Milonguero Ochos into the Follower's Molinete
Lazy Ochos into The Follower’s Molinete. This is an odd transition to be certain. It mixes two very different types of tango styles or ideas into one way of dancing. Typically the ‘Lazy’ or Milonguero Style Ocho is done in Milonguero style of dancing, that means that the Lead is not leading the Follower’s hips to rotate at all, ever. And then, all of a sudden, and it is all of a sudden, we ask (note the language here…’ask’) the Follower to engage their Molinete. Not a Milonguero Turn, but a Close Embrace Molinete. Talk about confusing! Oy. So let’s get into L/leading and Following Milonguero Ochos into the Follower’s Molinete!
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From a Following perspective, the thing that’s going to throw you is the sharp transition between these two ideas. First you’re doing one thing where you’re not transitioning your hips and then the next you are. Crazy! The only precedent for this stuff is the inconsistent lead that gets half way through leading something and then changes their mind abruptly taking you along with them for the ride, and that abruptness is usually unpleasant. Only in this case, it’s not unpleasant, when led properly. It’s just a little jarring. Ok, more than a little jarring. Especially if you’re used to dancing ‘milonguero’ style, and then you’re being asked to do a close embrace molinete.
To be clear, a good portion of your leads, say 90% of them are going to enable your defaults, and not be aware that there even other options here. And really, up until this moment in time, you didn’t realize that there was a different kind of ocho (there are 8 in fact). You’re just used to the one kind, traveling ochos, the ones where you’re supposed to ‘swivel’ your hips. That ‘swivel’ isn’t a swivel, it’s applied disassociation. But that’s a topic that has been discussed ad nauseum, I only mention it here to illuminate that there are other forces at work that you want to consider. I digress. Most of your leads will be unaware, as you are, that there are other options. Further, the ones that do know that there are other options tend to squeeze the living daylights out of the Follower and thereby not allow the applied disassociation in the Molinete. The want the Molinete but they don’t want to allow you the movement of your body that they’re asking for. It’s nearly impossible. Oy.
The thing that you absolutely need to be aware of is that these are LAZY ochos first and foremost. Why ? Because the Lead that actually knows what they’re doing will end up having to drop beats to accommodate your default behavior of TRAVELING ochos (applied disassociation), and thereby possibly have to make changes to their line of dance, what will come next, and end up having to modify the dance as a whole because you’re responding with the wrong damned ocho! Listen carefully for the difference in the lead. Truthfully, again, only 10% of your leads will lead these but they’re absolutely delish when they’re led.
From a Leading Perspective, you need to be crystal clear in what you’re leading. Absolutely crystal clear. Rotate your chest even 2 degrees to the left or to the right and you’ll get TRAVELING ochos out of the Follower. For the LAZY ocho you must remain still! At the same time, you must allow the Follower space to move within the construct of the embrace. That said, the biggest issue here is the 3rd LAZY ocho prior to the Follower’s Molinete. This is all about allowing the Follower the space to move, and then you actually leading the over-rotation. Failure to do this, and the Follower ends up in your arm pit, and then they fee like they’re rushing around behind you never able to catch up. Part of the issue here is that you must ‘mark’ and match their rotation with yours. Remember that you’re the inside of the circle, and the Follower is the outside of the circle. For you, every degree that you turn, it’s 10 for them! Just a lot more work for them, especially on the over-rotated backstep!
Truthfully as was stated above, this transition isn’t mixed and matched all that often because you’re so used to leading (and really the Follower just responding with) TRAVELING ochos, that you don’t even think about it. However, the major problem with TRAVELING ochos is that you end up having to either drop a beat or having to rush the ochos to match the beat. It’s harder work for the Follower to do this. Their ochos have to become very tight, and very small, almost milonga style ochos…almost.
The question may come up, “why employ/use this transition at all ?”. The reason is really simple. It’s the fact that Lazy Ochos are all about hitting the beat, every beat, and they’re great for that. That’s it right there. Traveling ochos, you end up having to drop beats. So instead of every beat, it’s every other beat. Which can be kinda fun for a while…but gets kind of old later on, and typically doesn’t go with the music. Typically.
From a Dancing Perspective, quite honestly you’re going to go and do what you’ve been doing forever, which is traveling ochos into the Follower’s Molinete, and just think that this is easier. It’s not easier, it’s just what you’re used to doing. This idea, and this construct requires clarity and an amped up listening and execution skills and quite honestly it a lot more fun for a variety of reasons. Most notably among those reasons is the fact that not the fact that it’s unusual, or that you’re hitting every beat whenever you want to, nooooo! The fun part ? The precision. Believe it or not the precision part is what will give you an enormous amount of satisfaction to be able to execute X,Y, and Z on demand. And being able to hit either Traveling OR in this case, LAZY ochos as you see fit (from a leading or following perspective). That’s the fun part. Precision.
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Watch It On Youtube ? Why should you pay for this video, or subscribe to this website when stuff like this is available on Youtube ? Because what you’ll find on Youtube doesn’t explain and walk you through the how a Ocho Transition works! That’s why!
So, please, go right ahead, go watch all the presentation videos on youtube all you want. Because that’s what they are ‘Presentation’ videos. The couple’s that you’re used to seeing are performing for the 15th row for a room full of people, they’re not social dancing. Whereas this website is all about ‘Social Dancing’. So please, go spend your time, trying to infer, and figure out how things may work in that 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. 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! (ahem) ME! The goal of youtube videos is to entice you to go study with those teachers in person. The goal of these videos is allow you to work at your own pace, in the comfort of your own space, so that you can play them over and over again to improve your understanding of the vocabulary or technique being described to therefore better your dancing experience. The goal of classes and workshops is to get you to come back over and over and over again, thereby spending more money with that teacher. This website and the videos under it are here to act as a resource for you to help you to improve your dance. Pay once and be done with it. 😉
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In an hour long class, with the blind leading the blind through rotation of partners (uuuggggh!), you may glean a piece of the information you need and not get the whole thing, and you’ll miss important pieces that you’ll end up having to take a private lesson for to get the finer points. This way, you can watch over and over again, and get all the supplementary materials, and if you want you can still go take the class, only you’ll be better prepared to do so!
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