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.
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.