Home > Tango Resources > Tangology 101 Blog

Tag Name: sacadas


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.

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

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.

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.

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)



 

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.

Sacadas II: Back Sacadas

A back sacada (displacement) is when one dancer steps backwards into the space that their partner just vacated. This class video covers 3 weeks of back sacadas.

Basic Sacada Technique
A sacada is a displacement, meaning that we are taking the place of our partner. We are entering the space that our partner has just vacated. To accomplish this, the leader leads the follower to take a step and as she is taking weight onto her new supporting leg, he steps in to the space she is leaving. He should step just inside of her free leg just after the moment that it becomes 100% free of weight. To resolve the step, he should take weight on the leg he executed the sacada with and both partners should return to face one another.

Tips for Good Sacadas:

  • Slow and Low - Don't rush back performing or receiving back sacadas. Also, stay low to the ground when performing them and that will help with your balance and will cause your partner to take a nice long step giving you a larger window for the sacada.
  • Keep the heel down - As you execute a back sacada, attempt to keep your heel as low as possible to avoid any inuries.
  • Don't fall backwards - As you execute a back sacada, do not lean back. Extend your leg while bending the knee of your supporting leg. Once the free leg is extended, push off the supporting leg sending your hips and upper body together. Often, leaders send their upper bodies and then their hips and this creates a falling feeling. Also, keep your balance towards the forward part of your foot and don't fall back onto your heels, especially when completing your step. As you complete a step, stop just shy of putting weight onto your heels.
  • Relax your embrace - If either partner has a stiff embrace, they can easily pull themselves or their partner off axis (balance). The embrace should be relaxed and should slide, adjust so that each person is only responsible for their own balance.
  • Practice pivoting - Good pivoting and balance is essential for back sacadas. You should practice pivoting 180 degress with your legs together. Think about pushing your thighs together as you practice your pivots.
  • Respect her axis - Do not step in the middle of her step or towards her new supporting leg, as this will disrupt her vertical axis and cause her to loose balance. When performing a sacada step behind the other persons hips, if the hips touch then one of you will probably be knocked off their axis.
  • Don't kick her - Step inside of her step but not on her toes and do not worry about making contact with her leg. There should be little to no contact between the leader's and follower's legs. You are not pushing her leg out of the way, you are taking the space as it is leaves.
  • Complete the step - Leaders, finish your step by taking weight on the foot that you performed the sacada with. Don't just stick the foot out and then pull it back. Finish the step by taking the space that she just left.

Figure 1: Close Embrace Sacada (.11 of video)
In this first sacada, the leader performs a back sacada while maintaining a close embrace. After leading a cruzada, he steps outside partner to the open side of the embrace with his right leg while collapsing his right arm, allowing the follower to shift to his right side. This creates room for him to perform a back sacada with his left leg to her open step.

Figure 2: Her Back Sacada (.28 of video)
We start this sacada from back ochos. When leading her to a back ocho to the close side of the embrace, the leader sends an impulse around her, causing her to quickly pivot with her feet collected.  He leaves his left leg free to recieve the sacada which he leads by inviting her to step back. In this figure, after the leader receives the back sacada he keeps leading her around in the molinete while crossing his left leg behind his right and performing a forward sacada to her forward cross step.

Figure 3: His Back Sacada to her Open Step (.36 of video)
We start this step from an arrepentida (a repent). As the leader leads the follower to an open step, he pivots on his right foot and performs a sacada with his left to her open step. He could then continue leading the molinete and execute another back sacada to her back cross.

Figure 4: His Back Sacada to her Back Cross to a Calesita. (.45 of video)

Figure 5: His Double Back Sacada (1.03 of video)
In this step, the leader performs a back sacada to her back cross, but does not complete his step. He pauses there and then performs another (higher) sacada with his right leg.

Figure 6: His Back Sacadas to Both Sides of the Embrace (1.14 of video)

FIgure 7: Altering the Speed of the Back Sacada (1.22 of video)
We should constantly be adjusting our steps to the music. If the music slows down, then we can slow down and move almost in slow motion. If we are moving together then this can be a lot of fun.

Figure 8: Interrupted Cruzada to Back Sacada (1.59 of video)
The leader leads a cruzada but does not give her time to settle. As she is crossing, he pivots her and they both step forward and he then performs a back sacada to her forward cross.

Figure 9: Double Back Sacadas (4.13 of video)
Here the leader performs a back sacada to her forward cross and then leads her to collect and to then perform a back sacada to him.

Women's Musicality
This has nothing to do with sacadas, but watch the leg wrap at 1.47 and see how Shelley completes the wrap and flicks her foot right on the accent in the music. I CAN'T LEAD THAT. That is her paying attention to the music and trying to accent the step.

Video Demonstration:

 

Demonstration performed to "Forma" by Bajofondo Tango Club

 

Nuevo Bluesy Tango Parts 1 & 2

This video demo covers two classes.

The first was on finding the middle part of each step and being able to shift her weight back and forth between her legs without resolving the step, until we are ready.

We talked about the fact that each step has 4 parts.

1. We send our free leg

2. We transfer our weight 50/50 in the middle of our step

3. We completely transfer our weight to our new supporting leg (finding our balance)

4. We collect our new free leg.

Many times we skip these moments in our steps and just jump from 1 to 4, falling into steps rather than transferring our weight all the way through a step.

In the second class, we look at forward & back sacadas for the leaders and forward sacadas for the followers. At 2.30 of the video, we also looked at getting a back sacada while staying "primarily" in a close embrace.

Video Demonstration: