Tango Argentino > Cross Crisis

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by Gina Tangoes, Dec 9, 2015.

  1. Gina Tangoes

    Gina Tangoes New Member

    Okay so I could have called this "Cross Trouble" with less drama, I just think "Cross Crisis" sounds better!:rofl:

    SO I never used to have this trouble before, something's changed, anyway when I do a cross it's the usual thing, step back with my right foot, then bring the left leg over the right.

    Only problem is I'm not getting out of it right anymore. I can't remember what I used to do.

    When I bring the left leg over the right, it seems like I shouldn't actually step on the left, so the left is again the next to move, isn't that the way it works? But I can't walk back with the left without tripping up because the right leg is still in the way.

    I've kind of thought through it logically and worked out that I could do three things, none of them seem right though. Actually step on the left, then the right is next to move and I can go backwards without anything being "in the way", this is tempting but I don't think I ever learned your supposed to step on the left after crossing.

    Or use the left foot to move, but go forwards now instead of backwards, honestly this seems like the best choice.

    OR, I supose, kind of "circumvent" the right leg with the left, and go backward but swing the left leg around in a big ark so it doesnt bang into the right on the way. This one seems a bit wrong but who knows .

    Any better ways of doing it ?:oops:
  2. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    I don't know what kind of cross you mean, as there are many kinds. Some require the weight change, others do not. For the second kind, you also need to know how to uncross. ;)
    For the first kind you may need to uncross, too. In fact, you will need to uncross if the next step is not in the direction where the free leg is at the moment.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2015
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  3. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    In my opinion, best is to look at it this way: there is a weighted leg and a free leg. The leader leads weight changes. The free leg is the one that will move next.
    It does not really matter whether the legs are crossed or not in the process.
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  4. koinzell

    koinzell Active Member

    The cross results from the alignment of the body. If your hips are diagonal, the next step you take will result in a cross because you want to remain on that 'tight rope.' Your hips become diagonal as a result of the leader turning his torso which causes you to turn yours (so you can stay in front of him). Turning your torso naturally changes the alignment of your hips. (unless your isolating which involves actively using your muscles)

    Best way to explain this is stand facing a wall and have your arms stretched out to the sides, feet together pointing at the wall. Now turn your torso 90 degrees clockwise so that your left arm points to the wall in front of you and your right arm points to the wall behind you. (do not turn your feet, they should be pointed at the wall) Take a step forward with your left foot. Take a forward step with your right. You should have no choice but to cross. If you try to walk around your left foot while your hips are diagonal, your posture will collapse. Make sense?
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2015
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  5. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    It looks like she does not have problems crossing, but is confused about weight change/no weight change after she crosses, as well as what is led next.
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  6. rain_dog

    rain_dog Active Member

    The answer is to do what your partner is leading you to do. That's all that really matters.

    The most common basic cross has you putting your weight on your left. If you do this by default, you won't go very wrong. More advanced leaders might play with the lead and/or not lead the weight change, but you can worry about that later.

    Again, you can't just do whatever you want to exit the cross. Your partner will lead you do something, and that's what you should do. Most leaders will expect your weight to be on your left foot with your right free, and go from there. If for some reason you don't transfer your weight to your left, a good leader will figure this out and lead something that will still work.
  7. oldtangoguy

    oldtangoguy Active Member

    If you are led in the "usual" crusada, and you are led to change weight, a back step with your right is easy, and if you are not led to change weight, a front step with your left is easy. Now, if you are led in the "usual" crusada with weight change followed by a front step, your right (free) leg circles around behind your left so you may step forward on it. Similarly, the "usual" crusada with no weight change followed by a back step requires that your left (free) leg circles around the front of your right so you may step back.

    If your lead is doing his job, he/she will recognize that the circling action may require more time than a simple step and he should wait for you. If he doesn't, fire him :).
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  8. oldtangoguy

    oldtangoguy Active Member

    There are multiple ways to lead a cross, and this is only one, and certainly not my favorite unless I am leading the cross from a standstill with no prior step. Even then, led as an energy move, no dissociation is required.

    In an ocho cortado, the cross is purely rotational with no diagonality. And it is perhaps easiest to lead the usual walking cross as a well timed lateral motion of the follow created by a slight counterclockwise rotation of the lead's chest with no clockwise rotational prep, and no hip diagonality/dissociation, nearly as though it were an ocho cortado.

    There is hardly ever "a" way to lead anything in tango.
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  9. koinzell

    koinzell Active Member

    Yeah, your posture will collapse if you try to do this. (but the scenario you describe can be achieved with a volcada)
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  10. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    It is absolutely possible to uncross and go backward with the leg that was in front from a cross without collapsing. There is even a very common exercise to that regard that ladies do on their own. No volcada necessary. :)
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  11. koinzell

    koinzell Active Member

    I completely understand your context as well as the embellishment exercise. I thought OP was referring to being lead into a cross but stepping around with the left leg instead of crossing.
  12. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    It is not an embellishment exercise. It is an axis management exercise, mostly. :)
    And yes, it is possible to step back left foot after crossing in front without changing weight.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2015
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  13. koinzell

    koinzell Active Member

    My understanding is that if one leg in front of the other and the knee is hidden, then one side will be more forward. What if you wanted to lead consecutive crosses?
  14. oldtangoguy

    oldtangoguy Active Member

    1. You can easily tuck one knee behind the other without having one side more forward.

    2. Consecutive crosses are lead one-after-another, the second (and subsequent) not necessarily in a manner any different from the first. Perhaps I don't understand your point.
    Lilly_of_the_valley likes this.
  15. koinzell

    koinzell Active Member

    Yeah, I just realized you can tuck without having one side more forward, especially from the leader's perspective. I'm not sure if this is ever the case from a follower's perspective, since the tango embrace is asymmetrical. Perhaps this is also why right over left crosses are less common.
  16. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Unless you are dancing the cross on autopilot, which is what usually happens, you should feel a lead that either takes your weight onto your (crossed) left leg/foot), or not (meaning your Left foot is "crossed" but you have not transferred your weight onto it.)

    And, whatever you do there should be communicated to your partner with a definite weight change (or not!).

    Being clear with the weight change should make it easier for both you and your partner to sort out where you can go next.
  17. Gina Tangoes

    Gina Tangoes New Member

    OK wonderful so much help thank you thank you!

    So what I’m hearing is that there are multiple varieties of croses and what exact method I need depends on which variety I choose to do.

    Funny to think I’ve been dancing for years and never realized about all these possibilities. I think I must’ve stuck to safe things due to confidence issues.

    Just a word about the forward step… so obviously I’ve known ever since I began that ladies don’t often take a forward step, it’s mostly back. But I can do it occasionally if I want to right, there’s nothing that says a woman should NEVER walk forward? Should I try to keep it to a minimum or can I just do it whenever I see a space on the floor in front of me that I want to move into?

    Anyway now that I know that changing feet before going back again is allowed (I think I sort of must have known that before but didn’t consciusly process it), I might not need the forward step so much but just to check?
  18. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    There should probably be a lead preceding a forward step, such as the leader moving away from you, thus opening a space for you to move into.
    But once you decide to go (being clear that you aren't going to step on your partner, etc), do so assertively.
    Off the top of my head, the woman "walks forward" in an ocho cortado. Less commonly, the man walks backwards as the woman walks forward (although the man is still leading.)

    Be prepared for some sort of adverse or surprised reaction, though, from less experienced leaders, or those who haven't received certain training.
    I know I was surprised by a (well known to PDXers) woman who quickly moved into a space between us back when I was taking lessons all the time.
  19. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    You can step forward it he leads you to. Or leaves enough freedom for you to decide where to go.
  20. TomTango

    TomTango Active Member

    You're taking a forward step in a forward ocho, do you do those often?

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