Ochos. The word “Ocho” in Spanish, when translated to it’s English cognate, is the number ‘8’. The idea, practice, and activity of Ochos do actually resemble an 8 when done in a very specific way. However, in that methodology and practice, the dancer (not just the Follower!) can and will cross over their body’s natural meridian to generate this idea, thereby drawing an ‘8’ on the floor.
The Ocho that you’re most likely familiar with is what Tango Topics refers to as the “Traveling Ocho” or what we refer to as a Type 3 Ocho. This is where the Follower will ‘pivot‘ on their back step at a near 45 degree angle perpendicular to their lead going backwards on the diagonal. There is an erroneous part of this definition which lay in the word ‘pivot‘. Truthfully in modern tango we have taken out the pivot structure and replaced it with disassociation and then applied disassociation. 🙂
Typically the idea of the Ocho is solely a Follower construct and practice, however that’s not necessarily the case. A Lead can invoke them as well in any number of ways, as shown below.