Tango Argentino > Back ocho technique

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

  1. Gssh

    Gssh Well-Known Member

    *laugh* i actually thought it would be more likely to object to the description of the pivoted ocho as "single axis turn, then stepping straight". I completely agree with you - when i was writing this i found it difficult to decide between describing this theoretical extreme as being part of the boleo family or part of the voleo family, but i settled onto voleo because (for me) boleo is more associated with "interrupting/reversing impulse" and voleo is more associated with "play with the free leg" - if your first association with voleo is "off axis move/change in posture" then this will not describe what i was thinking.

    As i said, this is more or less a theoretical description of the most extreme endpoints of the vast variety of ochos possible - even the most ardent defender of the pivoted ocho will usually step diagonal/cross and, and not only use the pivot, and even the most extreme crossed ocho defender will - as you have pointed out - gain more space than just the crossing behind will generate. And i think most leaders and followers are aware that the ocho they are dancing is somewhat of a hybrid - e.g. when i dance crossed ochos i tend to dissocate a little bit to cover more ground (which takes them at least a little bit into the realm of pivoted ochos).
  2. In our community this pose is unusual, men typically have their left hand raised and the women their right, clutched together in the air, while the man's right arm is slipped around the woman's waist. Also the couple typically stand much closer together. What I see in my city, and some others I have traveled to, is more similar to what is shown in the other videos posted (Sylvia/Tete and, to a lesser extent, Ana/Diego). That is also what we are taught in classes.

    Holding a hand out firm and immobile to give a woman a steady arm to hold onto is fine I guess, especially for the older ladies (I often do this for older female relatives if they have to walk further than usual) but I haven't seen it on the dance floor as such. Also it seems a shame he is choosing not to dance with her as well and just letting her do the dancing... it's much nicer if both participate in my opinion. I quite like doing back ochos together with a woman. Also other tango dancing moves.

    I mean, I certainly try getting myself mentally ready for the next time a woman dancing with me does a volcada, when I start to feel her leaning on me, try to have quick reactions and transform it into the ocho variety of volcada which you describe, if it is for some reason better that way than the normal ocho I started the thread by describing.

    My only concern is that generally women don't initiate a volcada with me because they assume I don't know what to do if they do (which is to some extent true). But I could try saying that I am near-intermediate now not beginner, see if they volcada onto me and if so try to make it into the ocho-variety of volcada.

    Also I am not quite sure what would happen if the girl had in mind a different type of volcada (not the ocho one) and I tried to do the ocho one, we might get muddled up.

    I am assuming it is permissible to still do normal back ochos as described at the beginning, just with the slight change as D Chester helped me that I try to make it along an imaginary arc? Or ought to learn the volcada variety as being more "proper"?
  3. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    There seems to be some confusion in terms in your post, ASAF. A volcada is when you take your partner off her axis and you counter balance her for a moment until you return her to her axis. A follower would not initiate this, the leader would.

    The video you referenced is showing a class. They are in that position for demonstration so you can see the movements and lead more clearly. No one would dance like that at a milonga.

    I think you should stick with the ochos your teacher is covering in class. You'll likely get confused if you try it a different way based on descriptions on the internet. There are all kinds of "correct" ways to do them.
    Gssh likes this.
  4. Gssh

    Gssh Well-Known Member


    (ahem - sorry for that)

    There is no "volcada variety of ocho" - i tried to talk about the fact that there is a wide range of different ochos, and i was mapping out the more or less hypothetical endpoints of the spectrum. This is what helped me to understand what was going on when experimenting with these concepts, and trying to reconcile and understand why different teachers emphasized different things, and used different techniques to get more or less the same effect. It has no bearing on one variant being "not permissible" or "more proper".

    In the end a technique is proper when it allows for a satisfying experience for both partners - at least at the beginning this will most probably be what most other leaders at the milongas you go to dance. There is more leeway for this later, but when your question actually is "should i do A or should i do B" choose what you experience as working at your home milongas.

    I was talking more about "i can do both A and B and get similar effects, what are the structural differences? And why do both work?" - a very different question, and based on your reaction i feel like me musing about that was not helpful for you. I apologize.
  5. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Ok, now I think you are just having a brain fart when writing that you were trying to decide between using the motion of a voleo vs a boleo.

  6. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member


    And yes, I see what you are saying now. I do tend to think of a volcada as having an off-axis component, however it's true that the amount of increased lean can be VERY slight. If trying to do "play" with the follower's free leg ON axis, the play has to be very smooth and continuous or the follower will try to transfer her weight ONTO the free leg.

    If the follower is off axis, she is less likely to assume a step prematurely because its seems to be easier to indicate that she should remain on that leg, even if the "play" pauses or isn't smooth. If she's on axis and the play stops, she's likely to feel that as a lead for weight transfer.
    Gssh likes this.
  7. Gssh

    Gssh Well-Known Member

    Thank you! Yes, of course that is what it should have been.

    (too many "v" words in tango ....)

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