Milonguero Ochos into Milonguero Turns
There are 8 types of Ochos, but only 2 of them are used routinely to lead into other things. The 2 types ? “Lazy” or Milonguero Style Ochos, and Traveling Ochos, what you folks think of as an ‘Ocho’. Traveling Ochos ? You know the one where you’re supposed to lead Disassociation and you frequently don’t especially on the closed side of the embrace (tsk, tsk, tsk), and where the Follower infers that led Disassociation and fills in the gap and starts Applying Disassociation all over (what you erroneously think of as a ‘pivot’) ? That ocho ? Yes. Frequently these two types of ochos are used as transitions into other pieces of tango vocabulary without a stop or a pause. There is a natural flow in a good number of these transitions and one of them is from the Lazy Ocho into the Milonguero Turn. They align themselves rather nicely. However with the alignment of these things, and the frequency with which you see these things, you would think that there would be more classes on this stuff. But sadly there isn’t. A good portion of the time, you’re taught the under lining vocabulary technique and then shown for 2 minutes near the end of the class where this stuff could (operative word in the sentence, ‘could’) fit. It is for this reason that this topic and the resulting video exists: Ocho Transitions - Milonguero Ochos into Milonguero Turns!
Check Please! The video above is small snippet of a full HD video (total run time: 22:40). You can purchase Ocho Transitions - Lazy Ochos into Milonguero Turn for just 24.99 or the entire series of 3 (59.99) on sale until May 1st, 2017.
From a Following Perspective, your job here is 3 fold.
1.) Stay in front of your Lead (the person, not the action).
2.) Follow the Milonguero Ocho without turning your hips (which would be 'Traveling' Ochos which are not the same things).
3.) Try to make the back step of the Milonguero Turn as clean as you possibly can. "Clean" in this case, is making certain that the back cross is tight and sharp and not muddy where there is distance between the feet.
That’s it really. Sounds easier said, than actually done, as you'll see. Those 3 things can literally drive you mad for a variety of reasons.
a.) Your Lead (person, not action) isn’t clear about the type of ocho that is possible or that they can lead (action, not person).
b.) You’re not clear on the difference in types of ochos, most notably because your teachers only had one ocho in their heads and that was what you got. There are more. You just have to learn to listen to other ideas.
c.) Staying in front of your Lead is a bit of a challenge especially when they have this rampant desire to place YOU in THEIR armpit … better known as the Arm Pit Dancer.
Now add to that you’ve got the Lead that uses compression ('squeeze'), asks for resistance, tension, and force…and on top of all of that, talks to you while you’re dancing. Singing is fine (most of them don’t thankfully), they yap in your ear while you’re trying to concentrate….oy! Add to that, that you’ve closed your eyes to ‘listen’ more clearly (bad idea - umm equilibrium kiddies).
From a Leading Perspective, a good portion of the time you’re not clear about Ochos anyway, and you allow your Follower to just ‘Ocho’ (Traveling) to rotate their hips and ‘pivot’ (not) and then have to deal with wherever they go with that. And then as a result of you not being clear with them and then the Follower having to infer what it is that you meant because you weren’t clear, you end up having to employ force, resistance, tension, and compression to stop them to from over doing things, and then you have to manage the Follower…all because you weren’t clear to begin with! However, let’s back up and try to imagine what would happen if you were clear in your lead. What do you think would happen to the Follower ? Well for one, they wouldn’t have to work so hard. Two ? They’d relax a lot more than they do now. And Three ? You’d get a lot more dances than you do now. Simply because your lead is clear without force, tension, compression, or resistance! Now we add in this very simple transition point from the Lazy Ocho which is nothing more than a ‘dirty’ crossing back step into the milonguero turn. Truthfully because the turn itself is really simple and the opening step of the turn is a back cross, the rest of this is really, really simple. So what would happen ? Bliss is what happens. Less work for both of you, so that you can focus on the music and navigation and how to make the dance more pleasurable than it is today. Now we add one more component…the transition step between the two. Following some very basic guidelines that can help you to stay with your partner and that’s really the key…staying with your partner. Note this is not ‘leading’ your partner, but rather staying with them. And there’s a good reason for that. Because as a Lead you have to learn to listen for what you’ve led! A good portion of Leads do not do this. And they rightfully should but don’t. They tend to rush from one piece of vocabulary to the next.
From a Dancing Perspective, the Ocho Transition is not discussed, nor is it detailed by a lot of teachers. That’s not to say that it isn’t…it’s just not the sexiest thing on the planet that draws your attention. It’s that simple. It’s not sexy. It’s functional! And yet it is precisely this functional stuff that that you absolutely need to do so that your dance becomes fluid, clean, clear, and consistent! And yet, you spend most of your time in classes that don’t really help you out all that much learning new vocabulary instead of focusing on the simple things. It is only through the refinement of the simple things that your dance will change. Adding more vocabulary is NOT the answer….cleaning up what you have already, restructuring it. That’s the key!
About The Video. This video is 22:40 in length in 4 Sections.
Section 1 - Reminder Technique (Milonguero Ochos & Milonguero Turns) - 00:07:02
Section 2 - The Transition Point - 00:07:17
Section 3 - Review - 00:01:13
Section 4 - An Important Detail/End - 00:03:34
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