Back ocho technique

#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.

Thanks!
 
#2
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.

:)
 

koinzell

Active Member
#3
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 :)
 
#4
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
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.
 
#9
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.
 

dchester

Moderator
Staff member
#14
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.

Thanks!
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.
 

JohnEm

Well-Known Member
#15
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.
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:
Your partners.
What are you doing that would result in them dancing ochos and why?
Understand that, and you have your answer.
 

Zoopsia59

Well-Known Member
#17
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.
 

JohnEm

Well-Known Member
#20
Aren't your hips part of your torso?
The follower certainly feels what you do with your hips.
Especially during the back ochos.
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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