The Ghost Guide to Social Tango 2nd Edition: Volcadas

23rd March 2010

"Lean on me" ~ Bill Withers


It's about "spilling" - taking the follower off her axis. Often by leading her in a direction that doesn't feel natural to step to - such as a diagonal.

Volcadas are not really necessary for social dancing. However they can be useful if you're stuck in traffic or every now and then for musical interpretation, particularly an ending Volcadas are simply a matter of good body mechanics. However they often look like a test of strength. In close embrace and gentle fluid motion they flow easily.

The follower can adorn the movement of the free leg. In this example, the leader does an illusionary barrida where the dancers' feet don't make contact and instead it appears as if the leader's foot is exerting a magnetic force on the follower's foot to bring it to the cross.

A Painless version

You can obviously do smaller versions. This one demonstrates that, provided

  • Both the follower and leader have good posture
  • They're in close embrace
  • It's a single fluid curve
  • They both know what they're doing

then volcadas should be relatively effortless. If you're using effort or doing more of a liner stop-start motion, ask your teacher to show you better technique.
MsHedgehog: The follower can hurt her back if she accidentally does the wrong thing here. They need to be led confidently and smoothly if I'm going to get it right, so if in doubt about yourself or the follower, leave it out. Tiny ones are pretty safe, but this big (in the video) would be too big with someone whose capabilities you don't know. If you try it and she steps out of it, it's OK - she might have a bad back or be physically tired. Just do something else. Also, notice that if her spine is going to stay straight, which is the safe way, her head may go forward a little or change position. Do you wear glasses? If so, they can get in the way. Women - it's a good idea to get your teacher to lead some on you properly so you know what it's supposed to feel like and how to to be safe.

- Christopher O'Shea, 23rd March 2010

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