The Circular Boleo (Contra & With boleos)
When we see or hear the word Boleo, there’s usually one specific idea that comes to mind, and only that idea. There’s a reason for that, and that’s because one might consider that specific idea to be the ‘Common’ Boleo. Which inadvertently leads one to an inescapable conclusion that there is only one type of Boleo. And that would be an error. A monster error. There are in fact multiple variations on two very specific themes in Boleos. The first is the what you might think of as the “Common Boleo” and that’s the Contra Boleo. Contra meaning that it goes against the direction of the led dancer. And the second is the less common but still very relevant idea of the “With” Boleo. There is a commonly held idea that all Boleos are Contra Boleos, and that’s not entirely true especially when it comes to the ‘With’ variety of Boleos. Each one of these variations on a theme have their types of boleos that we’re familiar with. Tango Topics has coalesced around 3 common ideas of the Boleo: The first is the Social Boleo. This has already been detailed in a previous posting. Typically these are commonly Contra Boleos, but can also be done as With Boleos as well. Then there is the Boleo that you are very familiar with and that’s what’s called a Circular Boleo. And last but not least is an idea that doesn’t get a whole lot of action but has lots and lots of variations on a theme, and that’s the Linear Boleo. In today’s Tango Topic we will discuss the common Circular Boleo first and foremost. So without further adieu, Tango Topics presents it’s variation on a theme: The Circular Boleo.
A little back story: The word Boleo (pron: Boh-Lay-O)comes the root Spanish word “Bolear” which roughly translates into English as “To Shine” or “To Throw”. Boleo is the first person singular, meaning “I throw” or”I shine”. From a Tango perspective we view this as a very specific piece of Tango vocabulary that is nothing short of gob stopping when executed properly, and in time to the music, and typically one very specific type of Boleo, which is the High Circular Boleo. That’s the one that most people think of when they hear the word Boleo. The Boleo is in it’s simplest definition, is one Tango’s four displacements: 1.) Ganchos. 2.) Wraps or Enganches. 3.) Sacadas. 4.) Boleos. The boleo barely classifies as a displacement here because typically the displacement is when the Lead generates a displacement they tend to take the place of where the Follower was in the displacement. In the Circular Boleo, that’s not entirely true and that has everything to do with a tool that we want to engage known as the Rebote Principle. We’ll get to what that means in a bit.
What is a Circular Boleo ? Firstly there are many varieties of Boleos. Tango Topics is only talking about 3 very common ones: Social, Linear, and today’s topic: The Circular Boleo. To be clear there are low circular, midrange circular, and then there are the one’s that everyone thinks of when they hear the word Boleo: The High Circular Boleo. So what is it ? This is a lifting of the leg (Lead or Follow, typically though it’s the Follower’s leg) that tends to curve (hence the circular part) up and sometimes around the Lead. This is why they’re called “Circular” Boleos. In this version of the Circular Boleo, we’re exploring a Mid-Range Circular Boleo or what Tango Topics refers to as a Mid-Height Circular Boleo.
What’s the difference between a High Boleo and a Mid-Range ? The difference is in it’s application within the Line of Dance. In a High Boleo the Follower is reaching for the stars, as it were, trying to get their leg as high as possible in response to what’s being led. Typically there’s a tiny little problem with this idea. a.) They tend to be rather painful, if you haven’t done the necessary exercises to help with extending one’s leg that high into the air. b.) They tend to disrupt the line and lane of dance because they’re misled in the wrong place (tsk, tsk, tsk). The Follower and the Lead in question quite literally forget for an instance that the Follower is in 3 in. heels for just an instant. And that instant is all it takes for there to be blood on the floor, and someone’s heel impaled into someone’s body parts! So the Circular Boleo that we’re talking about today is a mid-height boleo and doesn’t or shouldn’t really be too energetic or too high. It’s just above waist hight and a little beyond.
Difficulty Rating: (4 / 5)
Hey!!!!! Isn’t there more to this post ???? Where’s the Lead’s Perspective, the Follower’s Perspective, and the Dancing Perspective parts of the Post … ??? These very helpful, extremely descriptive, and FREE parts are still here, and you can see them too, just scroll to the bottom of the page, and register. Registration is a hassle! We know. But it is also free, and who doesn’t like free stuff!!! You get a whole bunch of other stuff that can help you with your dance, and the rest of this post. So go register, then login to your Tango Topics Library page and then select Articles, and you’ll see this article with all that good stuff in there. Just scroll, register, and then read! Easy. No ? 🙂
The Case For WHY You Need This ? Actually, you don’t need it. Huh ? Hmmm…that’s no way to sell videos or subscriptions. You’re right. It’s not. That’s because we’re not in the business of teaching you useless vocabulary that you probably don’t need. Stay with us on this one, it’s not going where you think it is. From a very specific point of view, this is cool vocab. No doubt about it. However, from another point of view, the one of the social dancer who’s been dancing a while, a long while, this is nothing more than vocabulary that doesn’t further the cause of Social Dancing. Now here’s the kicker – Both, yes, BOTH points of view are valid. Here’s why:
From the Social Dancer’s point of view, you’re never going to use this stuff. Maybe once in a blue moon, but in reality the better that you get, the less you use this stuff. From their point of view, it’s four pieces of vocabulary that you need: The 6 Ways of Walking, Traveling Ochos/Milonguero Ochos, The Follower’s Molinete/The Milonguero Turn, and lastly – The Argentine Cross. That’s it. That’s all you need. From the Dancer’s point of view that’s hasn’t mastered this stuff yet, this is cool and you want to play with it, and to be able to master it. To find it’s in’s, out’s, how’s, and why’s, and mostly to have fun with it. Both points have their merits.
And now to the one twist in our point that you probably weren’t expecting. This stuff actually has validity, maybe not from a social dancing perspective, immediately, but more from a movement, and musical perspective. The fact is that this is all about one thing and one thing only: Skillz!
There’s a reason you study vocabulary like this, and it’s not because it’s cool (it can be), or that’s it’s musical (it is), or that it’s fun (it is that), or that it adds a little spice and variety now again (the once in a blue moon methodology). It’s because it’s all about your Foundation. Or put another way, because this vocabulary works your foundation in a really good way, by breaking down the movements to their component elements, so then you can become a much more fluid dancer so that you can use it, or not. It’s about availability, accessibility. Not about using it. Using it is entirely up you. But working the instrument, that’s what this vocabulary does. It works your instrument, … ahem…that’s you in case you weren’t paying attention.
No one wants to admit that they need help. That their dance isn’t stellar. Furthermore, you really don’t know that your dancing skills aren’t absolutely amazing until you see a room full of people all dancing way better than you are. And then you see it and feel like the poor cousin at the kiddie table during a holiday meal. There’s a reason those people have achieved ‘better’. It’s doing work like what you see in the video above. Being able to turn this stuff on and off as if it were a switch. A good portion of the time when we’re dancing we only think about the ‘cool’ toys in our dancing and we neglect the one thing that makes those cool toys possible: Our Foundation. That is, in case you’re not paying attention, this video series and others like it.
About The Video. This video is 2hrs:26m:20s in length in 11 sections. Both lead and follower vocabulary is combined and integrated in the video. There are two sections devoted specifically to the Technique that is required for both roles for nearly all Boleo types.
Boleo Exercise – 00:14:43
The Free Leg Exercise
The Controlled Leg Exercise
Common Errors – 00:18:37
5 Common Follower Errors
2 Common Lead Errors
Follower Technique – 00:24:46
The Walking Steps Reminders
Follower Linear Ochos
The Follower’s Appreciation Step
Basic Boleo Technique
Striking The Match
Social Boleo Technique
Circular Boleo Technique
The Follower’s Rebote
Follower Leg Control
Lead Technique – 00:28:34
The Lead’s ‘Lead’
The Timing Issue
Setting Up The Contra
Setting Up The With
Linear Boleo Technique
Frozen Boleo Technique
Close Embrace for Boleos – 00:11:29
The Floating Embrace
Bumper Car Ochos
Close Embrace with Circular Boleos
The Rebote Principle – 00:05:15 (shown above)
Deeper Contra/With Boleos – 00:16:28
With Boleo Clarity
Deeper Rebote Principles
Contra & With Boleos Together At Last
Embrace & Posture Reminders
Circular Boleos – 00:15:31
Contra Circular Boleos
With Circular Boleos
With Circular from Forward Linear Ochos
Contra & With Circular Boleos
Boleo Examples – 00:10:57
The Missing Information. Dearest Reader. TangoTopics is glad that you want to read this Topic, so that you can dig a little deeper into your foundation, into the music, into the codigos of the dance. However, you’re missing three important parts to this Article: The Follower’s Perspective, The Lead’s Perspective, and The Dancing Perspective. Which can change your thinking by informing of some important pieces of information that you may not necessarily be aware of. Watching a 5 minute video will not help you to change. Change is a concerted effort and requires a little thinking on your part: Becoming a Freeium User! As the name implies, it’s FREE. Register. You get to see everything above, and a whole lot more! 😉 Have a nice day.
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Remember that what you’re seeing is a couple that is performing for the 15th row for a room full of people, they’re not social dancing. Whereas this website is all about ‘Social Dancing’ or how to make things function on a social dance floor. Social Dance floor ? Your local milonga! They’re showing flashy moves as a presentation! But not stopping and talking about how this works, why you’d want to put that piece of vocabulary there, or how to make things fit. This website is all about those things and more!
You could watch those videos and thereby spend your time, trying to infer, and figure out how things may work in that particular situation. Bend your body this way or that, twist and force this position or that. Place your foot here or there and figure it out. This is known as Tango Twister. Which can be a lot of fun, but more than likely it won’t help you, because you’re missing something: The explanation from an experienced teacher showing you how to properly excute this stuff from a Leading Perspective as well as from a Following Perspective!
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