Traveling back ochos (Eugene, 6 PM class)

After warming up by practicing switching tracks (outside/center/inside), we worked on creating beautiful traveling back ochos.

We worked on three ways to begin traveling back ochos:

  • directly from switching systems by having the leader double-time "step together step"--from here the leader continued forward, but with a wider stance so that the follower's back step crossed behind to create a narrow zigzag down the dance floor.
  • from walking in crossed system, on the outside track--the leader brings the follower across the outside lane when both people have the right foot free, to begin traveling back ochos.
  • from the salida--the leader steps to the left, but then switches feet in place and SLIDES the follower across the leader's chest slightly, continuing down the dance floor in the outside lane (to the leader's right). This looks nice, but tended to create wider zigzags than the first two versions.

We worked on four ways to exit from traveling back ochos:

  • walking to the cross, in crossed system--from the ochos, the leader steps through to the inside with the right, creating the "maybe" step of going to the cross. When the cross is completed, the dance can continue as desired.
  • walking in crossed system on the outside track--from the ochos, the leader steps through to the outside with the left, and continues line-of-dance.
  • walkaround turn: overturning the follower clockwise (when both people are on the right foot), the leader steps with the right close to the follower's right foot, creating the center of the circle, and turns the follower around until facing line-of-dance.
  • scoop turn: leader walks on the outside track in crossed system for one step (or more), leads a back step for the follower (right foot) while turning own body perpendicular to line-of-dance, and receives that step with an open step. The leader collects both feet in place, rotates counterclockwise (to the left) to turn the follower in an overturned back cross (with left foot), open step and front cross. When facing the correct direction, exit in parallel or crossed system.

We worked on dancing at least one version of traveling back ochos, incorporating the step into the music. This week, we worked on Lomuto, especially "Alma en pena" and "La Gayola"--tangos.

Next class (our last), we'll review and put everything together.