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Ganchos: Leg Wraps I

Leg wraps are ganchos which happen during a turn and resolve in the same direction as the turn. In other words, if we are making a clockwise turn (giro), lead a gancho and then continue turning clockwise then that is often referred to as a leg wrap. A leg wrap IS a gancho, the follower is hooking (gancho) her leg around his leg.

We cover lots of information in our classes, but here are some of the major tips.


  • Leg wraps are executed on her open/side step during a molinete in either direction. In order for a wrap to happen the woman has to take a real side step. Often women skip or shorten their side steps during the molinete and that is a mistake. In the demo below, starting at the .10 sec mark she takes a forward cross, then a side open (which is where we lead the leg wrap) and then a back cross.
  • The leader should aim to make contact with his upper thigh to her upper thigh. He should aim for the area in the middle of her open/side step. If he goes too low or too close to the leg she is leaving then he will probably get a sacada instead of a wrap. If he goes to close to her supporting leg then he will knock her off her axis/balance. He needs to step into the middle of her open side step, but with an open thigh to recieve the wrap and then she should continue around in the same direction.
  • During the gancho (hooking), the follower should feel his thigh and "hug" his leg with her free leg. She should aim for the wrap to happen above his knee. She should release the wrap as she feels his leg straightening.
  • After a leg wrap, woman should not let her free leg float out, especially on a crowded dance floor. After the wrap, she can take her free leg up, instead of out, to release the residual energy of the wrap. Also, if she lets her leg float out then she runs the risk of falling out of balance and falling into her next step. After the wrap, she should relax her leg and let her feet fall back together (collect) so that she is ready for the next step.
  • Leg wraps should be done very close. If you are dancing in an open embrace you should adjust to close embrace for the moment of the leg wrap. Nothing looks worse than a guy stretching trying to get a leg wrap instead of just moving in close.
  • Let wraps can be done on either side of the embrace, but wraps to the close side are much easier to accomplish.
  • As always, a very relaxed embrace which allows her to breath and pivot easily is necessary.


Video Demonstration: