A Colgada is when the woman is lead completely off of her vertical axis to lean away from the man. The man also leans back to counter-balance the woman. In this class we will look at Back Colgadas, Side Colgadas and Single-Axis Turns while in Colgada.
Teachers: Clint Rauscher & Lena Hrybok
In this class, we looked at basic colgadas (hangs) initiated from close embrace.
Step 1: Basic Colgada
- We start with a side step to the open side of the embrace and I sandwich her right foot.
- To initiate the colgada, I move forward slightly, invading her space. Since we can't both occupy the same space she has to lean back. This is very slight and can be seen at :11 sec.
- At the same time I relax my embrace and extend my right arm out while I sit back to counterbalance her weight. Notice at :15 that we are not leaning straight back.. we are more sitting back. Think of the analogy of leaning against a bar stool or that your hips are a table with a stack of books stacked to your shoulders. If you straighten the stack will fall over. We have a slight bend in our knees. At this point, her weight should be only on her right foot and my weight can be more evenly distributed. All of her weight should be supported by the man's right arm. She should not be using her left arm at all and the open side of the embrace should not be engaged at all.
- Then I just return to my axis and while bringing her back to her axis.
- At 20 sec mark we demonstrate a slight change of embrace with the man's right hand shifting upwards slightly to hold onto her shoulder blade. This provides more stability for the woman.
Step 2: Basic Back Colgada to Alternating Side Colgadas
- We start the same as in the move above.
- Then I send her around to the close side of the embrace as I shift towards the open side. At this point, her hips will stay under her shoulders as will mine (see 1:00) . I am shifted to my left foot and she has now shifted to her left foot (see 1:30).
- Then we mirror this movement on the other side of the embrace.
- We ready to exit I lead her to the open side of the embrace and step behind and around myself leading her to take a forward cross step in front of me.
Step 3: Colgada with Shared Axis Turn
- We start the same as in the move above
- I start the turn by sending my left leg around my partner's right leg, taking weight onto my left and then pulling my right a few inches back to find my partner's toe. Then I switch weight to my right and repeat.
- During the move, I think of her axis as being over her left leg. I want to keep her secure and stable over her left leg at all times. If I disturb her axis then she will feel the need to step.
- For the women, it is very important for them to remain calm and keep their posture. They must also allow their left leg to be very free, they should not apply any pressure to the man's right foot with their left foot. He needs his right foot to be free to move back and around.
- At 1:56 you can see how I am stepping around Lena. My toes are slightly pointed towards one another, inward.
- At 1:56/1:57 you can see how I pull my right foot back slightly to find her toe. I do this on every step around.
Step 4: Side Colgada
- We start with a side step to the open side of the embrace.
- As she takes weight on her right foot, I put my right foot next to her right foot, so that my toe of my right toe is near the heel of her right foot.
- With her firmly planted on her right foot, I begin extending my right arm. She wants to stay in my embrace so she goes into colgada.
- I then bring my body perpendicular to hers and collect my feet. I also go back to counterbalance her.
- To exit, I step back and around myself leading her to forward cross step around me. Notice that she very much steps around me, not out and away from me.
- At 2:21, we show that we are completely supported by the man's right arm. Her left arm has no weight, but is there for safety if she were to slip. My right arm is all the way around her right side, so I have a nice grip on her side and she should feel secure.
- At 2:37, notice my toes are straight and pointing towards her. My right foot is at her heel and my left foot is at her toe. I am completely beside her. When I step back with my left, I am creating more space for her to step around me.