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Leg Wraps and Ganchos - Class Demo - Charleston, SC

May 2014

 

In this demo, we start with the most basic of leg wraps (ganchos), leading her to a side open and stepping into her step to receive the wrap (:14). The primary leg wrap from the class can be seen clearly at :22 and 1:55. It starts with a rebound step and lead her around/over my right leg, creating an opportunity for her to wrap. One thing that we discussed in the class was the technique for the women, to make these safe for the dance floor, is to not extend the leg out after the wrap.. notice at :25, Shelley's knee is bent and goes up instead of out.

Then we proceed to demonstrate more complex wraps showing how they can be used to express the music, such as at 1:17. Two of my favorites are the double wrap at 1:44 and the inside the embrace gancho at 2:00. We also did a piernazo (high leg wrap, above the man's waist) at :45.

Misc - Traspie to Ocho Cortado, Barridas to Paradas & Single Axis Turns

Clint Rauscher & Shelley Brooks class demo to "La Vida Es Corta" by Ricardo Tanturi canta Alberto Castillo, 1941.

In this class, we took requests from our students and worked on concepts that they wanted to work on. Each couple had their own things that they wanted to work on and this demo puts them all together.

Traspie to Ocho Cortado
At .07 of the video, we start with an arrepentida (rock step) to the open side of the embrace. We then begin a side step but interrupt it and return towards the close side of the embrace (traspie). We discussed with the guys that it is more of a point and pause than a change of weight at the moment of the traspie. The great thing about this move is is circularity and flow.

Barrida in Close Embrace
At .22 of the video, we perform a barrida while staying in a close embrace. To do this I relax my embrace and turn my upper body towards the close side of the embrace while taking weight on my left foot, freeing my right for the barrida. I perform the barrida with my right and then take weight on it leading her to collect and then cross over (pasada) my right foot.

Parada with Barrida to Single Axis Turn
At .29 of the video, we perform a parada and then a barrida in close embrace.
Tip: At the beginning of the parada, I stop her with her weight still on her left foot. As I step around her for the barrida, I shift her weight to her right foot before starting the barrida.

At the end of the parada, I take a small step back and instead of leading her over my left foot, I sweep (barrida) her right foot with my left in a circle around me (single axis turn).
Tip: At the moment of the single axis turn, I tighten my embrace just slightly and breath up for the single axis turn. Also, the men should simply turn around the woman and not sling themselves around her.  Don't overdo it.
Tip: The women should control their left (free) leg during the single axis turn and not allow it to sling out, thus compromising their balance.

His Barrida to Her Barrida to Pasada
At .40 sec of the video, I sweep Shelley's leg and then lead her to sweep my leg back.
Tip: During any Barrida, the women should keep a slight amount of pressure on the man's foot, this will allow him to go in any direction with the barrida.

Sacada Exit for Parada
At .50 of the video, we perform a basic parada sequence and then I tuck my left leg behind my right, change weight, and perform a sacada with my right to her forward cross.

Basic Alteration from her Forward Cross
At 1.16 of the video, I lead Shelley to a forward cross and then change the direction (alteration).

His Barrida to Her Barrida to Leg Wrap (1.32)

His Barrida to Her Barrida to Single Axis Turn (1.43)

Single Axis Turn from Side Step (1.53)

Embellishment for the Men at Parada (2.00)



 

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)

Ganchos: Leg Wraps I

Leg wraps are ganchos which happen during a turn and resolve in the same direction as the turn. In other words, if we are making a clockwise turn (giro), lead a gancho and then continue turning clockwise then that is often referred to as a leg wrap. A leg wrap IS a gancho, the follower is hooking (gancho) her leg around his leg.

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

Tips:

  • Leg wraps are executed on her open/side step during a molinete in either direction. In order for a wrap to happen the woman has to take a real side step. Often women skip or shorten their side steps during the molinete and that is a mistake. In the demo below, starting at the .10 sec mark she takes a forward cross, then a side open (which is where we lead the leg wrap) and then a back cross.
  • The leader should aim to make contact with his upper thigh to her upper thigh. He should aim for the area in the middle of her open/side step. If he goes too low or too close to the leg she is leaving then he will probably get a sacada instead of a wrap. If he goes to close to her supporting leg then he will knock her off her axis/balance. He needs to step into the middle of her open side step, but with an open thigh to recieve the wrap and then she should continue around in the same direction.
  • During the gancho (hooking), the follower should feel his thigh and "hug" his leg with her free leg. She should aim for the wrap to happen above his knee. She should release the wrap as she feels his leg straightening.
  • After a leg wrap, woman should not let her free leg float out, especially on a crowded dance floor. After the wrap, she can take her free leg up, instead of out, to release the residual energy of the wrap. Also, if she lets her leg float out then she runs the risk of falling out of balance and falling into her next step. After the wrap, she should relax her leg and let her feet fall back together (collect) so that she is ready for the next step.
  • Leg wraps should be done very close. If you are dancing in an open embrace you should adjust to close embrace for the moment of the leg wrap. Nothing looks worse than a guy stretching trying to get a leg wrap instead of just moving in close.
  • Let wraps can be done on either side of the embrace, but wraps to the close side are much easier to accomplish.
  • As always, a very relaxed embrace which allows her to breath and pivot easily is necessary.

 

Video Demonstration: