Tango course: Week 7 of 8

14th November 2008

Class Date: Thursday 13th November 2008, 8pm - 10pm

Teacher: Amir Giles & Jenny Sayer

Class Type Beginners / Intermediates (8-week course)

Location: The Philbeach Hall, 51 Philbeach Gardens, Earls' Courts, London SW5 9EB (map)

(Other write-ups: Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8)

Class review

Summary: Ocho cortado and two routines.

The start: revision

Life returned to normality this week, with 1 follower over - whew, we were in topsy-turvy land for a couple of weeks there. Actually, numbers have held up very well over this course - I think we've had about 16-20 people almost every time, which reflects well on the teaching.

So, as normal, we did walking, and a bit of loosening-up to start.

We did a new exercises: standing on one leg for one minute - Amir's recommended this for a few weeks now, but this was the first time he's done it as an exercise.

Segregation exercises

We repeated last week's early splitting into leader / follower groups at the start, and the leaders again practiced the exercises from week 5.

We also did a strange stepping-back-and-reaching-with-the-arms exercise, which apparently would be useful for when we learnt back sacadas. Blimey, back sacadas? Boleos? We've only got one more week after this...

Partnering up

We got together, briefly did the normal connection exercises, steps and so on.

Amir then got us to actually dance for a couple of tracks, putting into practice what we've learnt.

Ocho Cortado

We went straight into learning this step, as follows (from the leader's point-of-view):

  1. Sidestep left (larger sidestep for leader, as for leading a cross)
  2. Forward step on right
  3. Forward rockstep on left
  4. Backstep on left
  5. Turn (open out) to right, leading follower into a side rockstep
  6. Lead follower back from rockstep into a cross.

Tip: when leading the follower into the cross, give her space to cross by moving backwards.

Routine 1

We learnt a routine based on several of the steps we've done previously.

The pattern is:

  1. Ocho cortado
  2. Front ocho into a Change of Direction
  3. Back ocho into a Gancho

Tip when leading a Change of Direction: lead the woman to walk into your body, she'll have a natural inclination to pivot away from you, but that makes it more difficult as the leader has further to pivot.

Tip when leading a Gancho: open out your right side, to ensure the follower steps back on the overturned back ocho. In fact, may be easier to think of the step as a back step rather than an ocho...

Routine 2

To finish off, we did another routine, putting together other steps.

The pattern is:

  1. Lead a cross from a sidestep-then-walk (steps 2-5 of the Basic 8)
  2. Front ocho into a sacada, then turning the overturned front ocho into a...
  3. Change of Direction - man leaving his right foot behind left to make it easier to pivot for the...
  4. ... Giro - side-forward-side. Make the final sidestep a rockstep to lead to the...
  5. Ocho cortado cross.

Whilst, obviously, Sequences Are Evil, this one was very nice.


You know I said last week: "James Bond will return, with.... Boleos"? Well, OK, maybe next week...

- David Bailey, 14th November 2008