The Ocho is probably 2nd hardest thing a Follower will have to do/learn in tango. It’s also the precursor for all turns that all Leads must learn. This is a venerable and staple piece of tango vocabulary that every dancer must learn and then master. When people say the word, ‘Ocho’, they only refer to one thing. Would it surprise you to learn that there are 8 different kinds of Ochos ? What are they ? Lazy, Linear, Traveling, Circular, Over-Rotated, Anti, Milonga, and Dynamic. The last 2, specifically Milonga Ochos, are almost never taught or used, and Dynamic Ochos are an artificial construct. So let’s leave them out of the equation for now. So realistically we’re left with SIX of the EIGHT ochos that are used on a somewhat regular basis. However, when you boil it down, we’re really only talking about 2 kinds of ochos that get used frequently. The Lazy Ocho, and the Traveling Ocho. However, it’s the Traveling Ocho which is the one that most people think of as in Forward and Back Ochos. And yet these simple descriptives, as you can see, don’t cover the breadth of the world of ochos, as there are more than just one kind of ocho!
This video series covers that breadth by going into all six of those ochos in depth for both Lead and Follow as well as uncovering the real power house behind 4 of the 6 ochos – Disassociation and Applied Disassociation. Most people when they’re talking about ochos, they’re erroneous told to ‘pivot’ which is a complete fallacy. A ‘pivot’ is when an object rotates over a singular point, whereas disassociation (and applied disassociation) rotate over that same point but at different times. From a tango perspective disassociation typically refers to the top half of one’s body (torso, shoulders, arms, and hands – but not head), is separate from the bottom half (toes, feet, knees, and hips) which will rotate at different times from each other based on the amount of torsion that is built up and then released (applied disassociation). Without this skill being taught, properly, then ochos become a foot paddling mess from the Follower’s perspective. From the lead’s perspective it becomes a duck walking, mishmosh of half filled and half intended but not clear ideas that are transmitted. 🙁
This video series covers all six of these ideas and disassociation as well as applied disassociation for BOTH roles, which believe it or not is exactly the same.
From a Leading perspective you’re going to say to yourself that you don’t need to learn how to ocho, or more importantly how to disassociate at all because that’s a “Follower’s” job/role. And this is an error. Why ? Two reasons: 1.) Any Back Sacada! 2.) Two words for you – Sebastian Achaval! This topic was covered in Tango Truisms Volume 3 – #911 – Lead Disassociation. That’s why you want to do this stuff. This isn’t just for Followers, it’s for Lead’s too! You want another reason ? Try this! Mind blown ? Good. That’s why you want to learn this stuff! Usually when we talk about Ochos, we’re only talking about leading the Ocho. That part is easy. It’s quite factually a piece of cake. It’s more about coordination than anything else. The hard part ? Following the lead!
From a Following perspective we want to learn this stuff for really obvious reasons. Your survival depends on it. It’s that simple. You want to dance ? You want to dance with better leads in the room ? You want to dance most of the night ? This is the venerable skill that goes over every aspect from a Following perspective of what you have to do going forward.