Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Compact Colgada

Song: El Huracan by Edgardo Donato
Instructors: Homer & Cristina Ladas
September 20-22, 2013, TangoPulse Workshops in Northampton, MA

A lot of this class built on last night’s class, specifically, the 3rd Surprise.

Single-axis turn / colgada

We began with maestros demonstrating the step:
Right foot side step
Left foot forward step
Right foot side step around the Follower
Leader keeps walking counterclockwise around Follower until she releases

Right foot back step
Left foot back step
Follower pivots around

Leader should not make the Follower collect, but should try to make her spiral for as long as possible before unwinding out.

Follower should keep her chest up, do not tilt as she is the center of the circle.

This is a micro colgada with “we time”

Leader’s footwork:
Left foot forward on close side of the embrace
Right foot forward on open side of the embrace
Leader opens his embrace so he can sneak around Follower
Right foot step around Follower
(kind of pigeon toed)
Leader steps equidistant around the Follower
Left foot should be targeted toward Follower’s heel
The Leader’s feet turn in and then out as he walks around the Follower in their shared axis turn.

Follower’s footwork:
Left foot back
Right foot back
(she twists from side to side)

Follower: Do not push your pelvis in in panic
Leader’s movement/power/energy sends the Follower out a little.
The Leader’s embrace should contain the Follower, but allow her to settle out. It’s a hug and gentle lift with no compression.

The Follower decides to put her back into the Leader’s right arm as soon as she commits her weight to her right foot and he starts walking around her.

We need to keep practicing this, and troubleshooting this:
  • How the Leader steps around the Follower 
  • How the Leader sends the Follower out 
  • We need to do this a lot and know how to fix it instantaneously. 
  • The Follower is always actively adjusting her embrace to stay in front of the Leader.
 Note that the Line of Dance has changed.

From the Leader’s rock step

Left foot side step back to step Follower’s right foot, then shared axis turn.

There are different ways to get into the shared axis turn/hurricane. From the Leader’s left foot rock step, to pivot counterclockwise, and then Leader walks around Follower counterclockwise.


At the Follower’s forward step in the clockwise turn/molinete/hiro, she is already in colgada setup (a colgada is a bigger shared-axis turn).

There was a discussion of colgada posture:

Have good posture, the way they teach it in Alexander Technique:
Belly to sternum is zipped.
Head floats above neck.

In the parada, the weight is on the back foot. In the colgada, the posture is the same, but the weight is on the forward foot.

Maestros concluded with a quiz and demo to Donato’s El Huracan.

Notes courtesy of Anne at

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