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Dancing to Donato - Part 2 - Rebote to Back Cross or Ocho Cortado w Adornos

 Teachers: Clint Rauscher and Shelley Brooks

Music: Mis Pesares by Edgardo Donato with Horacio Lagos (1941)
This is part 2 in our series on dancing to the music of Edgardo Donato. Donato's music is very rhythmic and playful, so we try to express that in the dance. The music has a driving rhythm, so we don't usually take long dramatic pauses as much as we would in other music.
Also, Shelley shows many embellishments (adornos) in this video and I would encourage women to watch her feet very closely. Often we encourage men to wait and allow women time to do their embellishments, but in this class we were looking at embellishments where the women are working them into the music and rhythm of the dance. In the demo, I am not waiting on her to do her embellishments, she is working them in and not at all interrupting the flow of the dance.
We always encourage followers to be active and not passive, but especially when dancing to more rhythmic music. The followers need to be responsible keeping the rhythm, not making the leaders do all the work. As we often say, "The leader can only get you close to the beat, but you (the follower) must put your foot down on the beat."
The steps that we looked at both start with a rebound (rebote) from stepping outside partner in parallel system. In the first step, after the rebound, I step to the side and enter back crosses. In the second step, after the rebound, I turn and lead a very compact ocho cortado. This ocho cortado takes up almost no space and is sometimes called a "milonguero ocho cortado."

Misc - Traspie to Ocho Cortado, Barridas to Paradas & Single Axis Turns

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)


Compact & Elegant Variations of the Ocho Cortado

Instructors: Clint "el gato" Rauscher & Shelley Brooks

Song: "Bailemos" by Carlos di Sarli with Mario Pomar singing.

Compact Ocho Cortados (for crowded dance floors)
We started by looking at very compact variations on the ocho cortado, for small spaces. Most dancers take several preparation steps to get into the ocho cortado. We tried to trim this process as much as possible. We looked at this in parallel system (.34 of video) and in cross system (.40 of video). The most compact of all is shown at 2.27 of the video.

Elegant Ocho Cortados
Usually, ocho cortados have a built in rhythm of quick quick slow. The first concept that we explored was letting go of the quick quick slow and stretching out the time it takes to execute the ocho cortado. We still want the feet to be hitting on the beats of the music, but we can skip beats and take our time.

Stretched Ocho Cortado in 3 parts

The primary move that worked on can be seen in several places in the video but at 2.12 if can be seen the best. We start with the side step with the man's left and the woman's right. The man stays on his left and leads the woman to a back cross step, then to a side open step and then to the forward cross step (cruzada).
Tip: The man stays on his left until he leads her to the cruzada at which time he switches back to his right. He should leave his right leg behind for most of the move and lead the move in his whole body. When she takes the side step, the man should pull his right foot slightly back to make room.
Tip: The man should step a little farther than her on the first side step. Each step should have a slight feeling of rising and falling into the steps. The man should not lift her with his arms but rather his whole embrace should go up and then settle.
Tip: Also, notice how much each person pivots during this move. You can not leave your feet stuck to the floor, they must pivot.

Bonus steps:
Ocho cortado with barrida to leg wrap (2.47 of video)

Initiating Ocho Cortado from a Side Step (1.54 of video)

Ocho Cortado with Barrida to Cruzada (2.07 of video)

Rhythmic Embellishments to the Ocho Cortado

This class demo is from a class on adding rhythmic embellishments to the ocho cortado using the music of Juan d'Arienzo. We looked at embellishments for both men and women. We started by encouraging the men to use their feet a little more to the rhythmic music of d'Arienzo, but picking up their feet slightly and stepping to the rhythm of the music. We also looked at using the quick quick slow rhythm on the arrepentida leading up to the ocho cortado and on the side step.

You can see a very basic ocho cortado at .43 of the video.

Embellishments for the Women
We started by discussing the fact the the men are not doing anything different. They are simply leading an ocho cortado and the women are choosing which embellishment to do.

  1. The first embellishment can be seen at .23 of the video. You can see that Shelley places her weight on both feet during the side step and pivots her hips and feet (not her upper body) clockwise and then pivots back and crosses.
  2. At .29 of video, Shelley shifts her weight completely to her left leg, pivots on her left and flexes her right foot up. (We also encouraged the men to be more playful with the music and to repeat the ocho cortado twice in a row).
  3. At 1.27 of the video, Shelley shifts her weight to her leg and actually collects her right. She then returns to her right, pivots and crosses. This one is tricky and requires women to be very fast on their feet.

Very Compact Ocho Cortado
At .51 of the video, you can see a very compact ocho cortado which could be used for very crowded floor.  The men simply turn their chests (not hips) clockwise while extending their right foot slightly forward. His weight and balance should remain on his left foot.

Men's Embellishments
Starting at 1.00 of the video, we can see several embellishments for men. Essentially, I am balanced on my left foot and using my free, right foot to place it to the inside of her right foot and then the outside of her left (and added a barrida for fun). I could also place my foot to the inside of her right foot, etc.

Demo performed to "Qué Noche" by Juan d'Arienzo.