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Simple Sacadas 2018

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Simple Sacadas 2018

The Simple Sacada. This video has been in the works for a looooong time. It’s actually taken 4 tries over a 3 year period with 3 different partners to get anywhere close to passing what I had in mind, and it may be revised one more time, but for the time being, this is the final form of what Tango Topics calls a “Simple Sacada”.

Argentine Tango has many, many different pieces or types of vocabulary (moves, steps, patterns, and figures) that can be developed as a way to express the music in the dance, so that you see the music in visual form. One of those pieces of vocabulary is what we call a “Sacada”. You see them all the time in various forms, and probably because they’ve become commonplace you don’t pay a whole lot of attention to them of if you’re a beginner Lead, and sometimes the beginner Follower, you look at them and think “OMG that’s complicated!”. The visual of what you’re looking at is seemingly so fast, and so intricate that it just blows your mind. Today’s Tango Topic deals with what some consider to be the very first piece of vocabulary after the 7 Basic Moves of Tango. It’s the first real, seemingly intricate and complex (it’s not) tango move that we’re taught as a way to augment our dance.

So without further yapping :-), Tango Topics presents: The Simple Sacada.

Notation: There is a Simple Sacadas v3 that is still in the archive, and it can be found here, and it will stay in the archive for you to view as further reference material. 🙂 You’re welcome! 

What is a Sacada ? First, a Sacada consists of a walking step that just so happens to intersect with your partner’s walking step at the same time that they’re stepping forward, side, or back. Secondly and this part you have to keep in the back of your mind: It’s an illusion. An illusion of walking, an illusion of technique, and an illusion of execution. To put it simply the Sacada is really just a walking illusion that intersects with someone else’s walk. And that’s the part that most people are confused by. What they see is the illusion, and try to re-create the illusion instead of focusing on the part that will actually help them to get to the root of the Sacada, the walking part! Which is to say that people focus on the flash and not the substance! It’s just a step forward and side (and sometimes back, but not in Today’s Tango Topic), which is going cut through, and step very close to someone else’s step which results in a displacement of someone’s leg. The hard part for most people is the timing of that displacement, not to mention where that displacement goes. Speaking of ‘displacements’ the Sacada is in the family of Tango vocabulary that are called ‘displacements‘, and that’s because of two factors that occur: 1.) Because whoever is initiating the Sacada will take the place of the one who is receiving the Sacada. You are displacing, and sometimes being displaced. And 2.) The one who is receiving the Sacada will displace their free leg as a result of the intersection of the walk. Further down the rabbit hole, the Sacada is one of the 4 common Displacements that Tango Topics talks about which are: 1.) The Sacada. 2.) Ganchos. 3.) Boleos. 4.) Enganches or what is commonly known as an Argentine Wrap!

And just for your further edification because some people ask the question “How many types of Sacadas are there ?”. Answer: There are 22 Types of Sacadas, and a total of 501 variations of those 22 Types. And yes we have done the math, and it comes out to 501. The types, just in case you hadn’t thought about it, but we have, are as follows:

1.) Forward Sacadas (from Linear, Circular, or Over-Rotated Ochos) in Parallel & Cross System.
2.) Side Sacadas (from a Curved Side Step) in Parallel & Cross System.
3.) Back Sacadas (from Back step, or Circular or Over-Rotated Ochos) in Parallel & Cross System.
4.) Linear Sacadas (from a Linear Side Step, or Linear Forward Step) in Parallel & Cross System.
5.) Chained Sacadas (Think: Cadenas) In Parallel & Cross System.
6.) Walking Displacement Sacadas in Parallel & Cross System.
7.) Multiple Forward/Side/Back Sacadas in Parallel & Cross System.
8.) Multiple Alternate A (same foot) Sacadas (You’ll see an example of this in the Forward Sacadas section).
9.) Molinete Sacadas (from the Follower’s MolineteThe Lead’s Molinete, and/or the Anti-Molinete).
10.) Orientation Change Sacadas (See the Anti-Molinete, and/or the American Embrace).
11.) Two Footed Sacadas (jump into the sacada).

That’s 11 Types of Sacadas, and each role can perform these, so we end up with 22 Types of Sacadas. Now there are even further variations on a theme of these ideas where you can theoretically mix and match any one of these ideas with another on the list and create a hybrid of the two. However, it was late and we’d already gone through 1002 possibilities and then someone mentioned the concept of Tango Topology and that just blew everything out of the water by halving everything and so we stopped counting there … so 501, and 22 types is enough for one lifetime. 🙂

Now to the ‘Simple‘ Part. What makes it ‘Simple‘ ? The fact that we’re limiting the Sacada to two of the three basic walking steps: 1.) Side Steps. 2.) Forward Steps. The Sidestep is the more common of the two Sacadas, not the Forward. Usually, in order of precedence, it’s a.) The Lead Sacadas the Follower’s Side Step. b.) The Lead Sacadas Follower’s Forward step. c.)The Follower Sacadas the Lead’s Sidestep, and finally, d.) The Follower Sacadas the Lead’s Forward step.

Pre-Requisites: So that we’re all clear on this part, note the difficulty rating below, it is not an exaggeration! Do not attempt this stuff unless the following is true: You have mastered 1.) your walk. 2.) your stability. and 3.) your equilibrium. If you need to stabilize yourself against your partner when walking, if you need to use your hands or arms in any level of tactile compression, if you need are in the habit of watching your partner’s feet, if you are used to using resistance – compression – rigidity – tension – or force to engage your ideas, then a Simple Sacada will elude you. Or more to the point it will be painful and cause you problems going forward for any number of reasons, which has to do with your stability, your posture, and your walk! Fix those, and the Sacada will work as advertised. 😉

Difficulty Rating:  (3 / 5)

From A Following Perspective let’s cut through it, shall we ?

Receiving the Sacada: Means that the Sacada is being done to you, usually on either your forward or your sidestep. So your primary concern here is the execution of your steps. Translation ? The Sacada means absolutely nothing to you. In this instance the Lead is initiating a Sacada onto you, and therefore you need to do nothing except to execute your walking step Forward or Side as you would normally. There’s no need to be in a specific place to a limited degree. There’s no special trick here that you need to understand. Nothing. You would execute your Side Step (The Common Sacada is done from the Lead’s Forward Step into the Follower’s Side Step) as you normally would. The only difference is how you resolve the step. Which we’ll get to in a moment.

Giving the Sacada. Meaning ? That you are the one that’s being led to Sacada your Lead. Typically, for you, this is you being led to step into your Lead’s Side step or their Forward step which will seemingly (and actually) go away from you. And this is where you’re rightfully going to freak out. Why ?

YOU’RE BEING LED TO STEP INTO SOMEONE!

HELLO?!??!?! Of course, you’re going to freak out! The bottom line is you’re being led to step into someone and you don’t want to step on your their feet. You don’t want to hurt them. You’re in heels and you are keenly aware of this. But mostly it’s the not wanting to hit anyone or step on anyone’s feet part. That’s not what’s going to happen, it’s a perception. It’s not reality. Reality is that you’re not going to step on them, but through them, and very close your Lead’s trailing foot. Very close. And that’s the key right there, close to the trailing foot which is the freakout part. There’s a natural avoidance mechanism that occurs here, and it’s a slight hesitation of not wanting to hit anyone, and this is one of those times where you quite consciously have to override that mechanism and actually aim to hit someone!

The Resolution Issue! In either case of Giving or Receiving the Sacada, there is a resolution that has to occur. “Resolution” in this case means to come back to facing your Lead after the Sacada has been executed, and then more importantly what’s happening to The Free Leg which we’ll get to in a moment. When you are being led to Give the Sacada, meaning you are Sacada-ing your Lead, your resolution is really about coming to, and in many cases, passing through to collection more than anything else. There will be a, depending on the Sacada that’s being executed a small amount of energy that will resolve in the form of a rotation of the couple. There’s not much more to the Sacada than that. When you’re Receiving the Sacada, that’s where things take on a whole different scene. Your free leg, the trailing leg of your step, is going to want to swing freely away from your lead. The swinging free leg isn’t so free. You want to control it, containing the motion. Again, see the video above for how we want to do this. Just know that there is, in fact, a technique here, as well as options as to what to do with that. More the options than anything else. By training, not default, you’re going to want to execute a collection here on the resolution when Receiving the Sacada.

The Free Leg. This is probably the single most important part about the Sacada. Why ? Because it’s what you do with the Free Leg and how you do what you do with the Free Leg! Translation ? Once the Lead invades your space and has initiated a Sacada, your free leg is going to want to swing away by default. It is only through conscious training, and effort, that you don’t allow for that to happen but rather create a ‘graceful’ swing away from and into Social Collection. That ‘graceful’ swing ? That’s all you. You have complete control over how, when, where, and most of all > what you are doing with that Leg and foot. The Lead, in this instance, does not. No matter what you’ve been taught or shown, your execution here is all about what you do with that execution! And there are loads and loads of options of what you can do with that free leg. However, what you don’t have control over is the time with which you have to execute the resulting Social Collection. So a good rule of thumb is to pay attention to the beat and remember that everything you do should unless led otherwise, land on the beat. Always. It is for this reason, and many others, that the Follower does not want to be a mindless automaton as you may have been taught or told or has been implied. Rather we desire a thinking, breathing, co-participant of the dance that is actively working on trying to create the best experience for themselves, their Lead, and the visual relationship of the couple as a whole. And that starts with being Jane-On-The-Spot with being on the beat! Always.

The Follower’s Gotcha Moment. There’s always one in every single move you will ever perform in Argentine Tango. Always. In the Simple Sacada series, we need to pull back a bit and recognize that there are Sacadas where you quite literally are being led to step away from you Lead in order to make the Sacada possible. One such is in the Golden Sacada itself. It’s the 2nd Sacada in the sequence. However, in the Simple Sacada series, the Follower wants to step not away, but around their Lead! In both the Forward and Side Steps. The reason why it’s a gotcha moment ? Because quite honestly it shouldn’t be but it is because sometimes it’s just not possible due to the fact that the Lead is in your way for any number of reasons especially if the Sacada is in Close Embrace! Because of their posture, because of their hips, because of their body position, it’s impossible to step close enough to them so as a result, we’ll end up going away not around them. And therein lay the problem. You’re stepping away from the Lead. Here’s the kicker. They’ll blame you for this. And what’s worse is that you’ll blame you for it too. 🙁 To be fair sometimes you are stepping away due to habit, or again posture (this time, yours!), or instability. So yes, you’re at fault. However, a good portion of the time, it’s your Lead that’s generating the problem, not you. Assuming you’re stable, and you’re not hanging, pulling, or pushing, or using your arms or hands, and you’re stepping around them as best you can…then it’s probably your Lead and not you! In the Simple Sacada however, there are times when you don’t want to step around your Lead, there are several instances where you’re being led to step away. So it’s important to listen to the directional information of where the lead (the action) is sending you. Very important. So that’s the Gotcha.

From a Leading Perspective there are two ideas about Sacadas, either giving them, or receiving them. There is no difference in the lead or the follow, in this instance. They’re nearly identical to each other. In both cases you’re leading yourself to step into them, or you’re leading them to step into you.

Let’s get right to it. You are invading the Follower’s space. You are stepping into their trailing free space, where they were, and in some cases you are also leading them to step away from you. Further still, you are also leading a triangle of shared steps.

The Triangle of All Sacadas. All Sacadas, all of them, regardless of the type that’s being initiated, all have in common 3 physical points in space. And those 3 points usually form a Triangle on the floor, sometimes that Triangle is Equilateral, and sometimes more often than not, it’s an Isosceles Triangle. What’s important to note is that the angles of the Triangle is important to good Sacada health and safety. If the angle is too shallow or too oblique, then the Sacada will be unstable and unworkable. Two points of the Triangle are non-weight bearing feet (one for the Lead, and one for the Follower). The third point is a shared point. It’s the point of intersection between the couple, which is the Sacada point! Why are we talking about this ? Because it’s one way, not the only way, to conceptualize what you’re doing and how to keep the Sacada from being a painful mess for both Lead and Follow!

The Trailing Foot. You’re always shooting for the trailing foot when you are a.) Sacada-ing the Follower or b.) leading the Follower to Sacada you. In either case you want to step just inside of the Follower’s trailing foot or have them step inside your trailing foot. If it’s you stepping into them, then you want your step not to be too deep and at the same time not too shallow, ankle to ankle, anything more or less than that and you’re going to generate issues. It’s the other side of the equation where things are going to get a little challenging. The reason ? Is that while you may lead the Follower to walk into you, if or how they execute that step into you is entirely up to them, and forcing the issue isn’t going to win you any friends either! Meaning ? Pulling on the Follower’s back to indicate that you want them to step into you, or pulling on their arms to ‘direct’ them is not such a good idea, ever. The reason this is being brought up is the same reason we mentioned above for the Follower of their fear of stepping on you. They don’t want to hurt you. So in other words, don’t force the issue. If they don’t step into you. Don’t wig out. Got it ?

Pointing The Toe. Your entry foot, whichever one it is, is pointed, and shooting for the Follower’s trailing foot as noted above. This is one of the rare times, as a social dancer you have to be diligent about pointing your toe. This isn’t walking heel to toe, this is the opposite, walking or starting your step, toe-to-heel. The reason ? It generates a very nice visual line from the toe up the leg, past the knee to the hip. And believe it or not that we actually do care about that line. Why ? Because what we look like, how we execute any step, if that step looks ‘sloppy’ then the Follower looks sloppy, and thereby the couple looks ‘sloppy’ in how they move, how they execute a step. To be fair and clear this isn’t about what Tango Topics calls ‘Presentation Tango’ or Stage Tango. No. This is about creating a nice visual line, that’s all. Nothing more than that. This isn’t performing for a room full of people, this is making your partner look desirable to dance with. Which, believe it or not, you are actually responsible for, contrary to what you might have been told. 😉

The Free Leg. The Follower’s free leg in this case is going want to swing away from you. This is default behavior. It is only through conscious effort that the Follower learns to control this motion and bring it into and to pass through to Social Collection. Further still the free leg, if you were looking for something ‘fancy’ to happen with it, is again, controlled by the Follower here, not by you as the Lead. Which is to say that the Follower has a certain amount of control over what the leg is doing, where it’s going, how it’s getting there, and most importantly what it looks like at all points along the curve. So in other words, once you start the Sacada, how the Follower resolves that is up to them and not to you. You however do have control over when something is initiated and the timing of it’s resolution. Which means you can rush things or let things be languid. That’s entirely up to you. However, if you’ve been paying attention, there is another master here that you absolutely must pay attention to: The Beat. So while the timing may be up to you, you still have to respect the beat, the musical pauses, and the musical phrases!

From a Dancing Perspective, the Simple Sacada can be a gateway for both roles to open up to possibilities. For the Follower, it’s a gateway to an exploration of the Free Leg and what you could possibly do with it. For the Lead, there are loads and loads of possibilities, from a musical perspective as well as from vocabulary perspective, far too many to even begin to notate them all here. There are slow Simple Sacadas where they’re drawn out in time to the long, stringy note. Or there could be over rotations out of the Simple Sacada that lead to other things, there’s a possible Soltada that’s sitting there on the end of the Simple Sacada. There’s also a probable Mordita which opens the doorway to either Colgada, or a Volcada! The options are limitless!

this video can be purchased through the tango topics store 🙂

About The Video. This video is 31m:39s in length in 14 sections. Both lead and follower technique are combined and integrated into the video. Bold items below shown in video sample video above.

Introduction – 00:02:32
Follower Technique – 00:02:11
Lead Technique – 00:01:35
Sacada Clarity – 00:00:36
The Lead’s First Sacada  – 00:02:06
The Follower’s First Sacada
Parallel & Cross System Sacadas – 00:03:03
Close-up Sacada – 00:00:32
Follower Forward Step Sacadas – 00:03:03
Lead Forward Step Sacadas – 00:01:46
Multiple Forward Step Sacadas – 00:02:35
Close Embrace Simple sacadas – 00:05:38
The Close Embrace Exercise with Sacadas – 00:03:26
Simple Sacadas from the Follower’s Molinete/End – 00:01:38

Related Videos Mentioned In This Article: 

The Six Ways of WalkingDownload
Close Embrace Sacadas – Article/Download

this video can be purchased through the tango topics store 🙂

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Why should you subscribe for access ?  Several reasons. 1.) Even if you’re a Free User, you’ll get access to free tips that aren’t available to anyone just reading the post like this one. 2.) Sometimes there are slightly different versions of the videos, that add a bit more content for the free user vs. an unregistered user. 3.) And real reason you should subscribe ? If you’re used to YouTube videos where you’ll see a performance, those Youtube videos don’t explain or walk you through how these ideas work! That is why! What you’re seeing is a presentation, a performance. Not how things work! And what you really need to see is how things work, and more importantly why they work! This website shows you that and more! 

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 voabulary there, or how to make things fit. These 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 Perpective as well as from a Following perspective!

The goal of YouTube videos is to get you to study with those teachers in person. The goal of Tango Topics 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 you’re done.

Eventually, one way or another you’re going to pay for this lesson, either here and now, or with them. TANSTAAFL! The difference between that lesson and this ? Is that you get to play this lesson over and over and over again. Further still, there are supporting materials (other videos) that help to explain the language and the underlying technique of how and why things work, so you can easily reference those things in the corresponding articles that go with the material, and or any language in the Tango Topics Dictionary. 

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Crossing Sacada Turn

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The Crossing Sacada Turn

The Crossing Sacada Turn. Tango vocabulary consists of many, many different ideas that are sometimes beautiful and sometimes not. Sometimes the simplest things are really the most elegant things to watch and to experience. And sometimes, very infrequently so, when you put two ideas together something else happens that is almost magical in it’s execution, dynamic in it’s experience, and seemingly otherworldly just watching it happen within the context of the music and the dance. Today’s Tango Topic explores this idea known as “The Crossing Sacada Turn”.

What is a Crossing Sacada Turn ? In its simplest form it’s nothing more than a series of Simple Sacadas that are chained together that just so happen to utilize the Follower’s Molinete or ‘Turn’, which employs the Argentine Cross as it’s basis for entry. While the turn can be done without this entry point, it loses it’s ‘elegance’ by without using the Argentine Cross.

To be clear, a ‘Sacada’ is one of 4 types of Tango Displacements (Boleos, Gancho, Wrap/Enganche, and Sacadas), meaning that either the dancer’s leg will displace or their entire body will be displaced or take the place of their partner. A Sacada can be done from open or close embrace, it can be done by either role to the other, and has lots and lots and lots of options (about 501, at last count – not kidding).

A turn, as defined by Tango Topics, can be but is not limited to these ideas in order of precedence: 1.) The Follower’s Molinete to the Lead’s Giro (the Common ‘Turn’). 2.) A Milonguero Turn. 3.) The Ocho Cortado. 4.) The Argentine Rock Step/Turn. 5.) The Calecita. 6.) A Walking Turn.  7.) The Media Luna. and 8.) A Single Axis Turn.

A ‘Crossing’ Sacada Turn ? Is exactly what it sounds like, a turn that has a bunch of Sacadas as part of it. In this particular case, this Sacada Turn uses the Follower’s Molinete, and a very important structure that Tango Topics completely eschews repeatedly, and says that you should never, ever do. This is the ONE time when you do want to do that, however with all things, there’s always a caveat to the caveat. That said, let’s talk about The Crossing Sacada Turn.

Difficulty Rating:  (3 / 5)

Following Perspective. Sacadas have a few things for you to focus on. 1.) Your Underlying Technique. 2) The Displacement of Your Legs. 3.) Coming to Collection. Turns on the other hand, in this particular instance is using the Follower’s Molinete as the basis for this turn.

1.) Your Underlying Technique in this case is all about your three steps (forward, side, and back). Isn’t it always ? Not necessarily so in every instance. Sometimes we just want to focus on your backstops, or your side steps. In this case, it’s all three, and how you execute all three, and in specific how you should not ‘drag’ your feet, or let them dangle, or create gargantuan steps that are wholly unstable for you. Instead comfortably sized steps, and clean execution of how you place your foot on the floor.

2.) The Displacement of Your Legs is really about NOT letting your leg fly out and away from your Lead. Remember that you’re in 3in heels, and those things can be lethal weapons especially if the heel is allowed to impale someone. 🙁 So ideally we want the displacement your leg in a Sacada to be as short and as controlled as is humanly possible, and then some. Ideally we’re looking for ‘fastidious’ execution of the displacement. Meaning ? To be quick about it. There are times when we actually want a complete displacement, but in those cases those are shaped displacements as in the case of a ’Needle Turn’ at the end of an Ocho.

3.) Coming To Collection. While this is normally your default behavior, there are times when that is not desirable. In this instance, we do want to come to and ‘pass thru’ collection but doing so in a fastidious and elegant way that makes us and our partner very desirable.

All that being said…now we get down to the

The Following Fine Print. The reality is that this, The Sacada Turn, is nothing more than your Follower’s Molinete. That’s it, that’s all. You’ve done them 10,000 times, and here’s 10,00 and 1. It won’t be the first or last time that you do one. The Follower’s Molinete is the backbone of modern Tango. However, there’s one aspect here that is a little different coming out of the turn that happens as a result of that last chained Sacada. The Follower’s Self Gancho! As a result of the Lead stepping into your space (that’s the displacement by the way), you have no other option EXCEPT to displace and in this case Self Gancho! The Self Gancho is entirely up to you, or more importantly the execution of it is entirely up to you. You’re going to do one whether you wanted to or not. It’s going to happen. Period. So you might as well learn to execute one rather nicely instead of haphazardly. While this video does not show that technique, and the necessary exercises that you must drill yourself in doing in order to correct for issues, it does show (below) what it should look like. The Follower’s Self Gancho is detailed in a separate Gancho video in the Tango Topics Library. The reason we talk about the Follower’s Self Gancho here is because most leads will not create the necessary time for you to execute this Gancho as a result of their Sacada. They’ll rush through and you’ve got maybe a second, if that, to Gancho in and out, and it’s not going to be pretty. The fact is that if they don’t create space for the resolution of the Gancho to happen, then well…nasty things are going to happen. However, you can get away with something far simpler, and it’s more of a haphazard crossing of the legs than a full Self Gancho. That’s your only possibly solution to The Lead That Rushes in this instance.

Leading Perspective. There are 3 successive and chained Sacadas, one that builds on top of the other. This isn’t rocket science, but it is Tango and therefore there are a few ‘gotchas’.

1.) The Sacada Entry Point. The fact is that you must ‘hit’ (stepping just inside of) the Trailing Foot of the Follower for it to be a Sacada. This site has multiple videos on Sacadas, in specific you want to see the videos on a.) Simple Sacadas. and more importantly, b.) Close Embrace Sacadas. Both videos show the foundation technique involved as well as what has to happen in Close Embrace Sacadas when dealing with Forward and Side Steps! Moving along, ‘hitting’ (stepping) anywhere else is not a Sacada. Not even close. Far too many Leads step into the middle of the Follower’s step, thinking that they’ve Sacada’d their Followers. And that’s not the case. This is not a Sacada, it is being sloppy! There are many ways to be sloppy, this is only one of them.

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2.) Leading The Follower’s Molinete. Don’t assume that the Follower is going to generate a Molinete on their own. You may be dealing with a Milonguero Turn trained follower, and in that instance, you’ve got a problem on your hand. The problem is not the Follower, but you. The problem is that you assumed that they’d do X, when their default behavior is Y. Never assume. How do you not assume in this case ? That means to actually lead the disassociation that is absolutely required for a Follower’s Molinete to actually be understood as such. So many Leads do not do this, and they just infer the turn, and mostly employ a Lazy Man’s Turn and we end up with problems instead of actually being clear in what we’re intending to do. At the same time, so that we’re clear about this, to ‘be clear’ with the idea of disassociation does not mean to use your arms and to push, pull, and twist your Follower with your arms to indicate clarity. NO! You can and should employ proper disassociation without the use or force of your arms to indicate that you’re looking to initiate a Follower’s Molinete! 

3) Creating Space & Resolutions. All Sacadas have resolutions. Typically where most Lead’s fail is in allowing their Follower to properly (and sometimes improperly) resolve out of what they were led to do back into a default movement (collection, walking, turning, crossing, etc). In this particular instance that failure comes at the end of the last chained Sacada, or more importantly the Follower’s Self Gancho. You must allow them the space and time to resolve out gracefully, and if that means that you end up dropping a beat, then that’s what needs to happen. Remember, that the Follower is in 3 in heels and those things are somewhat dangerous. Rushing the Follower (tsk, tsk, tsk) to come to collection is one of those places where we typically make a mistake and can be rather painful for the Follower, when they scrape their heel across the top of their foot. Talk about an OUCH!!!!

The Leading Fine Print. There is something very important about The Sacada Turn, an extremely important aspect. This aspect allows the Sacada Turn to work. Without the aspect in place, will create problems and OODLES of frustration for both Leads and Followers. That aspect is contained in the video. It would be a grave mistake to watch the video above and to assume that you can understand all that’s going on. Not. And this isn’t sales boast trying to get you to subscribe. This is fact. Truthfully the first time that the Sacada Turn was performed everyone in class made the same mistake that you’re going to make and wondered why the Follower was rotating away from their Lead !?!??!?!? However watching the example above, that does not happen. So you’d be right to wonder what that ‘something’ was. That’s another reason why the video exists, that without that technique being employed the Follower will never Self Gancho and they’ll be out of position to walk down the line of dance into the next movement.

That solution can only be found in the video itself. So this is one reason, among many to subscribe and to see this video in it’s entirety. Oddly enough there’s another version of this same video that was shot 2 years early with another partner, that goes over the same material however there are different aspects to this information. So as a bonus to your subscription you’ll get access to BOTH videos to help you with this stuff. 😉

thoughts about tango ?

The Fundamental Stepping Stones! An aspect that is wholly overlooked here in this article, until now, and really the video itself is the employment of the Argentine Cross. This is such a ubiquitous piece of Tango vocabulary that people hardly think of it as anything more than thing you do every 2 or 3 steps!

However, we do actually want to learn to lead and follow this wonderful structure that makes Argentine Tango so unique in the dance world. No other social dance has anything close to it. So it’s important that we as dancers learn to properly execute it, and to avoid the 5 Common Errors of the Argentine Cross, and to go one step further, and to see and understand The Engine of the Argentine Cross.

The only way this stuff works is really understanding the Follower’s Molinete, and it’s execution. For this reason and many others when looking at complex vocabulary like this that on one level looks to be simple when it fact it’s actually not, it’s far more complex than it’s component elements. It helps to have a clear understanding of the structure, dynamics, and proper execution of BOTH elements, Simple Sacadas as well as the Follower’s Molinete from a Leading and Following perspective. Tango Topics has all of those resources present which are available in your subscription and archived library. Just go look!

About The Video. This video comes in at 34m:02s in length in 13 Sections. This video contains no Follower and/or and very little Lead Technique.

Section 1 – Introduction – 00:00:52
Section 2 – Argentine Cross – The Starting Point – 00:01:32
Section 3 – The Lead’s Cross Behind – 00:02:35
Section 4 – The First Sacada – 00:01:09
Section 5 – The Follower’s Flailing Foot Error – 00:02:17
Section 6 – The Second Sacada – 00:01:32
Section 7 – The Third Sacada – 00:03:10
Section 8 – The First Complete Sacada Turn – 00:01:32
Section 9 – The Turning Brake – 00:04:08 (technique)
Section 10 – Removing The 3rd Sacada – 00:00:58
Section 11 – A Variation On A Theme – 00:03:47
Section 12 – The Close Embrace Version – 00:01:34

Section 13 – With A Metronome/Closure – 00:02:34

Related Videos Mentioned In This Article: 

The Six Ways of WalkingDownload
Simple Sacadas – Download

Close Embrace Sacadas – Article/Download
The Argentine Cross – Article/Download
The Follower’s Molinete – Download
The Self Gancho Exercise/The Self Gancho for Both Roles – Download

spicy dancing ideas

The Missing Information. Dearest Reader. TangoTopics is glad that you are reading this topic in the hopes that it may get you to question and to dig a little deeper into your foundation, into the music, into the codigos of the dance. However, this topic only scratches the surface. Because you’re only seeing half of the information. You really do need to see all of it. If you had registered or ponied up the kingly sum of $7.95 for your first week, then you’d either see a free tip here, or if you’re a paying subscriber you’d see some detailed notes about the video that were either left out of the video or were an afterthought to the video after it was shot! However, because you haven’t gone and registered at least, you’re missing some helpful information that could give you a tip to making your dance a better experience for you and your partners!

Why should you subscribe for access ?  Several reasons. 1.) Even if you’re a Free User, you’ll get access to free tips that aren’t available to anyone just reading the post like this one. 2.) Sometimes there are slightly different versions of the videos, that add a bit more content for the free user vs. an unregistered user. 3.) And real reason you should subscribe ? If you’re used to YouTube videos where you’ll see a performance, those Youtube videos don’t explain or walk you through how these ideas work! That is why! What you’re seeing is a presentation, a performance. Not how things work! And what you really need to see is how things work, and more importantly why they work! This website shows you that and more! 

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 voabulary there, or how to make things fit. These 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 Perpective as well as from a Following perspective!

The goal of YouTube videos is to get you to study with those teachers in person. The goal of Tango Topics 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 you’re done.

Eventually, one way or another you’re going to pay for this lesson, either here and now, or with them. TANSTAAFL! The difference between that lesson and this ? Is that you get to play this lesson over and over and over again. Further still, there are supporting materials (other videos) that help to explain the language and the underlying technique of how and why things work, so you can easily reference those things in the corresponding articles that go with the material, and or any language in the Tango Topics Dictionary. 

– The Last Word –

Tango Topics is little reminders and snippets of information that your teachers would have told you about but didn’t have time to or didn’t care to remind you for the umpteenth millionth time. Do you need videos like these ? Yes. Why ? Simple…you need as many reminders as possible in as many forms as you can get. In today’s Tango world it does take a village to raise a dancer. And that means having as many voices, reminders, ideas, concepts, perspectives as possible. This video and the rest of the ones that are sitting behind the Tango Topics paywall are that. While what you’re seeing above is only the smallest hint of what’s contained in the actual video. It should be enough for you to make a reasoned and intelligent choice that perhaps there’s something of value in this site and the videos that are here. Considering becoming a subscriber today.

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Close Embrace Sacadas

If you were logged in, you’d see the premium version of this Tango Topic! Just sayin’… 🙂

Close Embrace Sacadas

When we’re first starting out with Tango, both roles see the idea of a sacada as cool, flashy, or impressive. And they are until you realize one simple, but immutable, fact: They’re illusions…of walking technique. The Sacada happens due to an intersection of the Follower’s walk into the Lead’s or vice versa. At the same time, the Sacada is usually relegated to something that is done in open embrace and/or thought of as ’nuevo tangovocabulary. You can thank Gustavo Naivera, Fabian Salas, and later on “Chicho” for that one. The Sacada was around long before those three came onto the scene. It just so happens that they made it very popular. One aspect of the Sacada is while they are typically done in open embrace because of the space needed for them and certain variations of them. There is a version of them that is purely for Close Embrace, hence today’s topic: The Close Embrace Sacada!

What is a Close Embrace Sacada ? It is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a Sacada that’s done from Close Embrace. It’s a controlled displacement where either the Lead or the Follower’s leg will be displaced in a very controlled and refined way. Typically the Close Embrace Sacada is done from the Lead onto the Follower, typically.

Pre-Requisites: 1.) You must have mastered your walk first and foremost to the point where you are not using your partner (either lead or follow) for stabilization. 2.) You must be familiar with the principles of the Sacada itself. 

Difficulty Rating:  (3 / 5)

From A Following Perspective, this is one of those places where you don’t have a whole lot of control over when a Sacada is initiated, but you do have an inordinate amount of control over what happens after one is initiated. How you exit the Sacada regardless of whether or not it’s close or open embrace can literally define where, and in some cases, what the couple does next. Add rotation, and you’re quite literally forcing the Lead into any one of 8 Kinds of Turns. Don’t add rotation and come to collection, and you open options on top of options on top of options for yourself and the Lead. For instance, you could, just before you collect, engage an amague and then collect or cross! Mind you this borders on the role of the ‘Active’ Follower, because in this instance without the music playing for us right now, this suggestion is purely a ‘Willful’ Follower and not an ‘Active’ one. The difference ? The music is master to both roles, not just the L/lead (the action and the person).  Meaning that without the music playing right now you’ll hear this suggestion as being ‘willful’ and taking over control of the dance. While that’s not the case at all IF there were music playing! The music should be interpreted by both roles, not just the Lead. However, realistically a good portion of your Leads (the person and not the action), get all frakkin’ persnickety when you try to do that. So pick your battles carefully, and your Leads!

One more thing that you need to be aware of is that you are more than likely in 3in heels with a rather pointy tip. In case you were unaware of this fact, those things are like lethal weapons on your feet. So it’s important to keep this thought in the back of your mind as you let that ‘free leg’ be ‘free’…e.g. ‘swinging’. Try to keep that foot on the ground, specifically the heel, lest you injure someone in the radial arc of your leg going god knows where!

Most of this advice is coming from the assumption that the Lead engages a Sacada on the Follower’s free leg from their Side Step. However, what happens in the case where the Follower Sacadas the Lead on a Back Step, or even a Forward Step ? In this instance, one piece of advice reigns: Step Into Your Lead! Specifically, the trailing foot, and very close to it. Regardless of either your being led to a Forward Step or a Back Step through your Lead, it doesn’t matter, you have to step through and quite literally beyond the lead’s (the action, not the person) step. About 6 inches worth actually. A good portion of the time, especially at the beginning, you do have a desire not to hit anyone or to step on anyone. However, the Sacada by its very nature, overrides this desire by having you step into your lead quite deliberately. Seemingly to step on their feet. Your innate desire is to step away from them to avoid hitting or stepping on them. And that’s the last thing you that you want to do. You actually want to step into them, and right straight through them! And because we’re talking about close embrace here, even more so! In other words, don’t be dainty, polite, shy, or timid. You must, must, must, step into your lead!

From a Leading Perspective, we have talked about Sacadas before. So there’s nothing new here from a Leading perspective except maybe a few pieces of advice to serve as reminders. Let’s get to it shall we ? 1.) Remember that when you engage in a Sacada, that it’s as an accent to what’s happening in the music. Yes it’s flashy vocabulary, but like all flashy vocabulary what makes it flashy is that it isn’t used every 5 steps. Ideally we want to use this stuff sparingly, and even that’s too much. 2.) Safety first. Meaning that if you’re dancing with a beginner follower, we do not engage Sacadas, Volcadas, Colgadas, or anything of the like. Walk, Turn, Ocho, Cross. Got it ? Trust me that’s enough. Yes it may be ‘fun’ but you can hurt someone if you’re not too careful. And you can never be too careful. 3.) Not to mention a good portion of the time you’re going to make the Follower feel as though they’ve missed something when they don’t ‘get it’, and thereby inadequate. 4.) Sacadas, while you are doing them to the Follower, fall into the same category of flashy or difficult vocabulary for the beginner Follower because you can not anticipate just how the inexperienced Follower will react to them. 

That said, adding Close Embrace Sacadas for the experienced Follower that we have to be very clear and careful about is our right arm…or more specifically the compression of your right forearm (and hand). Factually there is a desire that occurs, as the Sacada does, in close embrace, that we want to compress or pull the Follower into us. And that would be a major no-no. Why ? Because it stops their movement or possible rotation! You must allow for the Follower to move within the construct of the embrace. Failure to do that, and you’re going to end up with unintended consequences that create more problems than it’s worth.

Still another area that we have to think about is the initiation of the Sacada itself…specifically leading the Follower into you, and not the other way around. Again, this isn’t about pulling or compressing, but rather about body position and body placement. The whole reason the Follower steps into you is due to where you are placing your body. Take your body away from them, and they follow it, thereby stepping into you, viola! Sacada! Ok it’s a bit more tricky than that, there’s a desired weight transfer that must happen in certain variations of the Close Embrace Sacada. Again the desire is to pull them along with you and you can not under any circumstances do that! You must allow for them to freely move into and away from you.

From a Dancing Perspective, the Close Embrace Sacada looks intimate, intricate, and above all else, very hot. No doubt about it. Done right, it screams “WOW”. Done poorly, and well…not so much with that. And that’s exactly what happens most of the time. The intent is there but the execution is poor. So we end up missing the whole effect. Either the intersecting step (lead or follow) was too shallow, too deep, or missed entirely. All of which happen quite frequently. It is only with time and patience, and a lot of practice that we ‘learn’ through trial and error (more error than trial) to execute with precision the Close Embrace Sacada. To be clear, this variant of Sacadas require precision control, precise intent, and precision execution. To alleviate this problem of precision, you’ll see a lot of Leads (and some Followers) quite honestly watch the feet of themselves and their partners (I make this mistake myself from time to time especially on over-rotated back sacadas). This is a major no-no! It breaks the illusion! This is where we talk about one of my favorite topics that almost no teacher talks about – Proprioception from a Tango Perspective. What’s that ? It’s the ability to sense where your partner is in space and time WITHOUT looking! This is not something that you just learn and it happens. There is no class on this stuff. It is a skill that you build through time, with time, with lots and lots and lots of trial and error. Unfortunately that ‘error’ results in someone’s feet getting bruised sometimes. Trust me, you learn pretty damned quickly after that! Add in Close Embrace Sacadas and this skill is an absolutely necessity! Failure to build this skill and the Close Embrace Sacada is going to be the Close Embrace Bloody and Bruised Toe Extravaganza of Your Worst Nightmares! So how do we develop this skill ? Simple. Stop watching your partner’s feet. That’s the starting point.

this video can be purchased through the tango topics store 🙂

About The Video. This video is 21:45 in length in 9 Sections. Both Lead and Follow technique is co-combined. 

Overview – 00:58
Lead Technique Review – 01:05
Follower Technique Review – 00:48
Sacadas For Close Embrace Technique – 05:01
Follower’s Close Embrace Sacada – 03:41
Follower Forward Step to Lead’s Forward Step – 01:08
The Other Follower’s Forward Step – 02:05
Footwork Details – 04:48
Examples and Review – 01:38

this video can be purchased through the tango topics store 🙂

The Missing Information. Dearest Reader. TangoTopics is glad that you are reading this topic in the hopes that it may get you to question and to dig a little deeper into your foundation, into the music, into the codigos of the dance. However, this topic only scratches the surface. Because you’re only seeing half of the information. You really do need to see all of it. If you had registered or ponied up the kingly sum of $7.95 for your first week, then you’d either see a free tip here, or if you’re a paying subscriber you’d see some detailed notes about the video that were either left out of the video or were an afterthought to the video after it was shot! However, because you haven’t gone and registered at least, you’re missing some helpful information that could give you a tip to making your dance a better experience for you and your partners!

Why should you subscribe for access ?  Several reasons. 1.) Even if you’re a Free User, you’ll get access to free tips that aren’t available to anyone just reading the post like this one. 2.) Sometimes there are slightly different versions of the videos, that add a bit more content for the free user vs. an unregistered user. 3.) And real reason you should subscribe ? If you’re used to YouTube videos where you’ll see a performance, those Youtube videos don’t explain or walk you through how these ideas work! That is why! What you’re seeing is a presentation, a performance. Not how things work! And what you really need to see is how things work, and more importantly why they work! This website shows you that and more! 

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 voabulary there, or how to make things fit. These 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 Perpective as well as from a Following perspective!

The goal of YouTube videos is to get you to study with those teachers in person. The goal of Tango Topics 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 you’re done.

Eventually, one way or another you’re going to pay for this lesson, either here and now, or with them. TANSTAAFL! The difference between that lesson and this ? Is that you get to play this lesson over and over and over again. Further still, there are supporting materials (other videos) that help to explain the language and the underlying technique of how and why things work, so you can easily reference those things in the corresponding articles that go with the material, and or any language in the Tango Topics Dictionary. 

– The Last Word –

Tango Topics is little reminders and snippets of information that your teachers would have told you about but didn’t have time to or didn’t care to remind you for the umpteenth millionth time. Do you need videos like these ? Yes. Why ? Simple…you need as many reminders as possible in as many forms as you can get. In today’s Tango world it does take a village to raise a dancer. And that means having as many voices, reminders, ideas, concepts, perspectives as possible. This video and the rest of the ones that are sitting behind the Tango Topics paywall are that. While what you’re seeing above is only the smallest hint of what’s contained in the actual video. It should be enough for you to make a reasoned and intelligent choice that perhaps there’s something of value in this site and the videos that are here. Considering becoming a subscriber today.

FREE REGISTRATION

Get More Great Content from Tango Topics

Sacada Foundations

Sacada Foundations

There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the Tango Sacada is a very amazing piece of tango vocabulary. The first time I saw one, I did what most people do — “Wow!! That’s really cool!!!“. And then I went about trying to learn them. “Trying” being the operative word.

For most Leads, the Sacada represents a graduation in a sense of “cool”, yes, but also that next level, the next chapter of their tango development. One accomplishment on a road to a series of accomplishments, this is the first of this class of accomplishments that says, “Cool”.

For most Followers, oddly enough, it’s the polar opposite of “Cool”. It’s “Did I get it right ?“. Their only concern is not the coolness factor but rather did they miss anything ? Did they ‘hear’ (feel) the lead properly ? Was their foot in the right place ? Their leg ? Are they hanging on their Lead ? Was their leg supposed to do that ? “Oops I’m sorry” an oft repeated apology for doing what they were led to do (see Truism #893. Vol. 3). All hoping that it was right and that they didn’t hurt anyone, and in the end hoping that their Lead will still want to dance with them…in the beginning. Later on, as they improve, hoping that said Lead WON’T dance with them! But that is a topic for another time.

There are two immutable facts about every single Sacada known to man: 1.) The Sacada is an illusion! 2.) They’re in the the family of displacements. It’s the 2nd one that we’re interested in the most because this part usually fails in the Lead’s understanding and execution of exactly what it is that they’re trying to do. I failed at this constantly, in the beginning, failing to see this most intrinsic element that not one of my 98 teachers told me about. Not one.

When learning to Follow, I realized that the Sacada is, was nothing more than my body wanting to take the place of the Lead’s body. It just so happened that my leg would naturally want to go away from my lead because of their invasion – hence the displacement part. Proper Tango Technique taught me to do something else with that leg than just let it fly away, potentially hurting someone with my 3 inch heels!

Good thing you have access to a video that discusses all of these things in lurid detail in Sacada Foundations for both Lead and Follow, especially the proper Follower Technique part. In 7 minutes and 8 seconds you’ll learn everything you need to know about the foundation of every sacada known to man and beast. 🙂 All in HD quality with good clear sound and close ups of every aspect of importance. Plus a free preview of Back Sacada technique for both Lead and Follow. Buy it here.

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