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Exploring the Cruzada Part 1: Tango

In this class, we looked at different ways of using the cruzada (cross) to make our dance more interesting.

Slowing Down the Cruzada
Normally when we go to the cruzada we cross on a beat and change weight on a beat, or double time the cruzada. Here we were looking at slowing it down and taking several beats to complete the cruzada, especially in slower or dramatic music such as Pugliese or di Sarli. The important thing here is that the moment of the cruzada is being led. She is not putting her weight down until the leader is settling his weight down.

Unwrapping the Cruzada
This is a fun move, but requires a very high level of communication between the couple. Here we are leading her to cross her left foot in front of her right (normal cruzada) and then leading her, while still crossed, to change weight back to her right foot. Then we unwrap the left foot and exit. We can also play with the weight changes while she is crossed.

The One Step Cruzada
Here we are leading the cruzada in just one step in parallel and cross systems. This clearly shows that the cruzada is a technique rather than part of a more complex pattern. The secret here is the followers should take their free leg in the direction that she is being led.

Overarching Concepts

  • Timing - For the leaders, we must always begin leading cruzadas at the exact moment that her free leg begins moving. We want to move in the direction that we want her free leg to move in. If we wait until she is half-collected then getting the cross will be very difficult.
  • Balance - For the followers, take your free leg in the direction that you are moving in. If you do that then you should stay balanced. If he moves diagonally, but you send your leg straight back then you will find yourself tilted and off-balance.
  • Let every step have a beginning, middle, and end. Don't rush your steps and don't take super small steps.