Cruzada to Parada with Embellishments for Him and Her
Embellishments (adornos) classes are often done as women’s only classes or women’s technique classes. We feel strongly that when dealing with embellishments that women need to be able to practice embellishments while dancing and that men need to practice giving women time to execute them. Also, embellishments are not just for women, we focus on embellishments for men as well as for women.
At 0:05, we start with the primary figure of the class. The figure on its own is a wonderful step, but we are using it as a structure for practicing embellishments. We start off with the man doing a tuck behind with his left foot before taking his side step. Then he embellishes with his right foot by extending it outward taping the back of the woman’s right heel, then tucking his right in front of his left before continuing to the cruzada. As she takes weight on left foot at the cruzada, he extends his left and invites her to pivot counter-clockwise to create a parada. At the parada, the woman embellishes using weight changes, taps, lapiz, etc. The man should be patient and wait on her, when she is done she will step over his foot (pasada) and step around him.
At 0:33, we do a very similar step only this time the leader switches to cross system and does a lapiz with his left leg before continuing to the cruzada. Notice how Shelley plays with the music at the parada. This time when she steps around, the I just pivot to create another parada.
At 0:57, Shelley does a leg lift during a back cross (ocho).
At 1:25, Shelley uses this long pivot to tap her free foot as we circle around.
At 1:32, Shelley flexes her foot, lifting her toe as we do an ocho cortado.
At 1:35, as I shift weight Shelley uses that time to do a lapiz.
At 1:41, as I lead back ochos Shelley tucks her free leg in front of her supporting leg as she pivots.
At 2:00, at the parada, Shelley takes tiny steps back and forth before crossing over.
At 2:13, we do little foot taps during forward ochos.
At 2:32, I sandwich her foot very deep and then take tiny little steps back and then lead the parada.
Tip: Don’t overdo. Embellishments should be used to express the music. For example, at a parada, do a lapiz and maybe a tuck as you go over, but don’t do 5 different embellishments in a row.
Tip: Don’t rush. Don’t feel like you have to move all the time in tango. Tango is about the moments between steps. Often, rushing happens because of a lack of balance. Women and men should stand on one foot and practice using their free foot, moving it forward, back, around, up... without disturbing their balance. Learn to let your free leg move within the hip joint without moving the hip and upper body.
Tip: Women work embellishments into the dance, but if your partner is rushing through everything and not giving you time to embellish, then you either have to work them in quickly or not do them.