Tango Argentino > Back ocho technique

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by All Sales Are Final, Oct 13, 2015.

  1. Hi,

    Somewhere along the way I seem to have picked up 2 techniques for doing back ochos. I wonder if you could highlight which one is the more proper please, as I am confused.

    Method 1: Sidestep to the left, collect feet, then sidestep left again, collect feet, sidestep right this time, collect feet, step forward with left, step forward with right and pause for a moment, collect feet.

    Method 2: Sidestep to the left, collect feet, pivot the left breast and shoulder back a little, then sidestep left again, collect feet, return the left breast and shoulder to their starting position, sidestep right this time, collect feet, step forward with left, step forward with right and pause for a moment, collect feet.

    As you can see Method 2 is similar to Method 1 but with these one-sided chest/shoulder pivots added. I have no idea whether they’re needed for good technique, or just for decoration. I like to have a single way of doing stuff that simply “works” rather than endless variants that I have carelessly picked up from various teachers/advisers.

  2. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    Then work out for yourself one simple method that works with all people you dance with and do it that way.

    If you see no difference ( or see the difference but don't care for it whatsoever) in the results produced by method 1 versus method 2, pick one you like best, and do it that way.

  3. koinzell

    koinzell Active Member

    You can do whatever you want with your feet and hips, the follower will only feel what you do with your torso. As a leader, you only have control over two things, direction and energy. There are 6 possible directions and 2 types of energies. Just some things to keep in mind as you continue on your tango journey :)
    Mladenac likes this.
  4. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    But what you do with your feet and hips, and especially HOW you do it will affect your movement and the follower's movement, too. :)
    There are more than 6 directions once you start playing with angles. You may also send the follower in one particular direction, but use the space she vacates for you in many different ways (or not use it at all). ;)
  5. I don't think I'm doing anything different with the feet or hips as such.

    It's just this breast pivot thing...I'm guessing it's like a serif versus sans serif typeface, both look professional enough but one is more formal. At least that's what I assumed.

    But sometimes instructors will call out: "Stop! You didn't pivot your breast!" Other times they could care less apparently. I'd just as soon do away with it, it's awkward to remember.

    It's like pausing: sometimes they'll call out: "Stop! You didn't pause!" Other times they'll permit me to proceed without pausing. Big mystery.
  6. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    Why don't you ask THEM on the spot about the differences that produce such different instructions from them? After all, we don't see what you are doing at that moment, but they do.
  7. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    Why are they dancing ochos, at all?
  8. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    Generally speaking, a follower's pivot may be led in a few different ways. By moving the torso or by stepping in a particular directions or by doing both.
  9. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    And generally speaking, about the pausing:
    Although it is improvisation, and places where you pause are arbitrary, specific rhythmic structures may be important for some elements (such as giros, corridas), to produce them and to understand the dynamics of the movement, especially when you just start learning.
    Also, it may be depending on what you are taught at the moment. Let's say, your instructor explains phrasing to you. He or she might ask you to pause at the specific instance in the music to introduce/illustrate the concept. And later, when you dance on your own, he/she lets you decide where to pause, according to your musical interpretation and judgement.
    All Sales Are Final likes this.
  10. Who?
  11. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    Your torso has to rotate in order to rotate her. Otherwise, she won't pivot and therefore she can't do an ocho.

    But yeah...when you're confused, ask your teacher in the moment. Much easier for them to explain what they're teaching at that moment than for us to guess.
  12. newbie

    newbie Well-Known Member

    Seems you're doing side steps, not back ochos.
    Your technique for side steps is ok, though.
  13. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    Your partners. What are you doing that would result in them dancing ochos and why? Understand that, and you have your answer.
    Lilly_of_the_valley likes this.
  14. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    To me, it seems like method 1 is a common possibility for the leader's steps while the follower is doing ochos. Method 2 also includes the leader trying to lead the follower.

    So without actually seeing you (or considering other possibilities), my vote is for method 2.
  15. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    I like as many variants as may occur in the moment
    as long as they just work in the real world.

    It seems to me that we have insufficient information
    and you have insufficient knowledge and/or experience.
    So just give this comment a great deal of thought:
  16. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    Yes, in other words, what is an ocho? In a nutshell, it is a step and a pivot in a certain direction, right?
    What do you do to lead a step and a pivot?
    dchester likes this.
  17. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Whether you use method 1 or 2, and what the result is of each also depends on:

    How much you are traveling down line of dance vs going side to side on a line
    How much you are using (or perhaps overusing) your arms
    What embrace you are in

    and probably other things I haven't thought of right off the bat.

    So IMO, there is insufficient information in your first post to answer your question or elaborate on the uses and/or effects of these 2 methods, both of which can have their place, but are not interchangeable.
    Lilly_of_the_valley likes this.
  18. Lois Donnay

    Lois Donnay Member

    Aren't your hips part of your torso? The follower certainly feels what you do with your hips. Especially during the back ochos.
  19. koinzell

    koinzell Active Member

    Not at all. You can walk around the follower or do a giro while leading back ochos. Both feel the same, while orientation of the hips is different.
  20. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Then your embrace (and presumably that which you are teaching)
    probably involves a lower body connection than is common in BsAs.
    And in tango terms the hips should dissociate from your upper body
    when necessary whereas you seem to be implying otherwise by
    perhaps appearing to treat the torso as one block.

    Hip/pelvis movement (independent when necessary) are a consequence
    of the upper body movement (whether instigated or resultant) in order
    to facilitate movement to the new position.

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