A colgada puts the follower off-axis AWAY from the leader. Like the volcada, it is a move that works like a pendulum or a wave. The leader sends the follower away, counterbalances, and then allows the move to resolve to the best exit point available.
The big picture: get the follower feeling safe and on balance, and then tip the follower over, adjusting for free leg motion and rotation; and get the follower safely back on balance.
We will be working on volcadas in my 8 PM Thursday classes at Om Studio August 9, 16, 23 & 30, 2018 if you happen to be in Portland.
Tips on colgadas
Following a colgada can be a scary experience: the leader asks you to trust them, and there is nothing behind you to hold you up if the move does not work, except your own behind :-) I find that leaders scoff at this being scary, but are very nervous about being LED in colgadas. Trust has to be built for two people to do colgadas well.
The main important focus of leading a colgada should be making sure the follower feels safe so that s/he will LET you go off-balance with his/her axis.
Regular (with or without a free leg moving):
- Put the follower ON-axis, with the supporting foot grounded, first!
- Add tilt away from you.
- Counter-balance from the same shared axis point.
- Feel the pendulum of the follower's movement, and exit with it.
- Don't hold the position! It's a pendulum.
- Exit the direction that feels the easiest for the follower, barring obstacles.
Colgadas with pivoting:
- Not all colgadas have rotation/pivot, so make sure you read the follower's movement.
- Do steps 1 & 2 from the previous list (put follower on-axis and then add tilt).
- Add the rotation.
- Again, there is a pendulum motion to colgadas, so don't hold it; let it keep moving.
- Figure out the exit pattern based on tilt AND rotation. You can S-T-R-E-C-H it out.
Although you can't control the leader, you can make your half of a colgada work better.
- Get on/off-axis from the floor up. If the leader can't feel your connection to the floor, they will push/pull harder, which will knock you over.
- Keep yourself ON your foot. If you are rolling off your little toe or the inside of your foot, you are too far off-axis to do a good colgada.
- Feet, knees, hips, spine and embrace all work together as a spring to make the colgada work. Tone (but not locking) throughout the system makes colgadas feel easier for you and the leader. Think like a "water spider" that spreads its weight out to all limbs.
- Feel the pendulum of the motion through your body, and follow it. The leader can better resolve a colgada by reading where your body wants to go.
- Practice, practice, practice to feel safe enough not to clench your body. See the drills below on the video.
- If it's not working, step out of the move: Your free leg should be available to put down under you.
- Focus on how your axis/spring of your body can stay springy first.
- If you can let your free leg go free without collapsing your center, do so.
- Keep your foot balanced over your metatarsal arch. I find it helps to put a little extra energy into my big toe so that I don't tip onto my little toe.
- Pivoting off-axis is much harder than on-axis, so practice (see below) with a door jamb before working up to a human :-)