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

Back Sacadas for Leaders and Followers in line of dance (Advanced)

Song: El Abrojo by Carlos Di Sarli Orquesta
Instructors: Homer & Cristina Ladas
England International Tango Festival
Tonbridge, Kent, United Kingdom
May 26-28, 2018


Leader’s Sacada.

Exercise for footwork:
Get on left foot.  Push into the floor as you reach right foot back, bring back to collection.
Do this on the right foot as well.
Keep heel on the floor as long as you can until it comes up a little. Then bring it back into collection.

Leader steps right foot forward, pivots, then steps backward with left foot. (So Leader goes in a line in one direction.)  Control the back pivot so you don’t fall back.  Squeeze your inner thighs together. 
Do it more dynamically by stepping, then snapping the heels together at the pivot, and then reaching in the back step.

The Pattern:
Begins with 4 steps for the Leader:
(1)    side step
(2)    steps on balance beam
(3)    snap heels together to pivot completely, staying on the balance beam, taking Follower across it and then stepping back with his left foot to Sacada the Follower
(4)    collecting and waiting

Follower’s footwork:
Back step (she waits)
Side step (where Leader does a sacada on his (3)

The Secrets:
Everything happens between steps 2 and 3 for the Leader (the “Two And”), -- this is where the magic happens.

The Leader’s embrace opens.  The Leader’s left arm closes and keeps the Follower from moving, maintaining presence to communicate to the Follower that she should stay, and his right arm detaches like a rocket so he is really letting go so he allows his hip to get around.  The Leader needs to dramatically communicate to lead the Follower to wait.  The Leader should get the Follower to “Two And” and then freeze (smile, this is the Kodak moment).

3.     Lead the Follower across as the Leader does his sacada.  The Follower’s left arm slides around the Leader’s back so she enables closeness as the Leader does his sacada.  In his sacada, the Leader can step diagonally back in his sacada as a “cheat to win” because the hips rotate, so this is a good thing to do for those who don’t rotate that much/well). Said another way, he is doing an obvious back cross step (not just a back open step).

The Follower’s side step should be nice, long and reaching, with a strong base leg.  The Leader leading the side step is from his left side giving pull/ turn energy. Do not push the Follower with his right hand.

Second Secret:
There is a little bit of colgada posture, so the Leader’s angle is a little tilted away to create space for him to do a sacada.

(1)    Leader’s right arm opens, left closes and stops.
(2)    Leader’s heels snap 70% of the way
(3)    Leader can pivot a little after to get around more
(4)    Leader can “cheat to win” by stepping diagonally (do back cross step instead of back open step) when he sacadas  
(5)    Leader can lean a bit away / tilt the axis

Special case:
What if we did it to the other side?
The Open side has to be dropped or you can do a judo hold around the Leader’s back.  The Leader’s close side of the embrace needs to change too, sliding down and opening up, so both dancers are now holding on hand to forearm to allow room for the movement.  The Follower receives the sacada with her feet on the floor.

“Deep Sacadas”
Follower can lift her knee up and go back down in collection. When she receives the sacada, she should do so gracefully.

If both sides of the embrace open up, the Follower may stay put (not move). So timing is important in transmitting a clear message.

Next, we did a sequential Leader Sacada directly into a Follower Sacada, drilling on the easy side and then on the hard side.  We became infinite back sacada machines.  Doing 2 in a row will generally keep you in the line of dance.  After 2, it’s a good test of your precision to try to keep everything straight in the line of dance.

The Follower’s back sacada involves a big back ocho pivot.

The Leader does a left foot back sacada and then directly leads a Follower’s back sacada as she is still on her right leg and sacadas with her left foot.

(1)    Leader creates space with the embrace so the Follower can remain on axis as she rotates.  Ochos are based on the Follower’s axis, so Leader should give her as much freedom to complete her rotation on 1 leg fully and completely.
(2)    Follower’s sacada requires more space, so Leader should step slightly away, tangent to the Follower so she can do a big pivot and make her back step easier.  Follower should snap together to pivot and get around better/cleaner.

Maestros concluded with a class quiz/summary and demo to El Abrojo by Carlos DiSarli

Notes courtesy of Anne at

Back, Front and Contra Boleos - Exciting & Elegant (Intermediate)

Song: All of Me (The Voice Performance) by Ray Boudreaux
Instructors: Homer & Cristina Ladas
England International Tango Festival
Tonbridge, Kent, United Kingdom
May 26-28, 2018

We began with individually practicing the three main boleo foot movements/shapes:
(1)    low and continuously on the floor
(2)    higher at our knee
(3)    higher up toward our thigh.
We first did this with front boleos.  With option (3) higher up on our thigh, the ending is with our knee up and then slowly over to the other side.  We drilled this on the left leg/foot and right/leg foot, all three shapes/movements.

Exercise: In hand to hand hold with imaginary giant fish bowl between us, both dancers did forward ochos into forward boleos.  Do not use the hands for leverage to get yourself to pivot.  Do not push down.  Keep the chest up and back. Do not look down at feet.  It’s not about how fast you pivot, but about being able to pivot fully and completely.  The standing leg should be in control at all times, with foot not rolling out to either side.  Do not sickle the foot at the point of the boleo.

Exercise: In sugar bowl embrace, the Follower should be close to the Leader.  Leader leads forward ocho and forward boleos in this embrace, doing side step and using send or stop energy. 

There are two energies needed to lead a boleo:  (1) send energy, and (2) stop energy (becoming a statue). 

If the Leader gives the Follower enough time, she might do a boleo on her own (not led by him) as an embellishment.  (The Follower “takes” the boleo.)

The Leader needs to send the Follower’s hips into the boleo first, before giving stop energy. 

The magic point in the boleo and the “Point of No Return” is at the point where the Follower’s hips face the Leader’s hips.  Here is where/when the Leader needs to turn the Follower’s hips past to get a boleo.

The Follower knows the Leader has stopped because she feels it as she holds onto the Leader, so she is present. Do not be too light or floaty, and conversely, do not push down on the Leader with your embrace.

When Leader leads the ocho, the Follower needs to amplify the movement in her hips 2-3x as much, as her hips are an “Ocho Factory” – whereby they amplify the Leader’s spinal rotation and pump out beautiful big ochos on demand.  The Follower needs to power her hips through her connection with the floor.  The amplification is 2-3x, not 1x, otherwise he would never get a boleo. 

Back Boleos
Keeping our feet on the floor. There are 4 categorical shapes in doing back boleos:
(1)    keep foot on the floor
(2)    Blade of Zorro where knees are together, and leg just goes up and down in a diagonal slice of air, with front knee slightly behind the standing knee
(3)    semi-circular into drop the axe. This is the most common and is a little rounder with one knee behind the pit of the other so you can’t see the knee cap.  Boleoing leg does a semicircle and then drops down like an axe.  It is like striking a match, turning at the point where the leg drops like an axe.  The beauty of the circular boleoing leg depends on the stability of the standing leg.
(4)    in-line Boleo, which depends on how much your thigh goes backward.  The knee disappears beyond the other knee. There is lots of extension in the Follower’s hip flexors and contraction in the lower back.  This is a big movement, and could be socially unacceptable, so be mindful about where/when you do this. Only do it where conditions allow.

Back boleos are based fundamentally on the back ocho, so the Follower needs to be good/great in her back ocho technique.

Exit: collect and wait for the Leader.

The Leader is after the reflection in the Follower’s foot with what he is doing with his spine.  The litmus test of whether a boleo is good is if the Leader feels the Follower’s hips move.

The Point of No Return in back boleos.
Leader takes Follower’s hips past that point to get a boleo.  Leader needs to have clear stop energy. 

We drilled both sides, with the Follower communicating with the Leader what she needs from the Leader (more energy, etc.)

Contra Boleos
In regular boleos, the Leader employs 75% send energy and 25% stop energy. 
In contra boleos, the Leader employs 25% send energy and 75% stop energy.

Exercise: Do side steps, playing with this concept of stopping the energy to feel what it should be like.  Leader does shimmy to get the Follower’s hips going, then he steps to the side with send/stop energy, getting Follower to do a contra boleo.  The Leader’s side step is around the Follower, as his two feet need to surround the Follower’s standing, supporting leg. It is like their feet are three points in an isosceles triangle (Follower’s foot is the tip; Leader’s two feet are at the base of the triangle).

We drilled doing contra and regular boleos from the forward ocho and back ocho.

Maestros concluded with a class quiz/summary and demo to All of Me by Ray Boudreau

Notes courtesy of Anne at

Tango Performance: Homer & Cristina Ladas

Song 1: Il Mostro by Ashram
Song 2: Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken by Pink
Instructors and Performers: Homer & Cristina Ladas
England International Tango Festival
Tonbridge, Kent, United Kingdom
May 26-28, 2018

Please enjoy this tango performance by Homer and Cristina at the 2018 England International Tango Festival.


Nuevo Masterclass: Contemporary, organic movement and patterns for dancing to Traditional and Modern Music (Intermediate)

Song: A Thousand Years by Jasmine Thompson
Instructors: Homer & Cristina Ladas
England International Tango Festival
Tonbridge, Kent, United Kingdom
May 26-28, 2018

“Nuevo” tango is a marketing term. It originally came from a practice group that came together to understand tango.

In our class we will explore our structures to understand how we can move better with our partner.

When we walk, we do so with opposing the energy of our partner all the time.  This enables us to have a good connection. If the Leader wants the Follower to walk back, there is an initial resistance from the Follower and she maintains this throughout.  This is the Theory of Opposition:  If the Leader goes back, the Follower’s tension is back, even though she walks forward.  She has initial resistance, and then goes.  The resistance comes from pushing into the floor. If the Leader goes left, the Follower opposes with her right.  We use opposition so the dancers know where their partner is at all times. 

Exercise:  In fingertip hold, Leader walks forward, Follower walks back.  Leader walks back, Follower walks forward.  The resistance can be seen as pulling and pushing, but in a nice way.  Both dancers push into the connection, and both dancers pull into the connection.  The pulling back is powered by the spine, not just the hands/arms/biceps.

In the turn, when the Leader turns to the right, the Follower opposes.

We drilled the Theory of Opposition in doing the turn,  as well as walking and doing side steps. 

Tango language with each other needs to be comfortable, clear, and consistent.

In the regular embrace, we incorporated ochos and turns.  In the ocho, one side pulls and one side pushes for both Leader and Follower.  The Follower’s push/pull is not independent of her hips.

Moving onto a pattern… 
We transition from close to open embrace communicationwise, and the Follower should be just under the Leader’s radar.  We were to discover how to use the floor for resistance, rather than just using our arms/shoulders or even chest.  Try to use/be aware of oppositional forces in the embrace at each step, powering to pivot, etc., of the pattern.

The Pattern:
In close embrace, Leader does cheat step, walks Follower to the cross. Leader steps left foot forward slightly away  (he turns his spine, and at the same time his left foot/leg becomes the new axis and gives the Follower room/time to do the pivot and step through) to receive the Follower’s right foot back sacada (after her first big pivot), going into a clockwise turn (so after Follower’s back sacada, she does a side step, then a forward step) to Leader’s right foot parada, to Follower’s right foot pivot, to Follower’s left foot pasada around to the front of the Leader.

Leader should stay on his left foot long enough to be able to receive the Follower’s back sacada with his right leg.  The right leg can be in Captain Morgan stance to give the Follower room and time to do her back sacada.

We should keep it flowing, with nice resistance from the Follower all the time.  The Follower’s left arm shifts down in her back sacada to give her more room, and shifts closer back to the Leader on the parada/pasada, as she needs to be closer to him as the figure opens and closes. 

The Follower’s left side has to be as responsive as her right side, and her arm needs to slide open or get closer as the figure/movement requires it. 

The Leader also needs to open and close his right arm to accommodate the space required of the movement.  The opening and closing of the embrace uses the Theory of the Human Magnet.

Exercise:  Human Magnet. 
If the Leader comes forward, the Follower comes forward as they attract each other.  If the leader goes back, the Follower goes back as they repel each other.

In this same pattern set up, the Follower can do a gancho instead of a sacada. 

Gancho (instead of the sacada).  The Leader’s left foot forward step is closer, he sends the Follower in a big pivot, and then he uses stop energy, which the Follower receives with a back/linear boleo (gancho through the Leader’s legs).  Leader’s Captain Morgan leg goes slightly forward in leading the gancho.  After the Follower’s gancho, she pivots back to face the Leader.

Leader: for the gancho, do not stop Follower with your right arm.

Axis Focus difference between Gancho v. Sacada
In the Sacada, the Leader is the axis as the Follower walks around him in her back, side, forward steps of the turn.
In the Gancho, the Follower is the axis as the Leader goes around/encircles the Follower with his torso/upper body.

CLASS BREAK (it was a double session, 3 hour class)

Building on the pattern:
Follower back sacada to full clockwise turn where she takes her side, forward, side, back cross step at which point the Leader does a left foot barrida of the Follower’s trailing forward left foot (of her right foot back cross step) into a Captain Morgan stance with left leg offer, to a Follower’s (beautiful) right leg wrap of the Leader’s left leg.  After the Follower’s wrap, she can raise her knee straight up and over the Leader’s left leg to collect.  Ending can be with a Follower’s back cross step, pivoting back into a regular embrace.

The Leader travels up the Follower’s thigh to get a wrap.

The Leader does PacPerson footwork during the Follower’s turn/hiro to catch her footwork at the correct moment to do a barrida (on her back cross step).

Hard side leg wrap.  The Follower needs to have good turn and ocho technique, especially on the close side of the embrace.  In the clockwise turn, the Follower’s left leg ganchos the Leader’s left Captain Morgan leg (not a straight leg, his leg is bent).

Energy difference between Gancho v. Sacada. 
In the Sacada, there is continuous, flowing energy.
In the Gancho, there is a stopping energy.

The Exit
After the Follower ganchos/wraps with her right leg, it goes back into a back cross step to the close side of the embrace, Leader rebounds her so the Follower steps left foot forward to pivot in front of the Leader.  Before her step, the Follower’s left foot can do a pretty front cross against her standing, supporting right leg.

In doing the barrida, the Leader should keep turning; he should not stop.  The Follower’s left side should be awake so she needs to be good in her embrace and turn technique as the Leader does the barrida into Captain Morgan leg with his left leg.

Breaking the code of the Turn.
Be mindful of where/when the embrace needs to be open and when it needs to be closed, and doing it with a good transition, especially in going into and out of the wrap/gancho.

Alternative Exit
The Follower’s right foot back step can be a hook behind into close embrace, to walk out as normal with Follower’s left foot back.

The Leader leads Follower to do right foot back cross step (hook behind) by closing the embrace and stepping right foot close to the Follower. The Leader does small side weight change to get the Follower’s right foot to hook behind her left foot of her standing, supporting leg.

Maestros concluded with a class quiz/summary and demo to A Thousand Years by Jasmine Thompson 

Notes courtesy of Anne at

Fast & Furious: Shared Axis Accelerated Turns (Beyond Intermediate)

Song: Tormenta by Ernesto Fama
Instructors: Homer & Cristina Ladas
England International Tango Festival
Tonbridge, Kent, United Kingdom
May 26-28, 2018

To summarize, we will do two different types of Fast & Furious turning
(1)    open turn
(2)    hurricane spin/shared axis turn

Chapter 1 – Open Turn

We began with an exercise on connection and how to develop our embrace.
The Leader can turn two ways:
(1)    with PacPerson feet keeping heels together, trying to do this in both directions.
(2)    Kick the heel around, where the Leader lifts one heel and kicks around. It takes about 8 kicks around to make 1 full rotation.  Try both directions, all the way around

In sugar bowl embrace, the Follower wakes up her embrace on the close and open side, bending the elbows and holding onto the Leader such that he feels the Follower’s body behind both points of contact in her hands. Follower: do not be too stiff or too loose in your embrace.  Have density and elasticity. Use both hands. Be alert in both hands.

In the turn, the Follower’s back step is the most challenging one in the turn.  Each step of the turn should be of equal importance/significance.  Reach and transfer the weight smoothly as much as you can.  There are two pivots on the turn/hiro, in the forward cross step and back cross step.

At the moment of collection, the Follower knows she will pivot, so she should gather her legs together to help the pivot. 

Have a dynamic/mindful connection to help send the body back in a big pivot without falling.  Get thighs/ankles together to help with balance and control at pivot.  Have a smooth frequency in getting around in the turn.  Have lots of spiral in your body.

Leader: Have hips slightly ahead of the Follower.

To help us get our spiral on, we did the Washing Machine Exercise: First let chest go around in rotation, then let hips go to catch up, going a bit farther than the chest.  There are four options in drilling this exercise:
(1)    Clockwise on left foot
(2)    Clockwise on right foot
(3)    Counterclockwise on left foot
(4)    Counterclockwise on right foot

Do a block turn.

Leader keeps hips a little ahead of the Follower.  Leader does PacPerson feet.

We drilled all these types of turning options for the Leader:
(1)    Washing machine body, or
(2)    Block turn with PacPerson feet
(3)    Block Turn with kick the heel around
Follower, pay attention to maintaining and containing the Leader’s dynamic energy and put it / reflect it in the Follower’s legs.

Follower should take long, reaching steps around the Leader.  In our turn, there is no automatic QQS, we will do all steps Slow in our exercise: SSSS.

In terms of language/position and real estate, Homer and Cristina employ the School of Opposition, where the Follower needs to give resistance when the Leader pulls, and when the Leader pushes, the Follower needs to push.

Leader screws into the floor with his standing/supporting leg.  The Follower should be close to the Leader at her hips so the Leader can do many things (sacadas, ganchos, etc.).  Follower’s arms should be connected to her shoulder blades and back.

We drilled this with Follower doing a dynamic turn so that the Leader can do either a kick around leg or kickstand leg on his unweighted leg.

Breaks in the turn.  One side is different from the other side.  The Follower’s left side reflects the Leader’s standing leg, how it pushes into the floor as the Follower’s hand gives resistance. The Leader’s right hand feels the same from the Follower’s left leg.  The Leader’s right hand/arm can move, dropping down toward the follower’s ribs instead of her on her back depending on her steps of he turn as the Follower’s connection is her left hand at the Leader’s right upper arm.

We drilled the accelerated turn, with the Follower containing the energy and maintaining density that goes through her hips.  The Leader’s kickstand leg just stabilizes the Leader’s axis, it does not motor the turn, though he does slightly push into the floor. It makes his standing leg stronger.  We drilled this, attempting to turn on one side at least four times around.

Leader will lead the acceleration by using his standing supporting leg, whether he does it with kickstand leg giving power to his standing supporting leg, or washing machine, or block turn.  The Follower receives the Leader’s leading energy/accelerating energy and responds/contains it in her hips so she doesn’t go flying around.

Chapter 2: Shared Axis Turning

In a little colgada, the Leader turns around the Follower’s axis.  Unlike the Follower, he does not have to look pretty. 

In close embrace, the Leader side steps to surround the Follower’s axis as she is on one leg.  Leader walks around Follower as his 2 feet sandwiches her standing, supporting foot.

Follower needs to hold onto the leader and let her hips go back so she counterweights.  Leader does a somewhat open V to A footwork as he goes quickly around the Follower. 

The Follower’s free leg can paint the floor or she can planeo it out to the side. The Leader needs room to walk around the Follower, so if she wants to raise her leg, she should keep it close to the Leader, not outside (which would likely be socially unacceptable).  If the Follower’s leg goes back in planeo, the balance will change for the Leader and he needs to adjust for that (or she shouldn’t do it).

Maestros concluded with a class quiz/summary and demo to song: Tormenta by Francisco Canaro

Extra clip of Martyn Phillips leading Homer in the Shared Axis Turn during class.

Notes courtesy of Anne at

Leg Wraps into Colgada Turns (Beyond Intermediate)

Song: Amazing Grace by Blind Boys of Alabama
Instructors: Homer & Cristina Ladas
England International Tango Festival
Tonbridge, Kent, United Kingdom
May 26-28, 2018

The pattern: Colgada from promenade exiting into a colgada turn.

Get into promenade without doing a colgada.  Leader does sneak attack weight change, so Leader’s left foot to Follower’s left foot, Leader’s right foot to Follower’s right foot, as they both walk forward together. Leader does sneak attack weight change to Follower’s right foot, to invite Follower to walk around Leader. The Leader’s right foot touches the Follower’s right foot and he sends her out a little to the right, doing a parada, after which the Follower pasadas with her left foot so she steps back in front of Leader and pivots to face him.  The Leader should enable the Follower to make the longest step possible around in front of the Leader. 

When the Leader does a sneak attack weight change to meet the Follower’s right foot, his weight is still back on his left foot.  He should not try to knock the Follower away to the right.  Leader can do a small cheat step if he wants (cross behind with his left foot) to help facilitate the Follower getting around the Leader.

Adding the colgada element.
When the Leader’s right foot captures the Follower’s right foot, he can send her out in the Line of Power, diagonally out. Here the Leader MUST do the left foot cross behind cheat step so the Follower can step around and in front of the Leader. 
Try to get a “real” colgada instead of a “fake” or “safe” one.

The Follower hangs from the Leader with both sides of her embrace and weight of her hips out and away from the Leader.
Leader needs to be strong in his left arm/hand – connect it to his back as as he starts to turn the Follower is still in colgada.

The Follower leaves her nose back as her left leg goes forward to reach around Leader.
The Colgada ends when the Follower’s foot lands on the ground and she takes back her axis.

Before the Colgada turn, the Leader can lead the Follower to do a wrap, by offering his right leg in Captain Morgan stance as she is out and away form Leader with her right leg weighted and left leg is free.

We drilled this with the Leader’s right foot to Follower’s right foot capture, sending the Follower out to lead her to do a left lag wrap of the Leader’s right leg in Captain Morgan stance, into a pasada (where the Leader does a cheat step of his left foot diagonally back so she has to step forward around the Leader).

Leading the wrap:  The Leader offers his right leg in Captain Morgan stance, sends the Follower out and rebounds her into the wrap.  He can do several wraps in a row (though no more than 3), and then lead her to step over in pasada.

At the moment of colgada, the Leader has zero (no) turn.  He is just sending the Follower into the Line of Power and then back in. She doesn’t need to look down to see if there is space.  She knows because she can feel his leg, that’s how she knows there is space. She doesn’t have to see or guess.  The Leader leads it by giving her space with his right leg. 

“The Thighs Have Eyes”.  Leader sends Follower out in the Line of Power, brings her in so she’s back on axis, and she feels his Captain Morgan leg.  The Leader needs to meat the Follower’s height, especially if she is very tall or very short.  Leader has no rotation in his spine while leading the wrap.  Leader does Captain Morgan with his unweighted right leg as she does her turn/hiro/molinete, he slides his Captain Morgan leg on the Follower’s side step, so she wraps with her other foot.  The turn is in the open embrace with the Follower’s steps long and around the Leader.  Follower should not fall on the back step. 

Turn wrap to the right.

At the point of the Follower’s side step after her forward step and before her back step, the Leader can lead multiple sequential wraps by turning his Captain Morgan leg in and out and rotating his spine/chest.  She will wrap with alternating legs.

Exit: After the wrap/gancho, the Leader should continue the Follower’s turn to the right.  The Leader gently transfers his weight to his right, and then continues the Follower’s turn. The Follower’s hips should be pointed toward the Leader and remain closed to have a juicy squeeze of the Leader’s legs.

Colgada wrap after a turn. 
Timing is tricky, because the Follower’s step is forward after the wrap.  Even though the turn continues, the natural step is a back step.  The Leader steps side and cross behind to create room for the Follower to step forward and around the Leader.  The Leader does cheat step diagonally back with his right foot.

Follower’s right foot wrap.  Leader shifts weight and pivots around Follower and takes his cheat step so Follower walks around Leader.

Maestros concluded with a class quiz/summary with demo to Amazing Grace by the Blind Boys of Alabama

Notes courtesy of Anne at