The Ghost Guide to Social Tango 2nd Edition: Sacadas

25th March 2010

"Now if this electron is displaced from its equilibrium position, a force that is directly proportional to the displacement restores it like a pendulum to its position of rest." ~ Pieter Zeeman


Some key principles:

  • Can do illusionary, just touching or with oomph similar to barridas
  • Make sure sacadaing leg is rotated out so soft part does the contact.
  • Need to do in the early part of her movement
  • Think "Triangles": Look at position of feet - either isosceles or equilateral.

Musicality and Floorcraft

Less is more.

MsHedgehog: Lots of people do walking sacadas nicely, and they're a lovely musical accent (ping!), but they're not usually that noticeable. The thing is just not to make them too big so the heel makes too big a circle, or throw in too much force or rotation so you get a high boleo at the end, and not to whack the woman too high up or make contact with her knee joint. You just step into her space that's all. You can even get them without making contact.

Practice Sequences

Difference between a sacada front boleo and a gancho lead

Two things happen. In the sacada, the leader's leg deflects the follower's leg, causing her to boleo, whereas in the gancho, her leg can pass through (but please see the section on Ganchos for more information). Also in the sacada the leader moves his axis between the women's feet, whereas in the gancho the women puts her axis between the leader's feet.

Twisty gancho back sacada combo

Be Very Careful with this. This is intended solely for practice between two people who both know it and with lots of space around, not for the dancefloor

Why so grumpy?

After all I've been taught variations of this by different teachers. Notably the teachers were men who didn't follow. As a lead this feels quite interesting and fun. As a follower, not so much. For a start you're going to put pressure on her knee such that if she doesn't bend it and pivot you can do real harm. Take it slowly.

As for the dancefloor, several things. As MsPinkLegs points out in the video there comes a point where she's literally trapped. That's not really tango. At tango the lady should be able to step out of any position she's in easily. Also you end up in a position where you're legs are tangled up, you're both balancing on one leg, she's pivoting and most likely in heels!). If another couple crashes into you, you're going to fall over. There's simply no way to take avoiding action. Take a moment and imagine how painful landing in that position is going to be...

So why include it at all then?

Well it is a good practice exercise. You can do it slowly. It's largely self-working. It lets you work on:
  • Blocks
  • Back sacadas
  • Ganchos
  • Enganches
  • Pivots
  • Ochos
  • Boleos
  • Giros

Not to mention balance, frame etc.

Just please be careful.

- Christopher O'Shea, 25th March 2010

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