Tango Argentino > Back ocho technique

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

  1. Lois Donnay

    Lois Donnay Member

    I can use my hips to block a follower if I want, or get her to move if I want. When leaders learn this, they have a lot more options in their dance. When the leader dissociates poorly, the follower doesn't know what part of the man's body to follow. This is often a mistake of leaders when leading the ocho cortado - they strain their upper body to ask a follower to step through, all the while blocking them with their hips. In back ochos, little dissociation is needed because the change of feet has made it unnecessary. The woman dissociates, the man doesn't need to. Especially in close embrace.
     
  2. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    You seem to be dancing a different dance to me,
    starting with the embrace, posture and connection.
     
  3. koinzell

    koinzell Active Member

    Yes, you move your hips to create space and establish a lane for the the follower to step through, but the follower doesn't move until you displace your center. In regards to back ochos, there's more than one way to skin a cat, even in close embrace.
     
  4. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Not for me, you move your chest first to create the way
    and your hips follow. If you move your hips before your chest
    or centre first then you are moving your legs first when for me
    they should move last by following your body.

    But then of course you are right, I'm just confirming that
    there is more than one way to skin the cat in close embrace.
     
  5. koinzell

    koinzell Active Member

    You are certainly right. I should have said displace your axis. If you are traveling forward, then your chest moves first through space. If you're going backwards, your center move first through space.
     
  6. Of all the many (extremely helpful) responses here I think this one holds the key perhaps... especially since in a group class situation, there are multiple levels of ability.

    So it is starting to seem like the confident girls, especially those who have been coming quite a while, can manage the pivot you speak of without assistance; while those who are less sure of themselves or newer to the class struggle with it, and therefore "can't do an ocho" as you put it, even if the man dancing with her can do one perfectly okay.

    That would also account for the variability of the instructors' responses: looks like it's when I'm dancing with someone who needs this type of assistance that they stop me and accuse me of not twisting the breast. Of course it doesn't make much difference to my ocho, but it helps her out with hers... Makes a lot of sense, great, thanks!
     
  7. Generally I am not traveling much and I am standing pretty close to the partner, i.e. touching from the waist up. As for the arms, the left one is up in the air clutching hers as per usual, and the other one is wrapped round the girl's waist. I didn't know there was another choice.

    ??
     
  8. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Just to make sure I have it correctly, you are leading the ochos, while she is doing them. Is that correct, or are you both doing ochos (AKA double ochos)?

    Assuming you are just leading them (and accompanying her by doing side steps), I'd advise that you always try to lead them, (even if the follower can guess correctly what you want her to do). It makes it less likely that her axis will be compromised. The more open the embrace is, the less some of these details will matter, but in close embrace, it can make a big difference.

    IMO, the pivot is a separate entity from the step (when doing ochos). To lead the pivot, I recommend moving your body (a little) along an imaginary circle that goes around her, while also twisting slightly. If you want to pivot her clockwise, you would also move clockwise around the imaginary circle (and it may seem to be in the opposite direction from where you will be leading her step).

    The goal is to not tilt her off her axis until you are ready to lead the step. It's hard to explain these things with only text. I don't teach that the leader simply twists, to lead the pivot, as that can cause the follower's axis to tilt while she is pivoting.
     
    Krys likes this.
  9. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    I might not be understanding you correctly. Are you implying that your hips are in contact with the follower, or rather something like, movement in the hips causes the torso to move, and the follower will feel that?
     
  10. I like that very much. I think I will always move along the imaginary circle a little as I am twisting. I have always found the twisting (on its own) unnecessary and annoying, and was confused why they teach it, but this helps a lot as it seems a lot smoother and less awkward. I am glad to have it confirmed in the Forum that you don't teach the twist on its own!

    I didn't understand the first part of your question: we are both doing back ochos, just with me doing the man's version (as described in the first message in this thread), and she the female part obviously with all the pivots and stuff; but it doesn't matter, I have what I need and your suggestion on the little imaginary "circle" is really great, thank you :)
     
  11. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Sorry to say that just when you think you have figured it out, I'm going to throw a wrench in your works. ;)

    It's possible that the followers who are managing the pivot just fine are over-pivoting or auto-pivoting based on how they think ochos are supposed to be rather than on your lead (or lack of). And by extension, that means it's possible that the ones who are complaining about your lack of twist are the ones who are following correctly.

    I'm also not sure of what you mean by doing your ocho properly regardless of whether they can or not. As Dchester asks, are you doing forward ochos as they do back ones?
     
  12. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Ochos can be done without pivoting. They would be "crossing" ochos. While that's not the current fashion, there are still people who do them that way. In what's commonly called "milonguero" style in the US, that's how they are done because there isn't enough flex/opening in the embrace to pivot

     
    Lois Donnay likes this.
  13. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Well, you can flex or not flex the embrace.

    You can be open on your left side so that your 2 bodies form a V, or completely flat on and parallel.

    You can lead ochos with your chest or you can (but shouldn't) stand perfectly still while moving your arms to "steer" the follower.

    You say you aren't traveling, and I assume you mean down line of dance, but are you stepping at all side to side?

    Incidentally, traveling down line of dance while leading ochos is also possible, although at that point some people tend not to call it ochos but talk about walking in "crossfeet". (you would also be in "crossfeet" doing ochos elongated to travel, not just walking "outside partner")

    There are a lot of variables or styles, and they each come with different body mechanics for executing a move as basic as "ocho"
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2015
  14. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    That is true, I'll give you that. I doubt that's what the OP is learning, though.
     
  15. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    Nope. As we've discussed many times before, it's not the skill level. It has everything to do with using your body to get your partner to do what you want. You're the one who wants her to pivot, so you have to give her some indication of that. Usually through rotating your torso.
     
  16. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    I also doubt he is learning milonguero style movement. But I also don't like absolute statements that negate its existence entirely.
     
  17. Lois Donnay

    Lois Donnay Member

    No, your hips are not in contact with the follower, but in order to reduce the follower's confusion, the upper body and hips should be in agreement. I have experienced leaders who move their upper torsos, leave their hips in place, blocking the follower.
     
  18. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    Fair enough!
     
    Lois Donnay likes this.
  19. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    What you described in the first message sounded to me like she was doing ochos (not you). I suspect that what you are calling the "man's version", are the steps you are doing while she does the ochos.

    In an attempt to verify my suspicion, here is a video showing the woman doing ochos, with the man leading her ochos and doing side steps. Only the woman is doing ochos in this video. Are his steps anything like what you are doing?

     
  20. Lois Donnay

    Lois Donnay Member

    Yes, I prefer to dance in close embrace, lead and follow. That maybe takes a little more skill, especially for ochos. I've seen too many who try to transition their sloppy open back ocho lead, (more forgiving in open), into close - it's painful. Watch the secret in the video - he hardly moves his hips, especially when he is close.
     

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