You are my giro, Part 2 (Tango 2 notes)

Thanks for putting up with your low-blood-sugar teacher last night! I'll try to be clearer on paper ;-)
We worked on walkaround turns, "the Dan" and "the Stephen" last night. My notes on "the Dan" are in the last post.

Turns that travel, Part 2:
The Stephen (or loop-dee-loops):

  • Stephen Payne is one of my favorite dancers, and this is a move that only he has led me to do. Again, like "the Dan" what I like best about it is how well he uses the music and syncopation to play within the music. However, the move is also really fun.
  • This step can come back to the starting place or progress LOD a bit, depending on the placement.
  • As I showed you last night, the basic move is to get your partner walking forward on the closed side of the embrace as you walk in a little circle counter-clockwise (CCW) before continuing line of dance (LOD). To make my partner get into position, I find it easiest to walk LOD forward on the outside (closed side), then LOD side step, and then LOD back step, pivoting my partner into walking forward. I then keep my torso twisted to the right AND basically body-block with my thigh so that the follower can't just step in front of me.
  • I walk the circle until the follower is facing LOD, and lead the follower through with a forward cross. That puts the follower in front of me in terms of the LOD. I pivot the follower to face me and keep walking LOD.
  • The many variations of Stephen: in my low-blood-sugar silliness, we discovered that you can do "the Stephen" CCW and clockwise (CW), to the inside of the embrace or on the leader's left, looping turns in towards the center of the room (safer) and outwards towards the walls, and with the follower walking forward or backwards. You tell me how many possibilities that makes in total!

Walkaround turns:

  • This turn progresses one medium- to big-sized step LOD.
  • In crossed system, leading the follower LOD (either in back ochos or in crossed-system walks), step forward on the left foot, leading the follower to also step on the left.
  • Then, twist your torso CW, sending the follower into a back, overturned cross step. As the follower starts to take that back cross around the leader, the leader steps forward LOD with the right to stand where the follower had been.
  • Keep turning until the leader can face LOD again, and exit. In general, the follower does three steps (back, side, forward) around the leader, but sometimes a fourth step (side) is needed to finish facing LOD. For the leader: if you are really on-axis, you can just spin on the right foot until exiting LOD. Other options: step each time the follower steps BUT STAY IN ONE PLACE, or any pattern of steps turning in place that works for you.
  • It feels nice as the follower to pause for a moment at the end of the turn before walking LOD. This gives the follower time for an adorno.

Scoop turns (we did these last week):

  • This turn progresses one big step LOD, but no more.
  • In crossed system, walk to the closed side of the embrace (leader's right).
  • After the follower takes a back step LOD with the right foot, the leader "accompanies" the next step just as if it were a back ocho in place. To clarify: the leader steps to the side IN LOD while leading the follower's back step (which becomes a back cross with the change in the leader's position). On this step, the leader MUST catch up with the follower so that they are parallel to the LOD, or this turn just becomes a rock step for the follower.
  • The leader plants both feet and rotates CCW (left) to lead an overturned back cross for the follower.
  • Follower's turn is usually three steps: back, side, front--just like the walkaround, but in the other direction. Almost never is the fourth step needed here.
  • The leader needs to stay on-axis and on balance for this to work well. When it works, it has a WHEE! carnival-ride feeling for the follower.
  • Again, there is a nice moment for a pause at the end of the turn before proceeding LOD.

Chain steps:

  • I am not sure if we will get to these right away, so I'll deal with them in another blog.

OK, Tango 2, I THINK we are caught up. For Wednesday, come ready to play my strange tango games: the Fat Lady, Obstruction, Darth Vader and Solo-Couple are on the game plan.