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Giro with Rulo to Enrosque to Sacada to Calesita

Steps for the Social Dance Floor: Giro with Rulo to Enrosque to Sacada to Calesita
Clint Rauscher and Shelley Brooks
10/22/2012
"Motivo Sentimental" by Carlos di Sarli with Alberto Podestá singing.

In this class, we started with exercises focusing on 3 parts of a step: Extend, Push, Resolve. We then practiced the molinete for the women and the rulo for the men. We discussed the difference between pivoting back crosses vs non-pivoting back crosses. This move works better if we relax the embrace during the back cross, thus letting the followers pivot to begin the molinete. We also focused on basic sacada technique. We looked at the step in both open and close embrace and made sure that we started in the line of dance and resolved the step back in the line of dance.

Molinete tip 1 for women: Don't fall into your steps, use the 3 parts of each step extend, push, resolve. Often, women send their free leg and their body at the same moment. Send the free leg from the hip (don't send the hip yet) then push off the supporting leg thus transfering your hips and upper body at the same time to the new supporting leg, and then resolve the step by brining your feet together. Your weight/balance should be 100% over your new supporting leg before you resolve the step.

Molinete tip 2 for women:
Since the man is on one leg for 3 steps of your molinete, he cannot support you or help you with your balance. You exercise excellent molinete technique by not moving away from him or into him thus disrupting his balance. Step "around" him and not away from him by extending your free leg under your elbow on each step.

Tip for the men - Don't Rush: During the rulo, the women are actually taking 3 steps and then 1 step while you do execute the enrosque, so don't rush it, you have plenty of time (4 whole steps) before getting to the sacada. Also, let your leg extend from your hip, don't send your hip with your leg. Your hip is joint, so your leg should be able to move freely without moving your hip.

Sacada tip for the men: Wait until she has transfered her weight 100% to her new supporting leg, the sacada should happen at the moment right before she begins to resolve her step. One helpful hint, is to wait until her hip is out of the way and step behind her hip.

Sacada tip 1 for the women: Don't resolve your steps until your weight is 100% to your new leg. In other words, don't bring your free leg with you (collecting) as you transfer your weight. If your free leg goes with your body, you remove the opportunity for a sacada.

Sacada tip 2 for the women: When the man executes the sacada to your left leg, don't lift it up and let it fly. That will throw you off balance. Let it circle around and then collect, so that you are ready for the next step.

We resolved the step with a back cross and then a calesita where the women were encouraged to embellish with their free leg during the calesita. If the couple opened the embrace for the giro, then this is a nice time to come back to a close embrace. As the woman takes her back cross, he can step in to get close for the calesita. At the end of the calesita, the men should relax their embrace allowing the woman to come back to neutral (in front). When the men relax their embrace, the women should pivot and return to neutral easily without making the men force them back to neutral.

Calesita tip for the men: Make a perfect circle around her without knocking her off her axis. If you do this then you do not need to lift her.

Calesita tip for the women: Don't go stiff during the calesita. Stiffness compromises balance. Don't collapse, stay tone, but don't go rigid.

Musicality Notes:
We discussed that often the back cross and side step in the molinete is done with a quick-quick rhythm. We also encouraged the leaders to pause for a moment after the calesita and to take a breath before continuing the dance, as a way to end the phrase.

Walking Sacadas to Giro and Enrosque

Clint Rauscher and Shelley Brooks
Song: "Hasta Siempre Amor" by Carlos di Sarli canta Horacio Casares

In this class, we start by walking with the leaders changing weight without leading the women to change weight. Then we walk and switch to cross system and perform small sacadas as we walk.

Walking Sacada to Giro with Enrosque (:39 of video)
After the walking sacada to the open side of the embrace, the man takes a side step with his right and leads the woman to a forward cross with her right. Then the man sends his right leg behind his left while leading the woman to pivot and perform another forward cross. The man then pivots on both feet (enrosque, corkscrew) while leading the woman to a side and then back cross. At her back cross, he switches weight to his left eg and then exits to a cruzada for the woman in cross system.

Tip: When the man sends his left leg back, behind himself, it should hit at approximately the same time the woman's left leg hits the ground for her second forward cross.

Tip: After the enrosque, the man should switch weight to his left at about the same time as the woman's left leg hits the ground for her back cross.

Paradas and Barridas in Close Embrace

This was our second week of looking at split weight moments. Most all split weight moments involve a parada since we are at least temporarily pausing at the moment in the exact middle of our step. At that moment we can shift weight to a new leg or back to the leg we just left.

Circular Cruzada from Split Weight (0.26 of Video)

In the first figure, we go to the close side of the embrace in cross system. Stop in the middle of our step and then continue around in spiral (counter-clockwise) until she crosses (cruzada). Then we continue turning counter-clockwise until we are back to the line of dance. We try to keep a steady flow to this move, the pause (parada) should be very momentary.

Turning Walk from Split Weight (0.39 of Video)

In this figure, we go the close side of the embrace in cross system. We freeze her in the middle oher step (split weight) and then step around her, stand back up straight and wait for her to collect and then the leader steps back leading her to a forward step to the close side.

Parada to the Close Side in Close Embrace (0:13 of Video)

In this figure, we looked at performing a basic parada figure while maintaining a close embrace. Often the couple breaks the close embrace and transitions to an open embrace to perform a parada. There is nothing wrong with this, but for the purposes of this class we are maintaining a solid connection in our torsos during the parada. To do this, when the leader initiates her for first back cross (ocho) he stops her with her weight split or even more towards the forward leg. This way both leader and follower can stay standing up straight without leaning or being pulled over. To accomplish this he must relax his embrace and she must pivot and roll her body across his chest instead of trying to stay glued flat to his chest.

Parada to the Close Side with Barrida in Close Embrace (0:49 of Video)

This figure is the same as above only we added a barrida. Since we have stopped her with her weight split to initiate the parada, when we step around the follower her weight is naturally shifted to her back leg. We do not have to do much to accomplish this, the mere fact of us going around her should naturally make this weight change happen. When the leader steps around her several problems can happen. If he steps too close then he will enter her space ad knock her off her axis and if he steps too far way he will pull her off her axis. So, he has to step just far enough away to to pull her off her axis but still leave enough room to sweep (barrida) her free foot between their feet.

Parada to the Open Side in Close Embrace (0:58 of Video)

This is a parada performed on the open side of the embrace. The concept is the same as above, only the leaders need to really relex the right arms and allow her to pivot/turn in the embrace. Both partners should still stay standing up straight and not lean forward or back.

Parada to the Open Side with Barrida in Close Embrace (1:08 of Video)

This figure is the same as the last one only we add a barrida after the parada. With this barrida (sweep) we are stepping into her path and then sweeping her foot to our foot before resolving the figure.

Video Demonstration:

 

Split Weight Moments I

In tango, each step has a beginning, middle, and end. There is a moment in the middle when our weight is evenly distributed between both legs. We can use that moment to create some very interesting possibilities.

We cover lots of information in our classes, but here are some of the major tips.

Tips:

  • We started by practicing finding the moment where are weight is split during a step and rocking our weight back and forth between our feet.
  • We explained that if the leaders stay slightly down and don't collect their feet themselves, then it will help the women stay down and not collect.
  • Followers are following the upper body of the leaders, not their feet, so leaders need to be very clear and stop their upper body at the moment her weight is split.
  • We also talked about our crucial pivoting is to tango and that followers should not "make" the leader pivot them, but rather when they feel his invitation to pivot they should pivot themselves. We also discussed that good pivots happen on the forward part of the foot and not with the whole foot on the floor.

 

Video Demonstration:

 

The Milonguero Dip

In this Tango lesson, we teach a figure called The Milonguero Dip, and is part of our Popular Steps for the Social Dance Floor series. This step is a popular step that I saw used in the milongas of Buenos Aires, Argentina. I have recently been informed that the step was named "milonguero dip" by Ney Melo and Jennifer Bratt.. and that they first saw it done by Javier Rodriguez and Geraldine Rojas and that Javier called it "ocho seco."

The joy of this move is in the musicality and the swoosh feeling it gives the followers during the dips (changes of our vertical plane). Every time I teach this move, it always receives lots of positive feedback from the followers. They love it.

Breakdown of the steps:

  • In this class, we started the move off from back ochos. When I lead a back ocho to the man's right, I begin by pivoting on my right foot counter-clockwise and crossing my left foot in front of my right, while leading her to take a back cross with her left around me. KEY MOMENT: My left foot should hit the floor at the same moment her left foot hits the floor. At this moment I also go down slightly in my left leg(dip).
  • At this point, there should be lots of compression in the embrace, as I lead her to take a side step around me with her right foot as I pivot around on my left and switch weight to my right.
  • I continue leading her around to a forward cross step with her left, as I step around her with my left. KEY MOMENT: As I step around her with my right, I need to make sure that I do not go too close to her (I might push her off her axis and that I don't go to far away (pulling her off of her axis).
  • I sink down (dip) into my left leg as I lead her around to another forward cross with her right. As she takes that forward cross I step back diagonally with her.
  • To finish I lead her to yet another back cross in front of me and I switch weight to return to parallel system and walk out.

Important Notes: This move requires a relaxed embrace, so that she can pivot inside my embrace (especially my right arm). If I hold her too tightly she will find it difficult to do the large pivots necessary for this move and it will be very uncomfortable.

Musicality Notes: In the first part of the demo, we danced to Carlos di Sarli's "Junto A Tu Corazon." This this we keep things rather calm and stretch the dips out as long as we can. Starting at 0.43 we dance this same way to Juan d'Arienzo's "Compadrón" to show how it works, but does not quite fit with the music. Then bumped the energy up just a little bit to fit with d'Arienzo. We shortened the steps and made them a little more staccato as opposed to the more legato of di Sarli. In both cases, we use a quick-quick-slow timing for her first back cross and side step.

 

Video Demonstration:

 

 And a second video of us teaching this step: