The Sacada is probably one of Tango’s more interesting pieces of Tango vocabulary. Mostly because it looks really cool and complicated. And yet it’s complexity can be explained in one simple sentence – It’s an illusion! The illusion is an intersection of walking techniques. The Lead’s walk intersecting the Follower’s. It’s walking, nothing more than that. It’s just never explained that way. And yet, that’s exactly what it is. However, there’s a cute little trick that happens for every sacada, every single sacada no matter how complex, no matter how difficult it may appear. It’s an observation that I don’t own, but rather compsve fro a very reliable argentine source. So what’s the cute little trick ? The Triangle Methodology!
From a Leading perspective, this toy is all about Triangles. Every time you lead a Sacada (and it doesn’t matter which one it is of the 504 available ones, and yes there are 504 of them. I counted.) each one will consist of a very simple Triangular pattern on the floor. A little clarity – your feet, and the Follower’s feet form a very tidy little Triangle on the floor. There are two supporting points (each supporting point of the Triangle is a free leg of either the Lead or the Follower), and then there is one shared axial point between the couple. If you’re leading a Sacada then you want to make certain that this ‘Triangle’ is spot on. Just as a side note, the more ‘shallow‘ the Triangle, the easier it can be to execute the Sacada.
From a Following perspective, quite honestly you have no idea if you’re being led to a Sacada, because for you this is all about forward, side, or back. It just so happens that your step may intersect the lead’s or their’s yours. However once you start to see that the Lead is leading you to a Sacada. You’ll start to see triangles everywhere, that means that you should start to see that the intersection of your extending leg into the Lead’s trailing foot which should form a 90º angle. And as a result you’re going to extend your leg along that 90º line into the Lead.
From a Dancing perspective, who’d have thought that actual geometry would help you out here. The fact is that a good portion of Tango is all about the geometry. Get it right and cool things happen. Get it wrong…and well… you’re going to have issues! This trick is all about that geometry thing. Honestly, this is just a trick of how to remember, from a leading as well as from a following perspective ,that when engaging in Sacadas, you’re going for creating Triangles on the floor. That’s it, that’s all. Typically however, we don’t remember this little tiny factoid and the Sacada fails mostly because the Triangle is either too shallow, too oblique, incomplete (yes, that happens – more so than you can imagine), or where the apex of the Triangle isn’t in the right place. Mostly people forget this stuff and try out a Sacada and it usually fails because this stuff hasn’t been drilled into them! And it needs to be.
The Final Word: Clarity! If you want to change your dance. If you want to perform a Sacada as a Lead or as a Follower, there are a lot of videos out there on youtube that I recommend that you go and watch. However, there’s just one little tiny problem with 98% of them. They’re not there to actually teach you to do these things. Not one of them. And furthermore a good portion of them have awful sound, terrible light, don’t focus on the right things you need to focus on, or explain the proper technique. All-in-all…a complete waste of your time. If you want clarity in your dance, there’s really only one place for that clarity of understanding and it’s right here. You can either buy the video on Simple Sacadas, or you can subscribe as a Gold level user, and get access to over 150+ videos and articles on technique, history, codigos and a lot more for just 19.99 per month with more content being added every month (about 5 to 6 new posts). Really it’s a bargain if you stop and you think about it! Give it a try, you won’t be sorry.