Ocho cortado variations (7 PM Eugene class 21Jul08)

We continued with Oscar and Georgina's traspie work (again!). By the way, this week looked GREAT! The entire class seems to have taken a quantum leap forward, all at the same time.  Way to go!

We did three variations of ocho cortado this week:

  1. Instead of leading the follower to complete the ocho cortado with the cross step, the leader turns the follower to take a forward step, crossing in between the dancers (a front cross) WHILE the leader does the same. At this point, the leader turns the follower back to the regular position. The entire step can be repeated as often as desired, with an ending either of going to the cross, or doing the resolution (or anything your little heart desires). For those of you who bought O & G's rhythmic tango DVD, this is #12.
  2. In the middle of #1, the leader can repeat the open step and forward cross step of the follower (mirrored by the leader) as often as desired, before returning the follower to the regular orientation for a regular ocho cortado or whatever. On O & G's DVD, this is a variation of #12.
  3. While leading a regular ocho cortado, the leader steps behind his/her own left foot, crossing the right behind into a very spring-like, dense quebrada and then returns to the open step, then the quebrada, etc. as often as desired, ending by completely transferring the weight of the follower's and the leader's foot, as in the regular ocho cortado. In this case, the quebrada step for the leader and the going to the cross step for the follower, are in a strange way a traspie in place, or under the dancers, rather than a traspie step out and rebounding into place! Cool, no? On O & G's DVD, this is #13, part 1.

Note on this class: I don't usually teach from DVD, as I can't learn steps in 2-D. However, after dancing all this stuff in my lessons with Oscar and Georgina, it has been very beneficial to review it via DVD. I'd have to say these are some of the most useful DVDs I have bought. Those of you going up to their classes in Seattle or Vancouver, B.C. (or Tangofest in the fall), consider investing in some of these DVDs. Of course, nothing can replace a live instructor, in my opinion, so if you need to either take a few privates or buy the DVDs, definitely take the private lessons.

Notes on doing traspie and/or ocho cortado:

  • Remember that each of these steps is a step and rebound. The weight transfer does not complete 100% to the other foot before rebounding, but the whole foot hits the floor to allow for a rebound. This is not a "touch": imagine trying to bounce a ball without it hitting the floor!
  • Leaders: when you pivot the follower to step through, rather than to complete the ocho cortado, the chest connection SLIDES but does not break. You don't need to move away to create the space to do the step.
  • Followers: make sure you keep your step shape uniform: To do this Georgina-style, you must keep your turnout in order to step the same distance away from your partner in these moves.
  • Follower: on the ocho cortado ending (or during the quebrada variation), your KNEES seek each other, not your feet. Make sure that your legs remain elastic so that the leader can move your axis and balance as needed.

Musicality and traspie: This week, we started working on vals timing and traspie. We have now covered, albeit not in depth, using traspie in tango, milonga and vals. Next week, we will continue making these dances feel and look like three different dances in terms of energy and musicality, while polishing our steps.

Orchestra this week: Donato, with featured vals: Quien Sera. I will keep playing the tunes we have studied so that you not only have new steps, but new knowledge of some sweet songs!