivot 90 degrees) right foot BACK – back ocho counterclockwise all the way around, left foot BACK step (this left foot BACK step will be the Leader’s back sacada). The Leaders were to try to do this in one straight line as much as possible. This requires a 360 degrees turn for the back ocho pivot, to finish with the back step in a straight line. This exercise is more difficult than what we would encounter on the social dance floor. This is so that when we try to do it on the social dance floor (where the back ocho pivot might only be 270 degrees), it will be easier than when we tried it in our exercise.

The Follower takes big, equal steps, especially on her side step, where she receives the Leader's back sacada. For the Follower, her steps are left foot BACK – right foot SIDE – left foot FORWARD – right foot SIDE (on this side step is where the Leader does his back sacada through her legs).

At the point of the Leader's back sacada, the Leader releases the hinge of his right shoulder to give Follower room to get around because he is coming into her space. His left shoulder needs to open so that he leads her to takes her side step around him. The Leader's back sacada might not be directly on the line (but should be very close to being in line). The Leader must really engage his left arm lead so that Follower feels his pull through during his back sacada.

For Leader's technique, since the foundation for the Leader’s back sacada is the overturned back ocho, he needs to work on his back ocho to get good spiral in his body and good pivot in his feet and hips. He also needs to collect after his back ocho pivot, before he sends his left foot out in a back step / the back sacada. This is so that he can find his center and then walk gracefully into the back step. For the pivot he should keep his spine very straight to keep his axis, and not tilt his head forward or back or in a strange way as it will throw his balance and posture off. For the Leader during his back sacada, his heel should be pointed down, not up.

For the exit when Follower receives the sacada, there are options for her free left leg:
(1) She can keep it on the floor, opening out and away in a fan, and collecting afterwards.
(2) She can receive the sacada and have her leg peel away with her knee up, bouncing off, raised but keeping her leg close to the Leader's body. Her toes should be pointed down to the floor, and she should not open up her hips, but keep them close.

With both of these options, the Follower needs to be strong and supportive in her standing leg so that the free leg can be articulate (and she has more control over the movement and aesthetics of what the free leg is doing).

For the Leader:
(1) Leader steps side left (Follower steps side right) as if he is getting on the balance beam.
(2) Leader right foot steps straight forward.
(and) Leader pivots, with hips coming around 70% of the way, and right hand needs to let go and drop. At this point the Leader's left hand compresses in to stop Follower from stepping, because any pressure will make her step to the side too early.
(3) Leader's does back sacada with his left leg as his hips pivot around the rest of the way (30%).
(4) Collect.

For the Follower:
(1) Follower steps side right.
(2) Follower left foot steps straight back.
(and) right foot collects.
(3) Right foot steps side right, curving around Leader.
(4) As Leader does his organic back sacada, her left leg peels away as a consequence to exit.

We can start this step in close embrace, but Leader must let Follower go to her axis at the point of the back sacada by letting go with his right hand, while his left hand stays fixed.

Note that there are no back sacadas in close embrace. There is no physical way to do back sacadas in close embrace.

Though the two Leader organic back sacadas taught in class today can begin in close embrace, they must transition to open embrace at the point of the Leader back sacada. This is because the Leader must have his axis to be able to pivot as much as he needs to (270-360 degrees), and the Follower must to have her axis to do the turn around the Leader.

Maestros concluded with a demo to DiSarli's Soy Aquel Viajero.

Notes courtesy of Anne at http://scoutingtour.blogspot.com

The Elegant Step-Over Colgada from Close to Open

Song: Indio Manso by Carlos DiSarli
Instructors: Homer & Cristina Ladas
Sunday, February 21, 2010, Stanford University

Video courtesy of Alex

Our music for this workshop was DiSarli.

We began with learning the simple pattern with no Colgada.

In open embrace, we started with walking, and then into a rock step with Leader’s left step forward and Follower’s right step back, to pivot 90 degrees as she is forward on her left foot and he is back on his right foot, to an unweighted side step of the Leader’s left foot (Follower’s right side), where the Leader’s left foot meets/captures the Follower’s right foot at the last moment. As he turns her counterclockwise, and her weight fully transfers to her right foot, he opens his left shoulder to lead her to she step over with her left foot, long and around him to help the couple get back into the line of dance. The feet are in a straight line, 180 degrees all the way from the forward rock steps, to pivot 90 degrees, to side steps. The Leader’s weight is back on his right foot up until the point after she steps over, when he can transfer the weight onto his left foot.

There are two possible exits:

(1) The Leader can lead the Follower to do an optional side step to her right (his left) so that he can easily step forward with his right foot if she takes short steps and is too far to his right and blocking him.

(2) He can keep her on her foot, and he can change weight, so that they step out together.

As we worked on this pattern, we were to focus on the Leader rotating his body, not just capturing her foot. For the capturing of her foot, the Leader’s foot should not arrive to soon, it’s like a sneak attack, not a solid wall or fortress block.

Next, we tried this in close embrace. Here, the Follower’s left arm needed to be ready to release the Leader at the point of open embrace when she steps over.

Since some Follower’s were hesitating or not stepping over at all, we discussed “The Rule of the Knee”: In the parada/pasada, if the Leader’s knee is lower than the Follower’s, she can pass over. If the Leader’s knee is higher than the Follower’s, she is blocked and can’t pass over.

Applied to this particular pattern, the Leader’s weight needs to be back on his right leg, so that his left knee is lower than her’s, so that she can pass.

To this basic step over pattern, we added the Follower colgada, by adding a Leader right foot cheat step to step around the Follower a little. This was to optimize the weight distribution and where the axis is.

The Leader sends the Follower out in Colgada by transferring weight, moving the axis to his left foot, which displaces the Follower out and away. We did this in practice hold. The Leader has to counterweight the Follower, and not just put all of his weight on his left foot (otherwise there will not be enough weight to balance her and she will feel like she is going to fall).

The Follower needs to pretend she is hanging onto a wall. However, she should not overly rely on her arms, but also use her back muscles. Her hips go back and out, but beneath the ribs.

The Leader does a little cheat step around the Follower with his right foot, which sends her around to step over. During her pasada, the Leader is at split weight, with the weight back on his right to counterbalance her body being sent out.

To help us understand the Colgada energy, we worked on an exercise, the Two-Foot Colgada Warm-Up (Trainer). The dancers are face to face, with the Follower’s feet shoulder-width or a little wider apart, firmly planted on the floor, with Leader’s feet inside of them. The dancers go from opposite side to opposite side of each other, hips, core and ribs out and away circularly in Colgada movement. Each dancer goes to their own corner, trying to round off the corners, and not have any change in body height as they do this (never really coming up). While they are at one corner, one leg is very straight and the other one is very bent. Chests and hips face each other. At some random point, the Leader should lead the energy/momentum all the way around so that she steps through and around to the other side. This exercise helps us get used to the colgada feeling of counterbalancing each other, sending the hips out, circularity, and understanding where the boundaries are.

Follower’s Technique:
Be active in your embrace. It is important to use both the right hand and the left hand in the embrace when doing colgadas. There is horizontal energy in the Follower’s posture of out and up. Do not plank back like a stiff board, and do not do a back dive, where shoulders are out farther beyond the hips in a curved out fashion. The Follower gives the weight of her back/core to the Leader in the Colgada, and she should be engaged and connected there also, not just in her arms. When doing her forward cross step over, Follower should make long reaching steps by having flexion in her right supporting standing leg, really going for it, to get around the Leader.

Leader’s Technique:
Do not collapse in your torso or curl in at the shoulders. Keep your sternum up, your chest strong, and your shoulders back. The Leader is the foundation of the Colgada, and his strong core and engaged left arm and strong left hand make up the wall from which the Follower hangs. His energy needs to be remain back on his right to counterbalance her being out, even though he has “stepped” with his left foot.

For colgadas, it is a move from close embrace, to open embrace during the colgada, back to close embrace.

Maestros concluded with a demo to DiSarli’s Indio Manso.

Notes courtesy of Anne at http://scoutingtour.blogspot.com

The Vanilla Bean Ocho & Baby Back Volcada

Song: No Quiero Mas by Enrique Rodriguez
Instructors: Homer & Cristina Ladas
Saturday, February 20, 2010, Stanford University

Video courtesy of Chris Novak

We used music from Enrique Rodriguez for this workshop.

VANILLA BEAN OCHO – an ocho with no Follower hip pivot

First, we began with an exercise:

We were to dance in close embrace with just walking and back ochos. For the Follower, she should have no pivot in these Vanilla Bean, close embrace style ochos, and to keep her chest in consistent contact with the Leader. Because the Follower’s hip pivot is a direct reflection of the Leader’s chest movements, he needed to have no shoulder/chest turn either. He needed to keep his chest silent, in order for her to have NO pivot in her back ocho steps. These back ocho steps are back cross steps, with no fan, but keeping them tight and simple, with no bounce and no hip pivot. In getting around the corners of the room, it was OK to have some pivot to maneuver the curve.

We were to keep the steps even and equal in size, even though there is a hard and an easy side. The Leaders should try to create a shallow v (not a wide v) when walking.


Next, we changed this up by allowing the Leader to make his steps unequal.

The Leader plants his left foot, and then his right foot comes up and forward, but doesn’t pass the other foot, so that he leads her to finish an ocho, with it hooking behind her other foot, and then transferring weight. For the leader, it is his transfer of weight to his right foot that causes the Follower to complete her hook behind.

The Leader going back with his right foot is how he leads the Follower’s right foot to hook back, to change the weight and free up her left foot. The Leader steps forward with his left foot to get out. For the Follower’s hook behind, the Leader needs to have enough send energy so that her cross behind is tight and deep.

Next, we did another exercise of continuous hooks back while the Leader’s feet remain where they are, planted. This can be a nice surprise, and can also be done to double time ochos. The Follower needs to be on the music, hearing the QQ parts.


From this back hooking ocho / back cross, we turned it into a back volcada of the Follower’s left leg with the right leg being the standing, weighted, strong leg. The Leader leads this by stepping diagonally back, with weight shifting back to his right leg, and then diagonally stepping forward with his left leg outside partner.

The Leader needs to give Follower lift and support for the entire duration of the volcada, and both dancers need to stay up in their cores like tree trunks swaying toward each other.

There are two Follower endings to the Volcada:
(1) Ballet: with toe pointed and in contact with floor at all times.
(2) Sassy: with foot flexed and heel in contact with the floor at all times.

After we struggled with this a bit (taught this way so that we could fail first at doing it how we thought it should be done), Maestros gave us more tools so that we could understand how to do this the right way.

Leaders’ technique: The Leader lifts and holds her, preventing her from falling, during the whole time of the volcada: before, during, and setting her back upright. The minute the Follower lands on her left foot is when the volcada ends and the Leader no longer has to lift her to prevent her from falling. The Leader can also use breath to inhale at the point of lead and suggest in his body that something is coming. The Leader must be forwardly intended to keep supporting the Follower. He should not go back too much in the beginning, but make the volcadas small. When the Leader goes back on his right foot, he DOES NOT return to his axis, but maintains a forward and upward intention in his chest, as does Follower, so both dancers maintain good connection to each other.

Follower’s technique: She needs to remain lifted using her own strength, from her strong, standing, supporting leg, up through her core and back, and using her armpit/shoulders to remain strong and lifted. The Follower compresses down on her left side, digging down with her armpit to remain lifted in her body and core. She should not have a noodle or rag doll body. She needs to support herself and her body should not break or collapse against or onto the Leader. The Follower tries to stay in front of the Leader as much as possible. She should use her relationship to the floor and have groundedness.

Maestros concluded with a demo to Rodriguez’s No Quiero Mas.

Notes courtesy of Anne at http://scoutingtour.blogspot.com

Close Embrace Surprises

Song: Nada Mas by Juan D'Arienzo
Instructors: Homer & Cristina Ladas
Saturday, February 20, 2010, Stanford University

Video courtesy of Chris Novak

Surprises are little jokes, little surprises, to make things fun. They are easy, and the number is endless. For this class, our music was D’Arienzo’s Nada Mas. Nada Mas is a song with lots of rhythmic accents, and every strong beat can be a moment of surprise.

We began with a connection exercise to help improve our close embrace. We were to dance one song, chest to chest with no arms, with no turns, just walking, weight changes, or side steps. For this class, we were to try not to touch heads in our close embrace.

The Leader always has forward intention in his chest, even when he collects. Otherwise, there will be bubble/hiccups in the embrace as he goes back or centered in his intention.

For our dancer connection, the tilt is from the ankles, we should flex forward from the ankles.

Next, we played our games:

Game 1: The D’Arienzo Surprise
To D’Arienzo’s Nada Mas, we worked on the concept of surprise. Everyone was to walk around the room, in any/all directions, always stepping on the strong beat to accent it in our walk, with energy going into the floor. Every once in a while, we were to surprise someone by touching appropriately them with both our hands at two points on their body (arms, shoulders, hips), always staying on the strong beat.

The purpose of this first game was to get us used to the element of surprise as a musical tool, coordinating our dancing with the music. Every strong beat is a potential surprise. The Follower needs to feel safe and comfortable before she is surprised.

Surprise 1: Freezing
We were to dance, doing just walks, and then freezing for a moment. The Follower should always feel safe. To freeze, the Leader’s embrace changes, with compression energy to firm/tighten up/jolt/get more rigid, as his steps get down energy into the floor. After a moment of freezing, he then keeps going by releasing the embrace into the normal, non-compressed close embrace.

The Leader should wait for an appropriate strong beat, freeze for a moment, and the ease back out of it to normal dancing.

The Follower needs to respond to the change of energy.

To work on this concept, we danced one song, walking with the stop/freeze.

Surprise 1, Level 2:
Take any pattern you do, and interrupt it with a surprise freeze. This could be a on the side step, an outside step, on the rock step, or for the more advanced, in the middle of the boleo so that the Follower’s boleoing leg is suspended with foot pointing up in the air.

Surprise 2: Leader’s Sneaky Sandwich
Leader tries to trap Follower’s foot in a quick sandwich without stepping on her foot. It is easier to trap the Follower’s right foot, by the Leader approaching with his right foot first, and then completing the quick sandwich with his left foot. For this, the Leader needs to be snappy to catch the surprise to stop the Follower in the middle of her weight so that she doesn’t collect. The Leader’s heels stay together in the sandwich so that he doesn’t go too deep. The Leader should keep his thighs together and try not to change height, and to accent the rhythm/melody of the music.

Surprise 2, Level 1A: Sneaky Sandwich of the Thigh
Here, it is important to be appropriate, otherwise this surprise could be taken the wrong way. It should be comfortable and not at all inappropriate, but the move is somewhat “PG” rated. It is a gentle squeeze, with contact in the thighs, not the feet. It’s a very quick move and should not linger. It is a “hello and go” movement. Don’t sandwich too long, otherwise it’s not “PG” anymore.

Surprise 2, Level 2: Add Leader’s Pitter Patter before the Sandwich.
The Leader’s pitter patter are small, short quick baby steps. Though the Leader does his Pitter-Patter, he must also still keep leading the Follower to walk back normally, stepping on the strong beat. He should not change the height; there should be nothing going on in the Leader’s chest that encourages the Follower to do anything but walk back normally. The Leader starts the Pitter-Patter when the Follower’s right foot goes back, and when there is good synchronicity of movement.

Key takeaways:
If you can do these surprises and make the Follower feel comfortable, that is a good place.

Surprise 3: Wiggles
These are very subtle shoulder or hip twitches, which are hard to see or even teach. They are movements through your body to play with and match the music. The Follower can respond to the Leader’s wiggle, or she can initiate her own wiggles. These wiggles change the quality of Follower, adding a little bit to it. It’s a micromovement to be used with discretion, a burst, as a special thing, and not done all the time. Have a little something in your body.

We danced one song trying to do these wiggles, doing it with:

(1) He does them (for the first 30 seconds of a song)

(2) She does them (for the second 30 seconds of a song)

(3) They both do them at the same time together (for the third 30 seconds of the song)

Surprise 4: Soccer sweep
The final surprise, which maestros showed but which the students did not do during class time, was the Leader’s rock step, to lead Follower to do forward cross step with her right foot, and then he catches it and pushes it back. The Leader does this by doing a rock step with his left foot, and then a weighted right foot back cross step to allow Follower to come through with a forward right cross step, so that his left foot is free to catch her right foot as it steps forward. The Leader puts his left foot in front of her right foot, much like the footwork as if he were playing soccer. He can drag her foot back, put weight on it, and then keep going.

Maestros concluded with a demo to D’Arienzo’s Nada Mas.

Notes courtesy of Anne at http://scoutingtour.blogspot.com

Dynamic Turns & Wraps in Close Embrace

Song: Poema by Francisco Canaro
Instructors: Homer & Cristina Ladas
Saturday, February 20, 2010, Stanford University

Video courtesy of Chris Novak

We began with an exercise. Hand in hand in one large circle, we went counterclockwise doing the grapevine/turn/molinete footwork of side step, forward cross step, side step, back cross step. Our cross steps were to be very tight, with the sides of our feet touching at the small pinkie toes. We did this same exercise going clockwise.

Then in close embrace, we did a very simple sequence of the Leader doing a side step to his left (Follower to her right), and then leading the Follower to do a counterclockwise molinete around him, starting with a back cross step, to side, to forward cross step. The Leader collects his feet, changes his weight, and then goes, pivoting on his left foot, to end up facing the opposite place from where he started. If the Leader has trouble keeping pivoted on one foot the entire time, he can help himself by employing the Paddle Technique.

Paddle Technique: The Leader takes a left side step so that the left side of his body from his left foot on up becomes his axis. Then he paddles around with his right foot, where the right foot stays slightly behind or no more than equal to his left supporting, standing foot. The right paddling foot should never go ahead/ in front of his left foot. The use of his other foot will help stabilize his body and keep him turning while he is on axis. The Leader does not change weight when he paddles. If he does change weight, he will confuse the Follower.

The Follower needs to make her back cross tight and immediate, with no hesitation, emphasizing the marching quality of the music (it is not fluid). She should not let her hips open up, but keep them facing the Leader, so that her hips don’t dwell or her feet move too slow.

The Leader pivots on his left while simultaneous paddling with his right foot, as the Follower does a tight back cross, side, tight forward cross.

Next, we tried to do this same turn to the right, the other side. For the Follower, when being led in a close embrace turn, the front and back steps are truncated and very tight. Thus, it is very important that her side steps need to be good sized (big?), and she needs to really step AROUND the Leader (not away from him). She can also pivot a little bit on her left foot, so that her side step with her right foot is around, and not away from, the Leader. Here, the Leader plants his right foot, and paddles around with his left foot, if needed.

Next, we added the wrap.

From the turn to the right from the side step (Leader paddles around with his left foot), after the Follower’s forward step, the Leader changes weight to be on his left foot to lead a wrap on the Follower’s side step to her left foot, by sneaking in his right thigh next to her left thigh, so that she does a wrap of her right leg, to bounce back out to cross back with her right foot. When the Leader sneaks in his right thigh, his leg is slightly turned out.

After his warp, he should keep turning a little, not a lot.

After the wrap, there are two exits:

Fast: Small, tight, back cross and out, with the feeling of in-out-collect-back cross.

Slower: in-out-slower fluid raise of knee-collect-back cross.

For the Follower’s leg wrap using her right leg, her left leg is key. It needs to be strong and stable in order for her to get freedom and fluidity in her leg wrap. Her left leg must also be completely ready and accepting of the full weight transfer with no wobble so that her right leg can have all the energy and freedom to whip freely in the wrap.

From here, we backed up a little to a boleo exercise to get the “thwack” of hip. In this exercise, we were to do front boleos on ourselves, trying to kick ourselves on the side of the opposite hip so that we get a very satisfying “thwack” sound, with our foot coming back to land immediately into a tight back cross. The purpose of this exercise was to imagine that this is the Leader’s left leg, but we are doing it solo on our own.

The Follower does not kick the Leader as she gets out of this by her hips opening up in the ball and socket.

The Leader, when receiving the wrap, should lift his heel off the floor to enable his leg to be much more flexible and maneuverable.

With respect to the Leader’s paddle footwork timing, he retracts his paddling foot on her forward step, changes weight, and gets his right leg in for the Follower to wrap.

Maestros concluded with a demo to Canaro’s Poema.

Notes courtesy of Anne at http://scoutingtour.blogspot.com

Pivot versus No Pivot Wraps

Song: Canto de Amor by Osvaldo Fresedo
Instructors: Homer & Cristina Ladas
February 22, 2010, The Beat, Berkeley, CA

Our music for tonight was Fresedo. The goal was to work on the pivot and non-pivot wraps with elegance.


We began with Non-Pivot wraps, going directly into it after maestros showed us.

From the forward / front cross step of the molinete / turn, the Leader steps outside of the Follower’s foot to lead a wrap. The outside (small toe side) of the Leader’s left foot meets the outside (small toe side) of her left foot. He then sends her out a little bit off axis with a little bit of colgada energy out to the side, and then brings her back in, up to axis, at which point she wraps her right leg around the outside of his left leg.

We also did this on the other side, where his right foot meets her right foot (both at the small toe side), and she wraps with her left leg around the outside of his right leg.

The Leader must not lead a pivot for this to work, because if she pivots, she won’t be in the correct position to do the wrap.

The timing is very important. The Leader has to lead the wrap as the Follower’s weight is arriving on her foot, NOT when she’s already collected—it’s too late by then.

The Leader lifts his heel and bends his knee, and goes in to the Follower to get the correct energy to get a wrap.

The Follower’s forward / front cross step needs to be long so that the Leader has enough time to prepare for the send out energy.

When the Follower does her wrap and passes through her center, her toes point down, as if she is crossing her legs, but the Leader is in the way.

Note that for the pivot and non-pivot wraps we worked on, the Follower is on axis at the point of the wrap.

The Leader needs to maintain a strong core, with left arm firmly attached to his back so he doesn’t let go, especially when wrapping on his left side, the more difficult side.

He needs to capture her foot as early as possible (so that her weight hasn’t completely arrived on her front foot yet), and then send her out at the point where she’s strong and stable on that leg.

We spent time several songs repetitively drilling these non-pivot wraps, on the left side and the right side, to figure out the timing, positioning of feet and body. The Follower focus was on good molinete technique and remaining on axis with no lean in, and Leader working on foot placement and sending the Follower out, and both getting used to and trying to get the ideal the wrap feeling in the Follower’s legs against the Leader’s, which was based correct positioning and timing.

After we cleaned things up a bit, we attempted to do the double wrap.


The lead for the Double Wrap is very quick, with a boom-boom energy. To lead a double wrap, the Leader does a small, short, quick twist of his spine while maintaining the embrace.

It is important when attempting the double wrap that the Follower feels good on her axis. We also attempted to do this with elegance.


From Follower forward ochos, the Leader sneaks his foot in on the inside of the Follower’s foot (big toe sides of feet meet) to do a wrap. He comes into her as she tries to finish her pivot, thus causing her to wrap.

After the Leader sneaks his leg in to lead the wrap, it turns out a little to get parallel to the Follower’s leg. This Leader leg turnout prevents them from knocking knees during the wrap. To turn out easily and fluidly, his heel is off the floor, and his knee is forward and lifted.

During the Follower ochos, she needs to pivot enough, and keep her hips close to the Leader’s hips. Her front cross steps should be toward the Leader (not away from him), so that her steps are easy to catch. She should stay on axis and not lean forward.

Next, we drilled from one to the other: pivot, non-pivot, double and single.

It is important for the Follower to match the Leader’s embrace and energy. When he compresses/stiffens, Followers should as well.

The more we do these wrap movements, the more subtle we can be.

The Follower chooses how high to go with her wrapping leg; she should go high enough where it feels good on the fleshy part of the Leader’s thigh (“the meat of the chicken bone”). She also gets the energy, space, and comfort zone from the Leader, which will dictate how she responds / shapes her wrapping leg.


This is a more advanced, volcada-type wrap. With the dancers in promenade walking position, with the Leader’s right leg in light but firm contact with the Follower’s left leg, he leads a wrap of her right leg across the front of her body and around his right leg.

The Leader does not send her out, but rather, takes her in with a lift. There is no pivot. The Follower leans toward the Leader as he tilts her, with the Leader giving her lots of support. A lot of tilt is not needed or necessary; there can be just a little tilt. Because of the simultaneous lift with the tilt, and Follower will naturally respond to the lift by wrapping.

Then we spent a few more songs mixing them all together, and playing with the size: non-pivot, pivot, double, to the left and to the right, big and small, and the off-axis wrap from promenade.

If the Leader gives the Follower more energy, she will do a higher wrap. He can also change his position to get more energy. But he should start with low wraps first, then do higher ones.


The Leader’s position and energy are key.

The Follower has her axis at the point of the pivot and non-pivot wraps.

The off-axis wrap needs to have lift and support from the Leader.

The Follower has control of the leg and control of the exit in the wraps.

The Follower needs to keep her hips close to the Leader and take long steps to be in the correct position for the Leader to lead the wraps.

Maestros concluded with Fresdo’s “Canto de Amor”

Notes courtesy of Anne at http://scoutingtour.blogspot.com