Clint Rauscher and Shelley Brooks
In this class, our theme was executing barridas (to sweep or drag), including many creative variations.
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Clint Rauscher and Shelley Brooks
In this class, our theme was executing barridas (to sweep or drag), including many creative variations.
Class Topic: Soltadas from Back Cross: Part 1
Teachers: Clint Rauscher and Shelley Brooks of Tango Evolution and Tangology101
Song: Pa' Bailar by Bajofondo Tango Club
Disclaimer: This is a class demo for our students to remember what we worked on. Even though we give some instruction at the beginning of the video, it is only a small fraction of what we discuss in class.
In this class we looked at Soltadas from the back cross. Soltadas are releases of the embrace. We break our embrace temporarily to perform a soltada. This does not mean that we must completely break our physical connection, although we could do that as well. One important note is that while soltadas may be very modern/nuevo, they really re-enforce our knowledge of molinete and giros. So, working with them can increase your sensitivity in your regular dance.
Tip: We encourage our students to keep a slight physical connection as we do a soltada. We discuss this at the beginning of the video, that I place her hand on my chest as I am releasing the embrace and she can trace her hand around my body to help keep us from going to far away from one another.
In order to get a successful soltada, we must be able to depend on the structure of the molinete. The molinete consists of 3 steps: back cross, side open, forward cross. Once the leader initiates the molinete he should be able to release the embrace and TRUST the follower to execute the molinete, until he re-engages the embrace. We discussed that he can re-engage the embrace on any of the 3 steps of the molinete.
We then added a barrida with a soltada from her back cross.
Variations in video:
3.13 We execute the soltada and re-engage the embrace on her forward cross and continue around her to lead her to another forward cross to exit.
3:30 - We execute the soltada and then lead a leg wrap/gancho after the final forward cross.
3:55 - We execute the soltada and I re-engage the embrace and perform a leg wrap on her side open step.
4:30 - We initiate a soltada with barrida from her back cross. In this one, we keep a connection with his left and her right hands. This also results in a pasada as she passes over my right foot.
5:10 - This is a crazy one.. here I lead the soltada but then step in front of her blocking the forward cross of her molinete. She wants to take the forward cross step but she can't because I am exactly where she needs to go. So she stops. Notice her hand on my right shoulder, so I use that compression in her right hand on my shoulder to reverse the direction and lead her back around me... basically "rewinding" the soltada.
5:40 - Another crazy one where after the final forward cross, I step behind her making thigh to thigh contact and lead a reverse gancho. Yes, there is a lead for the gancho. As with all ganchos, there is thigh to thigh contact first and then the lead which is a tiny twist.
These also work very well in vals since they are circular in nature. Take a look at 2:05 of this video of Oscar and Ana Miguel performing a vals:
Song: Tal Vez Sera Su Voz (1943) by Lucio Demare with Raul Beron singing
Teachers: Clint Rauscher and Shelley Brooks of Tangology101 and Tango Evolution
Note: This is a demo for our students and for perspective students to see the type of material that we cover. This demo covers a 1.5 hour class with lots of instruction, exercises and discussions of musicality which are not covered in the video.
We looked at two different single axis turns, both turning clockwise or to the close side of the embrace.
At 0:11, we start by switching to cross system and performing a barrida (sweep). Then we execute the single axis turn (180 degrees) and then we step back and turn to return to the line of dance. This step also includes a change of front, discussed in other lessons.
Hint: Keep it calm. Don't try too hard. Just simply turn, don't try to sling yourself around.
At 0:42, we start with a rebound step, twisting to get her to step close to my right foot with her right foot. Then we use the unwinding of that twist to generate the momentum for our turn.
Hint: At the end of the turn, we want to come back straight and make sure we are balanced and that our feet are together before stepping back. We want to avoid falling back. We want that back step to be controlled and deliberate.
When we turn, we have have three axes: her axis, his axis and a shared axis. Here are some examples. In a calesita, where the man goes around the woman, the woman has her own axis and is also the shared axis. Imagine a pizza and the woman is in the center of the pizza and the man is walking around the crust. Another example, would be a typical molinete where the woman is going around the man. In this example, the man would man would have his own axis and he would also be the shared axis. The last example would be where both the man and the woman turn around a common center axis, but they each still have their own axis stepping around.
A single axis turn would be where all 3 axes combine at a common point and turn together. Single axis turns often have a feeling of spinning and also of colgada, leaning out from the common center. In close embrace, the colgada feeling is very small but present. This small colgada creates centrifugal force which helps us turn.
While this may look simple from the outside, it is an advanced concept which takes months of practice to master.
Clint Rauscher & Shelley Brooks class demo to "La Vida Es Corta" by Ricardo Tanturi canta Alberto Castillo, 1941.
In this class, we took requests from our students and worked on concepts that they wanted to work on. Each couple had their own things that they wanted to work on and this demo puts them all together.
Traspie to Ocho Cortado
At .07 of the video, we start with an arrepentida (rock step) to the open side of the embrace. We then begin a side step but interrupt it and return towards the close side of the embrace (traspie). We discussed with the guys that it is more of a point and pause than a change of weight at the moment of the traspie. The great thing about this move is is circularity and flow.
Barrida in Close Embrace
At .22 of the video, we perform a barrida while staying in a close embrace. To do this I relax my embrace and turn my upper body towards the close side of the embrace while taking weight on my left foot, freeing my right for the barrida. I perform the barrida with my right and then take weight on it leading her to collect and then cross over (pasada) my right foot.
Parada with Barrida to Single Axis Turn
At .29 of the video, we perform a parada and then a barrida in close embrace.
Tip: At the beginning of the parada, I stop her with her weight still on her left foot. As I step around her for the barrida, I shift her weight to her right foot before starting the barrida.
At the end of the parada, I take a small step back and instead of leading her over my left foot, I sweep (barrida) her right foot with my left in a circle around me (single axis turn).
Tip: At the moment of the single axis turn, I tighten my embrace just slightly and breath up for the single axis turn. Also, the men should simply turn around the woman and not sling themselves around her. Don't overdo it.
Tip: The women should control their left (free) leg during the single axis turn and not allow it to sling out, thus compromising their balance.
His Barrida to Her Barrida to Pasada
At .40 sec of the video, I sweep Shelley's leg and then lead her to sweep my leg back.
Tip: During any Barrida, the women should keep a slight amount of pressure on the man's foot, this will allow him to go in any direction with the barrida.
Sacada Exit for Parada
At .50 of the video, we perform a basic parada sequence and then I tuck my left leg behind my right, change weight, and perform a sacada with my right to her forward cross.
Basic Alteration from her Forward Cross
At 1.16 of the video, I lead Shelley to a forward cross and then change the direction (alteration).
His Barrida to Her Barrida to Leg Wrap (1.32)
His Barrida to Her Barrida to Single Axis Turn (1.43)
Single Axis Turn from Side Step (1.53)
Embellishment for the Men at Parada (2.00)
This was our second week of looking at split weight moments. Most all split weight moments involve a parada since we are at least temporarily pausing at the moment in the exact middle of our step. At that moment we can shift weight to a new leg or back to the leg we just left.
Circular Cruzada from Split Weight (0.26 of Video)
In the first figure, we go to the close side of the embrace in cross system. Stop in the middle of our step and then continue around in spiral (counter-clockwise) until she crosses (cruzada). Then we continue turning counter-clockwise until we are back to the line of dance. We try to keep a steady flow to this move, the pause (parada) should be very momentary.
Turning Walk from Split Weight (0.39 of Video)
In this figure, we go the close side of the embrace in cross system. We freeze her in the middle oher step (split weight) and then step around her, stand back up straight and wait for her to collect and then the leader steps back leading her to a forward step to the close side.
Parada to the Close Side in Close Embrace (0:13 of Video)
In this figure, we looked at performing a basic parada figure while maintaining a close embrace. Often the couple breaks the close embrace and transitions to an open embrace to perform a parada. There is nothing wrong with this, but for the purposes of this class we are maintaining a solid connection in our torsos during the parada. To do this, when the leader initiates her for first back cross (ocho) he stops her with her weight split or even more towards the forward leg. This way both leader and follower can stay standing up straight without leaning or being pulled over. To accomplish this he must relax his embrace and she must pivot and roll her body across his chest instead of trying to stay glued flat to his chest.
Parada to the Close Side with Barrida in Close Embrace (0:49 of Video)
This figure is the same as above only we added a barrida. Since we have stopped her with her weight split to initiate the parada, when we step around the follower her weight is naturally shifted to her back leg. We do not have to do much to accomplish this, the mere fact of us going around her should naturally make this weight change happen. When the leader steps around her several problems can happen. If he steps too close then he will enter her space ad knock her off her axis and if he steps too far way he will pull her off her axis. So, he has to step just far enough away to to pull her off her axis but still leave enough room to sweep (barrida) her free foot between their feet.
Parada to the Open Side in Close Embrace (0:58 of Video)
This is a parada performed on the open side of the embrace. The concept is the same as above, only the leaders need to really relex the right arms and allow her to pivot/turn in the embrace. Both partners should still stay standing up straight and not lean forward or back.
Parada to the Open Side with Barrida in Close Embrace (1:08 of Video)
This figure is the same as the last one only we add a barrida after the parada. With this barrida (sweep) we are stepping into her path and then sweeping her foot to our foot before resolving the figure.
A Barrida (a sweep, a drag) is the dragging of a partner’s free leg during a Caminata (walk) or Giro (turn). During this series, we will examine the proper technique for leading and following both external and internal Barridas in both open and close embrace. During the class we will also look at Paradas (stops) and Pasadas (passovers). Barridas are also known as, Arrastre (sweep, sweeping) and Llevada (carried, carrying).
4 Parts of a Step
Each step that we take in tango consists of 4 separate parts. Imagine that your supporting leg is your right leg, meaning that your weight is completely on your right leg:
Practice finding and feeling all 4 parts of a step by taking slow, deliberate side steps. Feel every moment of the step.
Barridas are largely about positioning. While walking or turning the leader wants to stop his embrace while the follower is between her steps, so that she is mid-stride with her legs apart. He then positions himself over his new supporting leg, without shifting his embrace which might cause her to complete her step. He then uses his free leg to find the leg he wants to sweep. He leads her to transfer her weight to her new supporting leg and sweeps her free leg. Once he has completed the barrida he should lead her to settle her weight over her new supporting leg and to collect.
Figure 1: Simple Sacada
Figure 1: His and Her Sacadas
In this second part, we look at paradas which are stops and happen whenever we stop our movement for any length of time and pasadas which happen whenever one partner has to step over (pass over) the other partner's foot or leg.
Figure 1: Basic Parada Sequence
We started by looking at a very basic parada sequence.
Figure 2: Basic Parada Sequence with Barrida
This figure is the same as the one above only we add a barrida (sweep) at step 3. To accomplish this, at step 1, we must make sure that we stop her (parada) with her weight all the way back onto her right leg, so that her left is free to sweep. 1.30 mark in video. Then we step around with the left and sweep her left with our right. 2.07 mark in video.
Figure 3: Basic Parada to the Leader's Left with Barrida
This move uses a very similar technique as the other moves only we are starting with a parada to the leader's left (open side of the embrace). Then we are stepping more around her so that we can sweep her right foot to our right foot. 4.02 of video
Parada and Barrida from Follower's Forward Cross
Forward Sacada to Forward Cross to Parada and Barrida
Barrida to Colgada
This figure is for more advanced dancers who already know the proper technique for leading and following colgadas.
A Barrida (a sweep, a drag) is the dragging of a partner’s free leg during a Caminata (walk) or Giro (turn).
Teachers: Clint Rauscher & Shelley Brooks
In this class, we looked at executing a barrida (Sweep) to a front cruzada (Cross) with different exists.
Step 1: Barrida to Cruzada with giro (turn) to the Open Side of the Embrace
Step 2: Barrida to Cruzada with Foot Lift during Barrida and Exit in Cross System to Front Cruzada
Step 3: Barrida to Cruzada to Volcada with Gancho
This move seems so simply, but it actually includes many advanced ideas of Tango. It actually includes (in order): Barrida, Front Cruzada, Colgada, Volcada, Gancho, Colgada, Back Cruzada, Volcada.