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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).  

Stepping to the Close Side with Dynamic Pivots

Teachers: Clint Rauscher and Shelley Brooks
 
In this class, we show one of our favorite steps. I love the flow of this step, it really feels great to lead and follow. I often describe it as a wave that is flowing over and around rocks. We are constantly going around one another and changing directions.
 
 

Alterations to Both Sides of the Embrace in Tango and Vals

6/10/2013 - Clint Rauscher and Shelley Brooks
 
In this class, we focused on Alterations (or Changes of Direction) to both sides of the embrace. The primary focus was on musicality. The first part of the step is very floaty and smooth, then the changes of direction are very rhythmic and the final part is smooth again. The changes of direction use the quick-quick-slow rhythm.
 

In the video, we do two short demos to both a tango and a vals.

Single Axis Turns (Week 2) and Leading by the Creation of Space

3/12/2013
Song: No Te Apures Cara Blanca (1942) by Lucio Demare with Juan Carlos Miranda
Teachers: Clint Rauscher and Shelley Brooks

This is from our second week of "Single Axis Turns." This week we looked at initiating single axis turns from a colgada, barrida and boleo.

This class also had another theme which was leading through the creation of space. We believe that a large part of leading and following is that the leader creates a space and the woman then fills that space. This allows for a very comfortable dance which does not require force or pushing or pulling or lifting. If the leader clearly creates space and the follower is perceptive and willing to enter the space created then a lot of unnecessary actions can be avoided.

Tip: Women should not let their free leg fly out and up. Women should keep their free leg relaxed, but weighted into the floor.

Tip: Women should notice that Shelley lifts her knee at the beginning of the colgada to the side, but then lowers it as we start turning in the other direction.

Tip: Don't try to hard. Both men and women should practice pivoting 180 degrees and then 360 degrees without throwing themselves around.  They should just take their upper bodies around in the direction they want to turn and then let their hips and feet fall in underneath.

Tip: Single axis turns can be thought of as mini-colgadas. We should have some opposing force in order for a single axis turn to feel stable.

Single Axis Turns (Week 1) with Clint Rauscher & Shelley Brooks

3/4/2013
Song: Tal Vez Sera Su Voz (1943) by Lucio Demare with Raul Beron singing
Teachers: Clint Rauscher and Shelley Brooks of Tangology101 and Tango Evolution

Note: This is a demo for our students and for perspective students to see the type of material that we cover. This demo covers a 1.5 hour class with lots of instruction, exercises and discussions of musicality which are not covered in the video.



We looked at two different single axis turns, both turning clockwise or to the close side of the embrace.

Step 1
At 0:11, we start by switching to cross system and performing a barrida (sweep). Then we execute the single axis turn (180 degrees) and then we step back and turn to return to the line of dance. This step also includes a change of front, discussed in other lessons.

Hint: Keep it calm. Don't try too hard. Just simply turn, don't try to sling yourself around.

Step 2
At 0:42, we start with a rebound step, twisting to get her to step close to my right foot with her right foot. Then we use the unwinding of that  twist to generate the momentum for our turn.

Hint: At the end of the turn, we want to come back straight and make sure we are balanced and that our feet are together before stepping back. We want to avoid falling back. We want that back step to be controlled and deliberate.

Serpentina (Reverse Sacadas)

Teachers: Clint Rauscher & Shelley Brooks
Song: "Bahía Blanca" by Carlos Di Sarli

Serpentina means snake like, because it looks like two snakes intertwined. This video is for our students to review what we covered in class.

As you can see from the slow motion, I am starting the step from back ochos. I follow her right leg around my right leg, ultimately wrapping my right leg around her left. The important thing is that I need to get her weight shifted to her right before I shift my weight to my right, thus displacing her left.

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.

Rhythmic Alterations with Cross Over Step and Cadencia

Date: 2.11.2013
Class Title: Rhythmic Alterations with Cross Over Step and Cadencia
Teachers: Clint Rauscher and Shelley Brooks
Song: Son Cosas del Bandoneón by Enrique Rodriguez with Roberto Flores singing

The primary step that we worked on is at the very beginning of the video. We start by entering cross system and then executing a change of direction with me crossing my right over my left turning 180 degrees. Then I step forward with my left and do two rock steps (Cadencia) turning 90 degrees each to return to the line of dance. This step is very musical and works well with rhythmic orchestras such as Rodriguez, Canaro, Biagi, D'Arienzo, etc.

Another focus here is playing with the rhythm of quick, quick, quick, quick, slow. This happens with the two sets of rock steps.

One tip is to not try too hard with this step. It is small and compact. Stay close to each other. For the rock steps, it is important to stay in the middle of the step and a touch down into the ground as we rock, so that we don't feel the need to collect our feet. Also, we are both pivoting a great deal during this step.