Archive for the ‘ganchos’ Category

A private session with S. this evening dealt with improving my close embrace ganchoes, and as well grafting ganchoes onto the sacada/barrida figure I picked up like a cold virus in my last Buenos Aires trip. By remembering to “lift” just a little (instead of instinctively hold the embrace “down”) on the forward and back ganchoes it improves greatly.

Also work on forward boleos — don’t be shy about moving into her space to hold the figure together nicely.

Some work on a figure I didn’t quite get: Out of any step that presents you with a normal back gancho, initially position your ganchoed foot close to the weight bearing leg; then step through — the timing is hard to get (your weight at this point is on your back, left; assuming the right is the one being ganchoed) and cause in her a kind of front boleo.


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&$^#%! More ganchoes..

Reading my notes from last week, I’m still trying to graft on that forward weight shift with the cortado-gancho combination.

To further add variety: After that forward weight shift-gancho (remembering for that right to come back radially behind you a bit before the gancho) pivot to right and do a rock step forward, then back; while going back with that right going back change your weight to it. Secada forward with the left, pivoting again into a “with” front boleo; then leading your follow into a back step. Pivoting again on the left now as far as you can, extend that left into the back step for another gancho. Remember to go for the “far” edge of that back step.

*&^% ganchos.

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Cool gancho stuff

Executing an ocho cortado in close embrace, practice both a secada (your right close to her left) and also a gancho (your right closer to her right, or forward, leg). Remember to step onto the extended leg as you twist in place; this will cause your follow to naturally step out of the gancho.

Spice it up: Walk to the cross in close, sending her forward as you step left with your left for a contra-rotating boleo, then pivoting her into a gancho to your right with your right leg. Bear in mind you take no side step and give her time to rotate, which is almost 270 degrees in this figure. To spice this up further step her out of the gancho and into a back-side which allows you to step into her back step (again, twisting while you put your weight on the forward foot) thus performing another gancho.

Yet another close embrace variant: A calisita counter-clockwise after a secada to the left leg.


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Cleaning up my ganchos…

A most excellent class experience with S. this evening, repairing and refining my gancho technique. As always I need mas practica.


Stop “kneeing” my follows into simple boleos.

Start to think in terms of circular directions of travel .. when combined with proper embrace technique (i.e. stop letting my embrace fall apart) the action is more organic, and there is less of a tendency to “lunge”.

Think: “Pocket” vs. “triangle” — i.e. you aren’t trying to make a large target for her, you are trying to make a point of contact behind and below the knee.

Expanded things to try: Using both legs for back steps with both her right and left, and also with side steps. Remember to organically use the torso to face her.

When stepping through, lift the heel off the floor, which has the effect of raising the knee and making the “pocket” easier to find.

Remember ganchos can be done by way of resolving out of a cross, and within forward and back ochos. In my case I tend to do ochos in a flat plane rather than in a circular (i.e. like a molineta) fashion, thus I wind up trying to cover the distance in a less than completely elegant fashion. Simply by keeping the posture together and thinking circularly you avoid loosing your partner or confusing her.

Remember to step close to her foot, with yours turned outward just a bit, and to have just a little weight forward but not too much.

Reactions: Mas practica.

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More ganchos..

A session with A. at Cococabana leaves me reeling; and I feel like a young child learning to walk as I see possible gancho permutations. It seems that what I have learned thus far is something like “gancho training wheels” the way that the basic eight count steps are “tango training wheels.”.

Here’s one thing to take away from this lesson, at least. Practice doing planeos in place like this: Right forward, rotate on both both feet so you are facing away from the line of dance, perform a quality planeo, and repeat. Then do this with a partner performing molinetas around you. Exquisite.

BACK SECADA: For the figure to the lead’s left, a forward enrosque to the left, stepping forward with the right (remember, this is a forward enrosque), and pivot on that right, with the left sliding back for the secada. Remember to slide.

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ganchos, sort of

With Jake at McGinty’s:

When doing rock stops within ochos for the purpose of turning, make sure with the back step to your left that you bring your left into a collecting position to give her space. To the right, make sure there is a strong lead with your right shoulder.

Successfully deploying gancho leads! … But I have a profound hurt in my left knee and toe; probably from practicing spins in my shoes at work, which are designed to hang on to the floor rather than slide. It is a sign of profound tango addiction or something that I consider the wisdom, or not, of having a pair of dance shoes at work. Which I don’t. Yet..

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