Tango Extensions course, Week 6 class notes

22nd March 2010

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  • Technique: Leading pivots in close, leading steps in close.
  • Steps: Soltadas


Soltadas = breaking the embrace. Not to be confused with sultanas.

Example - ocho turn

Turn from an ocho. We mainly focussed on this from a forwards ocho to the leader's right - but as always there are 4 variations possible.

The move breaks down as follows:

  1. Lady forward step onto right with raised arm
    The leader leads the lady to take a forward step onto her right foot (we learnt from the context of an ocho, but it could be a normal forward step) whilst doing a sidestep to parallel. As the follower steps forward, the man raises his left arm above her head. The man also stops the lady from collecting - so her weight is transferred to her forward foot, but her feet are still separated.
    Note: The lady should not turn at this point; it's just an arm raise.

  2. Lady does a swivel turn
    Now we lead the turn - a 180-degree anti-clockwise swivel, keeping the lady's weight on her back (right) foot. Her feet do not move position, they just swivel.
    To lead this, the men let go with their right arms, and draw their left arms around the lady, gently pulling her around.
    Note 1: The lady should disassociate her body, so that the energy of the arm lead is transmitted first to the upper body, and the lower body then just comes along after a delay.
    Note 2: The ladies must not anticipate the turn or try to "help it".

  3. Lady steps forwards onto left
    The lady then simply steps forward onto her left foot - actually, in practice, this is more like a slide forwards, as her left foot is still touching the floor.

From here, there are a couple of options. You can either transfer to a basket hold and walk a few steps, or you can turn that ending forward step into the start of an ocho, and gather as normal into a tango embrace.

Key points:

  • These are largely led by the hand, so for the duration of those moves only, the follower has to use some tension in the hand - and then lose that tension when back in hold.
  • But leaders don't just hold their hands in the air and expect followers to twirl around them - it simply doesn't work like that. Lead with the body still.
  • Don't overuse this sort of move. If the music's right, do it - but don't just throw it in.


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- David Bailey, 22nd March 2010