Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Tango Turn (Beginner to Intermediate), Workshop 3: Relative Turns

Song: Romantik by Queen Bee
Instructors: Homer & Cristina Ladas
October 5, 2013, Susan’s Dance Studio - South Bay Tango Workshops

Workshop 3: Relative Turns

We began with a review of absolute open turns and absolute close turns.

Relative turns can move around the line of dance.

There are “dirty” relative turns.

We did an exercise in partnership, in teapot or sugar bowl embrace, where the Leader tries to do a sacada on every step. 

Is the Leader using push or pull energy to get the Follower to walk around him?

Follower mistakes:

She needs to make long, reaching steps around the Leader.
Her steps are circular around the Leader, staying near him, with a consistent and careful smooth transfer of weight, within the time the Leader gives the Follower.  She should be like stepping on butter, gliding around the Leader.

Next, we worked on 2-3 universal patterns:
Leader’s footwork:
Hypnotizing footsteps side to side.
Sneak attack weight change to left foot.
Turn to the Left (pivot counterclockwise)
Leader right foot sacada of Follower’s left foot on her right foot side step.
Leader’s left foot hook in front (while Follower does left foot back cross step)
Pivot (while Follower does right foot side step)
Follower does left foot back step.

The sacada is a tool for us to move around the line of dance.

In our exercise, the goal is to take the sacada on the Follower’s side step, or to do the sacada on the trailing foot of her forward front cross step.

For practical applications, in doing sacadas, we should move down the line of dance, either using the Leader’s left foot or right foot.  The point is to move around the line of dance.

If the Follower doesn’t know whether the Leader wants her to slow down or speed up, the can do the sugar bowl exercise, and he can go slow, stop the weight change, shift it, and make the turn go the other way, etc.  So he has control over the Follower’s step, and she has to have excellent walking technique (reach, transfer weight, collect).

The Leader’s shape of the sacada-ing foot is the icing on the cake, and depends on where he places it and how he articulates his foot.

The next utilitarian application/pattern:
Leader’s footwork:
Leader’s right foot sacada
Pivot counterclockwise
Right foot cross behind
Pivot counterclockwise
Come out

Leader’s left foot sacada
Pivot counterclockwise
Left foot cross behind
Pivot counterclockwise
Come out

Here the class was split in two, the Leaders with Homer working on the above footwork and Followers with Cristina to work on their turn/hiro/molinete technique.

The Leader can purposefully do a dirty absolute turn so he can move the dancers a little bit, depending on the line of dance space opening up. It’s on purpose because the Leader intentionally changes the axis, but it’s still comfortable, versus being all over the place.

The Leader must not skip the attack first part (in preparation for the Leader’s sacada on the side and forward steps, and he also needs to be able to reverse it).

Maestros concluded with a class quiz and demo to Queen Bee’s Romantik.

Notes courtesy of Anne at

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