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Tag Name: adornos (embellishments)


Creative Weight Change Part 1 with Cruzada and Parada

Teachers: Clint Rauscher and Shelley Brooks
Song: Solamente Ella by Carlos di Sarli with Jorge Durán 1945
More at: Tangology101.com

The main focus of this class is the idea of having the follower change weight in order to enter into cross system rather than the leader and dancing slowly and elegantly with women taking an active role. Then we added a short figure including a cruzada (cross), with a parada (stop) mordida (bite).  

Dancing to Donato - Part 2 - Rebote to Back Cross or Ocho Cortado w Adornos

 Teachers: Clint Rauscher and Shelley Brooks

Music: Mis Pesares by Edgardo Donato with Horacio Lagos (1941)
 
This is part 2 in our series on dancing to the music of Edgardo Donato. Donato's music is very rhythmic and playful, so we try to express that in the dance. The music has a driving rhythm, so we don't usually take long dramatic pauses as much as we would in other music.
 
Also, Shelley shows many embellishments (adornos) in this video and I would encourage women to watch her feet very closely. Often we encourage men to wait and allow women time to do their embellishments, but in this class we were looking at embellishments where the women are working them into the music and rhythm of the dance. In the demo, I am not waiting on her to do her embellishments, she is working them in and not at all interrupting the flow of the dance.
 
We always encourage followers to be active and not passive, but especially when dancing to more rhythmic music. The followers need to be responsible keeping the rhythm, not making the leaders do all the work. As we often say, "The leader can only get you close to the beat, but you (the follower) must put your foot down on the beat."
 
The steps that we looked at both start with a rebound (rebote) from stepping outside partner in parallel system. In the first step, after the rebound, I step to the side and enter back crosses. In the second step, after the rebound, I turn and lead a very compact ocho cortado. This ocho cortado takes up almost no space and is sometimes called a "milonguero ocho cortado."
 

Cruzada with Paradas, Boleo and Sacada

06/03/2013
Teachers: Clint Rauscher & Shelley Brooks
 
This is another step in our series on "Steps for the Social Dance Floor." These are steps that should work well on the social dance floor. They compliment the connection between the dancers, their connection with the music and with the other dancers on the dance floor. We originally thought of this step as being an intermediate figure, but later found it was more of an advanced figure, which requires a lot of precision and subtlety.  It also includes a nice embellishment for the men after leading the cruzada.
 

 
For more classes: http://www.tangology101.com

Alterations from Forward Cross

Date: 02/18/2013
Teachers: Clint and Shelley of Tango Evolution and Tangology101.com
Song: Bahia Blanca by Carlos Di Sarli

The alterations happen at :18 and :22. In the first one I am leading her forward and then she pivots 90 degress (change of front) and she steps backward (change of direction). So, in one step we change fronts and change directions, thus an alteration. In the second one, we change from her moving backwards to her moving forward in one step.

Also, at 2:42 we do a Cerpentina (or reverse sacada). We did a class on this recently, but did not make a video of that class, so we worked it in here because some students had been asking for a demo of it. It can be a dangerous step, so you really should get some instruction in it before attempting it.

Embellishments (adornos)
Of course, we work in many embellishments to our dance, but some worth noting in this demo are:

1. At the very beginning, we do little tucks before taking the first side step
2. At :34, Shelley does a castigada
3. At 1:27, I do an embellishment to her ocho cortado with a a small parada.
4. At 1:36, Shelley does another castigada and then little taps before exiting the parada.

Of course, with all of these embellishments, I am waiting and giving her the time to perform them.

Second Demo

We also did a second demo for this class which shows similar steps done to the more rhythmic "Pénsalo Bién" by Juan D'Arienzo.

We pause during D'Arienzo, but they are brief pauses, not the long stretched out pauses of Di Sarli. So, most of the embellishments are "worked in" to the pace of the music. What I mean by that is that in Di Sarli, I pause and give Shelley plenty of time to embellish, but in D'Arienzo, I do not pause as much so Shelley and I work the embellishments into the rhythm. This is more difficult and requies the embellishments to be sharp and precise. Here are some to look for:

1. At :09, Shelley does a quick tap as she pivots
2. At :13, I do a quick point and tap of my toe
3. At :15, I work in a quick tap while walking
4. At :20, Shelley works in a quick tap
5: At 1:05, we both embellish our forward crosses by tapping our feet together
6: At 1:36, Shelley does multiple taps as she pivots around
7: At 2:04, Shelley embellishes the Ocho Cortado by flexing her foot up.

Compact & Elegant Variations of the Ocho Cortado

Instructors: Clint "el gato" Rauscher & Shelley Brooks

Song: "Bailemos" by Carlos di Sarli with Mario Pomar singing.

Compact Ocho Cortados (for crowded dance floors)
We started by looking at very compact variations on the ocho cortado, for small spaces. Most dancers take several preparation steps to get into the ocho cortado. We tried to trim this process as much as possible. We looked at this in parallel system (.34 of video) and in cross system (.40 of video). The most compact of all is shown at 2.27 of the video.

Elegant Ocho Cortados
Usually, ocho cortados have a built in rhythm of quick quick slow. The first concept that we explored was letting go of the quick quick slow and stretching out the time it takes to execute the ocho cortado. We still want the feet to be hitting on the beats of the music, but we can skip beats and take our time.

Stretched Ocho Cortado in 3 parts

The primary move that worked on can be seen in several places in the video but at 2.12 if can be seen the best. We start with the side step with the man's left and the woman's right. The man stays on his left and leads the woman to a back cross step, then to a side open step and then to the forward cross step (cruzada).
Tip: The man stays on his left until he leads her to the cruzada at which time he switches back to his right. He should leave his right leg behind for most of the move and lead the move in his whole body. When she takes the side step, the man should pull his right foot slightly back to make room.
Tip: The man should step a little farther than her on the first side step. Each step should have a slight feeling of rising and falling into the steps. The man should not lift her with his arms but rather his whole embrace should go up and then settle.
Tip: Also, notice how much each person pivots during this move. You can not leave your feet stuck to the floor, they must pivot.

Bonus steps:
Ocho cortado with barrida to leg wrap (2.47 of video)

Initiating Ocho Cortado from a Side Step (1.54 of video)

Ocho Cortado with Barrida to Cruzada (2.07 of video)

Rhythmic Embellishments to the Ocho Cortado

This class demo is from a class on adding rhythmic embellishments to the ocho cortado using the music of Juan d'Arienzo. We looked at embellishments for both men and women. We started by encouraging the men to use their feet a little more to the rhythmic music of d'Arienzo, but picking up their feet slightly and stepping to the rhythm of the music. We also looked at using the quick quick slow rhythm on the arrepentida leading up to the ocho cortado and on the side step.

You can see a very basic ocho cortado at .43 of the video.

Embellishments for the Women
We started by discussing the fact the the men are not doing anything different. They are simply leading an ocho cortado and the women are choosing which embellishment to do.

  1. The first embellishment can be seen at .23 of the video. You can see that Shelley places her weight on both feet during the side step and pivots her hips and feet (not her upper body) clockwise and then pivots back and crosses.
  2. At .29 of video, Shelley shifts her weight completely to her left leg, pivots on her left and flexes her right foot up. (We also encouraged the men to be more playful with the music and to repeat the ocho cortado twice in a row).
  3. At 1.27 of the video, Shelley shifts her weight to her leg and actually collects her right. She then returns to her right, pivots and crosses. This one is tricky and requires women to be very fast on their feet.

Very Compact Ocho Cortado
At .51 of the video, you can see a very compact ocho cortado which could be used for very crowded floor.  The men simply turn their chests (not hips) clockwise while extending their right foot slightly forward. His weight and balance should remain on his left foot.

Men's Embellishments
Starting at 1.00 of the video, we can see several embellishments for men. Essentially, I am balanced on my left foot and using my free, right foot to place it to the inside of her right foot and then the outside of her left (and added a barrida for fun). I could also place my foot to the inside of her right foot, etc.

Demo performed to "Qué Noche" by Juan d'Arienzo.

Intro to Barridas, Pasadas y Paradas

A Barrida (a sweep, a drag) is the dragging of a partner’s free leg during a Caminata (walk) or Giro (turn). During this series, we will examine the proper technique for leading and following both external and internal Barridas in both open and close embrace. During the class we will also look at Paradas (stops) and Pasadas (passovers). Barridas are also known as, Arrastre (sweep, sweeping) and Llevada (carried, carrying).

4 Parts of a Step
Each step that we take in tango consists of 4 separate parts. Imagine that your supporting leg is your right leg, meaning that your weight is completely on your right leg:

  1. We send our free leg (left) to find the floor where we are about to step
  2. We begin to transfer our weight to our new supporting leg (left)
  3. We finish transferring our weight to our new supporting leg (left)
  4. We collect our new free leg (right) next to our supporting leg (left).

Practice finding and feeling all 4 parts of a step by taking slow, deliberate side steps. Feel every moment of the step.

Barrida Technique
Barridas are largely about positioning. While walking or turning the leader wants to stop his embrace while the follower is between her steps, so that she is mid-stride with her legs apart. He then positions himself over his new supporting leg, without shifting his embrace which might cause her to complete her step. He then uses his free leg to find the leg he wants to sweep. He leads her to transfer her weight to her new supporting leg and sweeps her free leg. Once he has completed the barrida he should lead her to settle her weight over her new supporting leg and to collect.

Tips:

  • Triangles - We are often forming triangles when we do barridas. Notice in the video, if you look at the 12sec mark, when the the barrida is being initiated we could form a triangle by drawing a line from the mans left to the woman's left to the two left feet. Then when the barrida is executed the triangle would simply flip, seen at the 15sec mark.
  • The leader wants to find the forward part (toe area) of her free foot with the forward part of his foot. He does not want to go in too deep. See Image 1 below.
  • The leader starts with his free leg’s knee bent and straightens it during the barrida. His supporting leg should be bent slightly, so that he can be grounded and very well balanced during the barrida.
  • Once the barrida has been initiated, the follower wants to apply just a tiny amount of pressure against his foot, so that she can easily stay with him. This would include going up into the air with the feet.
  • Technically the barrida is usually an illusion. The leader is leading her to step and it only appears as if her foot is being dragged, but it is nice to have enough pressure so that the drag is felt.
  • The leader should turn to get the hip of his free leg close to the hip of her free leg. This should result in his supporting foot being parallel to her supporting foot. See Image 2 below.
Image 1
Image 2

Figure 1: Simple Sacada

  1. We start out this move with back crosses (ochos). When I lead her back cross to the open side of the embrace, I initiate a barrida with my right to her right.
  2. I then lead her to take weight on her right. My weight is still on my left and I don't collect.
  3. I lead her to take a forward cross step, passing over my right foot (pasada) as I take weight onto my right. We pivot to return to our neutral position.
  4. We could do an arrepentida to return to line of dance.

Figure 1: His and Her Sacadas

  1. We start out this move with back crosses (ochos). When I lead her back cross to the open side of the embrace, I initiate a barrida with my right to her right.
  2. I then lead her to take weight on her right, while I collect my feet around her right foot (mordida / bite).
  3. I leave her on her right while I switch weight to my left and then lead a back cross to the open side of the embrace (my left side and her right side) for both of us.
  4. As we complete our back crosses, I lead her to execute a barrida to my left with her right and switch weight to her right. In the video, notice the triangle we create at 1:19. Also, leaders need to adjust their left foot at the end of this step to give her more room for the next step.
  5. Now, I lead her to take a forward cross step over my left foot, as I pivot and take weight onto my left foot creating a sacada to her right foot.
  6. We pivot to our neutral position as I switch weight to my right so that we end in parallel system with me on my right and her on her left.

 

Part II:

In this second part, we look at paradas which are stops and happen whenever we stop our movement for any length of time and pasadas which happen whenever one partner has to step over (pass over) the other partner's foot or leg.

Figure 1: Basic Parada Sequence
We started by looking at a very basic parada sequence.

  1. The sequence begins from back crosses (ochos). When the leader leads the woman to a back cross to his right side he stops her (parada) mid-step and extends his right foot to find her left foot. He wants to put the forward part of his right foot to the forward part of her left foot, not going in very deep, just right at the toes. 19 sec of video
  2. He then takes weight on his right and steps around with his left to face her. His feet collect around her left foot creating a mordida (bite). Again, his left should not go in deep and the contact should only be at the forward part of the foot. 40 sec of video
  3. He then switches weight to his left and steps back and around with his right bringing her forward onto her left. At this point she should have her feet surrounding his left foot (mordida). Notice in the video that when I step back Shelley just comes straight forward onto her axis but no further and the I don't lean back, but rather keep my upper body over my hips while I settle my weight onto my back leg (right). 52 sec of video
  4. At this point, she is facing me so if I were to lead her to take a forward step she would have to walk into me, so I pivot her counter-clockwise. She is still on her left foot. Then I lead her to take a forward cross step over my left (pasada) and around me with her right as I take weight on my left. 54 sec of video
  5. Then I lead her to pivot and to take another forward cross as I return to my right. We are back in parallel system and can walk out.

Figure 2: Basic Parada Sequence with Barrida
This figure is the same as the one above only we add a barrida (sweep) at step 3. To accomplish this, at step 1, we must make sure that we stop her (parada) with her weight all the way back onto her right leg, so that her left is free to sweep.  1.30 mark in video. Then we step around with the left and sweep her left with our right. 2.07 mark in video.

Tips:

  • Triangles - We are often forming triangles when we do barridas. Notice in the video, if you look at the 2.38 mark, when the the barrida is being initiated and when it is completed.
  • The leader wants to find the forward part (toe area) of her free foot with the forward part of his foot. He does not want to go in too deep. See Image 1 below.
  • Once the barrida has been initiated, the follower wants to apply just a tiny amount of pressure against his foot, so that she can easily stay with him. She should also keep her foot on the floor and not to take it up into the air unless the leader takes his foot up in the air.
  • As the follower's foot is being swept, she should pivot on her supporting foot to keep her hips and upper body facing in the same direction as her foot that is being swept. 3.03 mark in video

Figure 3: Basic Parada to the Leader's Left with Barrida

This move uses a very similar technique as the other moves only we are starting with a parada to the leader's left (open side of the embrace). Then we are stepping more around her so that we can sweep her right foot to our right foot. 4.02 of video

 

Part III:

Figure 1:
Parada and Barrida from Follower's Forward Cross

Tips

  • At the 1.19 mark, the leader stays on his left foot while leading the follower to switch weight to her left at the cruzada.

Figure 2:
Forward Sacada to Forward Cross to Parada and Barrida

Tips

  • At the 1.47 mark, notice the proper barrida technique of finding the forward part of her foot with the forward part of your foot. Don't go too deep with the drag.
  • At the 1.54 mark, notice that as I rotate my chest that my left foot pivots with me to provide stability.

Figure 3:
Barrida to Colgada

This figure is for more advanced dancers who already know the proper technique for leading and following colgadas.

Turn (Giro) to the Open Side of the Embrace from Cross System

Synopsis: This class focuses on a Turn to the Open Side of the Embrace starting from Cross System on the Close Side of the Embrace. As embellishments, we looked at a forward circular boleo for the woman and back cruzadas for the man when getting into and out of cross system.

Teachers: Clint Rauscher & Shelley Brooks

Video Demonstration:

 

Figures:

Figure 1: Turn to the open side of embrace from cross system on the close side of the embrace with back cruzadas for the man and a forward circular boleo for the woman
In Slow motion at 2:44 of Video Demo

Step 1: The man takes an open step to the side with his left leg and the woman takes an open step with her right leg. She collects while he crosses his right foot behind his left (cruzada) and changes weight. At this point, he is on his right and she is on her right so they are in cross system.

Step 2: He then takes a forward cross step to the close side of the embrace and she takes an open back step.

Step 3: He takes an open side step while she takes a back cross step. On this step, the leader relaxes the embrace and brings her perpendicular to him. The man's right shoulder and her left shoulder are connected but they do not have contact on the open side of the embrace and are at a 90 degree angle to one another. At this point, he can make slight contact with his upper right thigh to her upper right thigh and lead her to perform a boleo.

Step 4: He steps back with his left but keeps weight on both feet as he begins to turn his embrace counter-clockwise.

Step 5: As he pivots around counter-clockwise, the woman will feel slightly left behind at this point and so will take large steps around him to try to get back in front of him. To start she will take a long forward step around him with her left and he will end with his weight on his left foot.

Step 6: The woman will continue to try and get back in front of him by taking a large open side step with her right. The leader will bring his right foot behind his left and change weight.

Step 7: Same as Step 2 above.

Step 8: Same as step 3 above, but now he brings her back in front of him. They are still in cross sytem so he can exit in cross system or switch weight to return to parallel.

Tip: On step 2, the man should pivot his upper body slightly counter-clockwise to make room for stepping to the close-side of the embrace.
Tip: On step 3, the man needs to open the embrace and bring her to a 90 degree angle to him and contain her in front of him by blocking her with his right arm. He is not applying pressure with that arm but merely creating a stopping place for her so that she stays slightly in front of him.
Tip:
On Step 4, he should stay very forward in his upper body and bring her around with his embrace. Since she wants to return to the embrace and get back in front of him she will take a nice large step around him. She will not step away from him. Look at how close her left foot is to his at 2:51 of the video.
Tip: On Step 5, at the beginning of step 5 she is still not 100% back in front of him so she continues to take a large open side step. MEN: If she takes small steps on 4 and 5 and is slightly to your right then you might want to stay on your left and exit to the open side of the embrace in parallel system.

Variations:

SIMPLEST VERSION OF THIS MOVE
At 23 second mark of Video
Figure 2: Same as Figure 1 only the leader does not perform the back cruzadas and they exit simply in parallel system.

Figure 3: Same as Figure 1 only the leader does not perform the back cruzadas, he simply changes weight.
At 16 second mark of Video

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Embellishments (Adornos) for Women and Men: Part I

Embellishments (Adornos) are small foot, leg or body movements that dancers work into their dance that are not functional, but rather embellish their steps. Since women do not dictate the steps, rhythm or direction of the dance, they use embellishments to express their personality within the dance. Men can also perform embellishments to add flavor to their movements.

Teachers: Clint Rauscher & Shelley Brooks

From Walking

In the video below, we show some basic embellishments which can be accomplished from just walking.

  • El Lapiz (The Pencil)
  • Playful Weight Changes
  • Heel Taps (Taconeo)
  • Tuck and Tap by Him

From a Side Step

In the video below, we show some basic embellishments which can be accomplished from a side step.

  • El Lapiz (The Pencil)
  • Tuck Behind before Side Step
  • Double Side Step for Him

From Back and Forward Ochos

In the video below, we show some basic embellishments which can be accomplished from back and forward ochos.

  • Foot Kisses by Him
  • Foot Kisses by Both
  • Foot Kisses during Forward Ochos
  • Tucks by Her
  • Tuck and Hold by Her
  • Circular Leg Lift by Her
  • Straight Leg Lift by Her