Tango Argentino > Woman's steps

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by Mario7, Jan 25, 2010.

  1. Mario7

    Mario7 Member

    I'm trying to become more knowledgeable about the woman's steps and am thinking about stuff I was just doing on auto pilot before. I have two questions today that I would appreciate any feedback on;
    1: The ocho-cortado begins with the woman's right front cross in close embrace. Is this correct and is it always this way? Is it easier to lead from outside right in parallel feet rather than inside?
    (of course nothing is 'always' in tango but I'm going for the standard method)
    2: When the woman begins her Giro or Molinette either to the right or to the left, is there some shorthand for knowing which step she starts on? IE: if her weight is on the right foot and she is lead to a Giro to the Left..? ..weight on the left foot? etc. How about Giros in the other direction starting with different feet? OK..and now the question; does she begin with a side step? back cross? front cross? Is there a beginning step that is easiest in each circumstance?? Do you look to begin (her) on a certain step??
    I hope that these questions are somewhat clear, any thoughts will be avidly read and greatly appreciated..thanks!:raisebro:
  2. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    It is not correct, unless you want to learn a fixed step sequence. Only the turn with the bounced cross is worthy of the name 8cortado.

    It all depends on your lead. You can begin the molinete in every way: 1. side step (back8 or front8 would follow for the woman), 2. back8 (side step would follow), 3. front8 (side step would follow). The side step alternative is by far the most difficult in apilado, b.c you will need some degrees of dissociation. F.i. make a side step, cross behind, rotate your torso, and lead her into a back8. Works in either direction. (This refers to an ordinary molinete, not to this 8-count Pugliese thing with little sacadas in between, aka molinete.)

    Hope that may help?
  3. Mario7

    Mario7 Member

    This clears up the ocho cortado for me, thanks!:rocker:
  4. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    molinete reloaded

    May be I didn´t understand you properly. For me it´s no question of knowing her step, b.c. you lead the step she shall do next. For ccw molinete you lead her into a sidestep to the left and then into a front8 a.s.o. For a cw molinete you lead a sidestep to the right, followed by any kind of ocho.

    cheers so far
  5. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Good for you for wanting to understand the woman's steps! IMO that's an important part of becoming a truly good leader who can easily navigate.

    The molinete is just several steps put together into a "pattern". Its just such a standard pattern that it frequently gets done in its entirety. It also is easy to complete, unlike many other "patterns", because it rotates rather than travels. I'm sure you've learned some patterns that you never get to use because you always have to interrupt them halfway though due to navigation issues.

    So as separate steps combined into a pattern, you can start or stop any place within the pattern. Remember everything in Tango is just single things put together.

    That said, however, there are advantages to certain ways of executing molinetes. Starting a CCW M. with you both executing a sidestep (to her right) puts you in a good position to ensure her 1st step will be a backstep, by basing your pivot on your left leg. The advantage to having her do side, back, side, front is that she ends in the standard cross.

    Since the cross is somewhat "neutral" choreographically, you already know a bazillion things you can do from her being in the cross (or you will eventually). If you start the sequence with the forward ocho, then she ends in the backstep. Still lots of possibilities, but maybe a little harder for a beginner to figure something from there.

    Whether she goes forward on her left or back on her left, she is still starting the CCW from something that put her on her right leg. The difference for her ocho is in where YOUR weight is when you pivot. If your weight is on your right when you pivot, you open a space for her that makes her naturally take the forward ocho. If you pivot with your weight on your left, she will be sent into a back ocho. Either way, SHE is on her right and ocho'ing with her left leg. If she isn't on her right already, then you have to get her there for the 1st ocho in a CCW molinete (make sense?)

    So in that sense, it "starts" with a sidestep. Or you could say that the sidestep is the preparation for the giro, since it doesn't need to be a rotated step.

    CW is a little trickier, especially in CE because technically, you can't see over there. One of the advantages of keeping to the outer lane of the dance floor is that you can be more confident that there isn't any obstacle to your right.

    If you do the CW version as a mirror of the CCW version, (side, back, side, front) she ends in the cross but it is the reverse of the usual cross. Ocho cortado is handy here to get to the typical left over right cross.

    As a side note on styles and different ways people teach/ interpret the molinete: I was taught that there is a typical rhythm for the M. The steps of Side, Back, Side, Front are (correspondingly) Slow, Quick, Quick, Slow. I was also taught that the person doing the pattern creates the rhythm and provides the energy/ momentum. Obviously if the leader is doing a corkscrew or a lapiz or some other variation of remaining "static" while she goes around, he can't do much to provide energy. SHE might actually pull him around if he is pivoting on one foot.

    Even if he is moving around (stepping) as well, as the satellite revolving around an axis, its much easier for her to provide the momentum than for the "maypole" to provide it. And my opinion as a follower is that it is uncomfortable for the leader to attempt any kind of "pull" to get me around. The leader indicates that she should keep going with his body until he indicates that she should stop. But she can act on this suggestion without him providing any energy to it, even to the point of her rotaing him on a standing pivot.

    (If the leader wants to do a molinete around the follower, then its all reversed... she is the pole and he goes around. She will then be unable to provide any momentum and he pivots her. Or he can establish a center pole and they both do the molinete steps around an axis that is between them.)

    Make sense?
    Hope this helps.
  6. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Most people (and by that I mean the followers) I know do not know how to adjust an ocho for a close embrace that doesn't open or disassociate.

    Employing a "cross back" (non pivoting) ocho makes it all work easily. Of course, "easily" is a relative term. Someone with large thighs on short limbs has more trouble with a crossed back movement. (Its harder to get the back leg far enough around)

    I have not found that starting with a side step is any harder in apilado. Perhaps I misunderstood what you meant by the "sidestep version" being harder.

    For those that don't know what I mean by crossing vs pivoting ochos, I'll look for a video. But for now, imagine that your hips stay facing your partner the entire time and the steps become, not a standard pivot where your pelvis bisects your circle and you step on the circle (perpendicular to your pelvis) but a sidestep on the circle that crosses over either in back or in front because your pelvis is also still on the circle.

    edited to add link:
    See Sylvia's backstep at the :21 mark

  7. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    Zoops, I'm curious... what do the continuous sacadas during the molinete feel like? Does it feel like a lot of momentum when you change places? Does the follower need a looser embrace, or does she need more support during the simultaneous pivot?

    Thanks. :)
  8. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    to me, continuous sacadas in a molinete have a push-pull rubber band effect (toward and away from my partner) as well as the rotation feeling. That could be a mistake on the part of leaders who have done this with me, or it could just be what happens.

    So yes, there is definitely more energy coming from the leader if he's doing those, but I think there doesn't need to be. I'm not sure this push-pull in/out thing is correct.

    After all, the sacada isn't what led her to do the grapevine pattern. If it isn't needed for her to execute the grapevine pattern around him, then it shouldn't feel that different when he puts in the sacadas.

    As we know, the sacada is an illusion. He doesn't push her out of the spot with his leg in a sacada, he moves her with his body and steps where she was. She's already moving in the molinete anyway based on his lead, so I THINK (and i may be wrong) that it could be done so that inserting the sacadas feels the same to her and she is somewhat unaware of the them happening... or at least not feeling something majorly different

    I'm learning to lead a molinete with a series of sacadas in it, so when I understand the lead better, I may have a more intelligent response. :(

    My assumption is that it shouldn't feel that much different or at least doesn't NEED to feel different, but it often does.
  9. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the reply!

    I see what you're saying about the illusion part. Hmm. Seems like there almost must be a little push and pull to maintain connection... but maybe if the leader has really good balance, they can keep the embrace free on the turning side and match the momentum of the follower during their pivot, making it smooth.
  10. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    IME, molinetes with sacadas don't feel all that different than any other molinete done in open embrace. IIRC, they were kind of unnerving at first ("He's coming straight for me!")...but if I stopped worrying about what he was doing and started thinking about what I was doing, I don't much notice them.

    What is disturbing is molinetes with ganchos.
  11. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    One of my teachers says there are two types of sacadas, the low and the high sacadas. The low sacada is pretty much as you described, although there could be very light contact above the ankles (it's certainly not required though). The high sacada has contact above the knee. I'm only able to do the high sacada if I'm stepping in with a side step.

    While I have no clue what the experience is for the follower, to me, it seems like the sacada generates more pivot.
  12. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Thats the reason why I wrote of two things called molinete,

    as there is the normal molinete with a rulo,
    and the "Pugliese sequence" with the small continuous sacadas in it.
  13. Mario7

    Mario7 Member

    Yes, this answered my question exactly...Is there some reason that the cw sidestep can be followed by any kind of ocho and the ccw always has the sidestep followed by a front ocho?? We will be dancing in close embrace..thanks!

    This weekend I am going to study the giros of my favorite 4 dancers. I will note if there is any sort of pattern to the way they set up and start their longer giros.. I'll post here any results.:cheers:
  14. Mario7

    Mario7 Member

    ..OK, now, it's making more sense.. it's funny how somedays English just turns into Greek for me.. Please, keep explaining this stuff if you have the notion to...I really want as much verbal input as possible at this stage.:cool: I'm dancing close embrace but perhaps not apilado..we do lean into each other and embrace firmly with both arms/hands but my axis definately is independent although strongly affected by hers.
    Say, did I mention that I've found a practice partner??!! She is a beginner but we are dancing 4 and 5 times a week..this our second week!
  15. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    I don't think that's right. Molinetes in either direction are: side, front8, side, back8. A side step is always followed by an ocho, either in front or back. You can begin a molinete with any of the steps, and you can exit on any of the steps.

    When I was learning molinetes I started practicing with poles, and that helped me learn them clearly. Poles were two 5" pieces of PVC with rubber tips on both ends. Readily available in most hardware stores for only a few dollars, but well worth the expense.
  16. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    This ^

    To spell it out, any side step could be the start of a molinette, and any ocho could also be the start of one. Similarly, the front step in the molinette could be the start of front ochos, and the back step in the molinette could be the start of back ochos.
  17. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    This is misleading and contradicts your main point.

    It doesn't have to be Side, FRONT, side, BACK.

    a molinete can be side, BACK, side FRONT.

    Or it can basically jump in anywhere.
  18. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Hey I said basically that way upthread! Why didn't you give me a cheers toast? :mad:
    That's it... we're not buddies anymore...:p
  19. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    I think the sidestep ccw to back ocho is certainly doable, it just requires a fair amount of disassociation(sp? On mobile phone. Heh.) and a strong lead.
  20. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Disagree... see earlier post.

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