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Creative Weight Change Part 1 with Cruzada and Parada

Teachers: Clint Rauscher and Shelley Brooks
Song: Solamente Ella by Carlos di Sarli with Jorge Durán 1945
More at: Tangology101.com

The main focus of this class is the idea of having the follower change weight in order to enter into cross system rather than the leader and dancing slowly and elegantly with women taking an active role. Then we added a short figure including a cruzada (cross), with a parada (stop) mordida (bite).  

Cruzada with Paradas, Boleo and Sacada

06/03/2013
Teachers: Clint Rauscher & Shelley Brooks
 
This is another step in our series on "Steps for the Social Dance Floor." These are steps that should work well on the social dance floor. They compliment the connection between the dancers, their connection with the music and with the other dancers on the dance floor. We originally thought of this step as being an intermediate figure, but later found it was more of an advanced figure, which requires a lot of precision and subtlety.  It also includes a nice embellishment for the men after leading the cruzada.
 

 
For more classes: http://www.tangology101.com

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)



 

Paradas and Barridas in Close Embrace

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.

Video Demonstration:

 

Intro to Barridas, Pasadas y Paradas

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:

  1. We send our free leg (left) to find the floor where we are about to step
  2. We begin to transfer our weight to our new supporting leg (left)
  3. We finish transferring our weight to our new supporting leg (left)
  4. We collect our new free leg (right) next to our supporting leg (left).

Practice finding and feeling all 4 parts of a step by taking slow, deliberate side steps. Feel every moment of the step.

Barrida Technique
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.

Tips:

  • Triangles - We are often forming triangles when we do barridas. Notice in the video, if you look at the 12sec mark, when the the barrida is being initiated we could form a triangle by drawing a line from the mans left to the woman's left to the two left feet. Then when the barrida is executed the triangle would simply flip, seen at the 15sec mark.
  • The leader wants to find the forward part (toe area) of her free foot with the forward part of his foot. He does not want to go in too deep. See Image 1 below.
  • The leader starts with his free leg’s knee bent and straightens it during the barrida. His supporting leg should be bent slightly, so that he can be grounded and very well balanced during the barrida.
  • Once the barrida has been initiated, the follower wants to apply just a tiny amount of pressure against his foot, so that she can easily stay with him. This would include going up into the air with the feet.
  • Technically the barrida is usually an illusion. The leader is leading her to step and it only appears as if her foot is being dragged, but it is nice to have enough pressure so that the drag is felt.
  • The leader should turn to get the hip of his free leg close to the hip of her free leg. This should result in his supporting foot being parallel to her supporting foot. See Image 2 below.
Image 1
Image 2

Figure 1: Simple Sacada

  1. We start out this move with back crosses (ochos). When I lead her back cross to the open side of the embrace, I initiate a barrida with my right to her right.
  2. I then lead her to take weight on her right. My weight is still on my left and I don't collect.
  3. I lead her to take a forward cross step, passing over my right foot (pasada) as I take weight onto my right. We pivot to return to our neutral position.
  4. We could do an arrepentida to return to line of dance.

Figure 1: His and Her Sacadas

  1. We start out this move with back crosses (ochos). When I lead her back cross to the open side of the embrace, I initiate a barrida with my right to her right.
  2. I then lead her to take weight on her right, while I collect my feet around her right foot (mordida / bite).
  3. I leave her on her right while I switch weight to my left and then lead a back cross to the open side of the embrace (my left side and her right side) for both of us.
  4. As we complete our back crosses, I lead her to execute a barrida to my left with her right and switch weight to her right. In the video, notice the triangle we create at 1:19. Also, leaders need to adjust their left foot at the end of this step to give her more room for the next step.
  5. Now, I lead her to take a forward cross step over my left foot, as I pivot and take weight onto my left foot creating a sacada to her right foot.
  6. We pivot to our neutral position as I switch weight to my right so that we end in parallel system with me on my right and her on her left.

 

Part II:

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.

  1. The sequence begins from back crosses (ochos). When the leader leads the woman to a back cross to his right side he stops her (parada) mid-step and extends his right foot to find her left foot. He wants to put the forward part of his right foot to the forward part of her left foot, not going in very deep, just right at the toes. 19 sec of video
  2. He then takes weight on his right and steps around with his left to face her. His feet collect around her left foot creating a mordida (bite). Again, his left should not go in deep and the contact should only be at the forward part of the foot. 40 sec of video
  3. He then switches weight to his left and steps back and around with his right bringing her forward onto her left. At this point she should have her feet surrounding his left foot (mordida). Notice in the video that when I step back Shelley just comes straight forward onto her axis but no further and the I don't lean back, but rather keep my upper body over my hips while I settle my weight onto my back leg (right). 52 sec of video
  4. At this point, she is facing me so if I were to lead her to take a forward step she would have to walk into me, so I pivot her counter-clockwise. She is still on her left foot. Then I lead her to take a forward cross step over my left (pasada) and around me with her right as I take weight on my left. 54 sec of video
  5. Then I lead her to pivot and to take another forward cross as I return to my right. We are back in parallel system and can walk out.

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.

Tips:

  • Triangles - We are often forming triangles when we do barridas. Notice in the video, if you look at the 2.38 mark, when the the barrida is being initiated and when it is completed.
  • The leader wants to find the forward part (toe area) of her free foot with the forward part of his foot. He does not want to go in too deep. See Image 1 below.
  • Once the barrida has been initiated, the follower wants to apply just a tiny amount of pressure against his foot, so that she can easily stay with him. She should also keep her foot on the floor and not to take it up into the air unless the leader takes his foot up in the air.
  • As the follower's foot is being swept, she should pivot on her supporting foot to keep her hips and upper body facing in the same direction as her foot that is being swept. 3.03 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

 

Part III:

Figure 1:
Parada and Barrida from Follower's Forward Cross

Tips

  • At the 1.19 mark, the leader stays on his left foot while leading the follower to switch weight to her left at the cruzada.

Figure 2:
Forward Sacada to Forward Cross to Parada and Barrida

Tips

  • At the 1.47 mark, notice the proper barrida technique of finding the forward part of her foot with the forward part of your foot. Don't go too deep with the drag.
  • At the 1.54 mark, notice that as I rotate my chest that my left foot pivots with me to provide stability.

Figure 3:
Barrida to Colgada

This figure is for more advanced dancers who already know the proper technique for leading and following colgadas.

Barrida to Cruzada with Different Exits

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

  1. We take a side open step to the open side of the embrace. As the man transfers his weight to his left leg, he initiates a barrida with is right foot. To initiate the barrida, he applies a little pressure to her left foot with his right foot and she returns that pressure which allows her to follow his foot past the collection point and to the other side of her foot creating the front cruzada.
  2. Now he transfers his weight slightly to his right foot which leads her to put weight onto her left foot.
  3. Then he transfers his weight slightly to his left and begins turning counter clockwish which leads her to begin a side step around him. As she begins her open side step around him, he performs a low forward sacada with his right leg.
  4. As fully commits to his right and continues the counter clock wise turn which results in a basic giro for her (back side cross).

Step 2: Barrida to Cruzada with Foot Lift during Barrida and Exit in Cross System to Front Cruzada

  1. During the Barrida, the woman's foot should be symbolically glued to the man's foot, so if he lifts his foot she should go with his foot.
  2. After the Sacada, we are in cross system, so we simply exit to a basic cruzada in cross system.

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.

  1. The first two steps are the same as above, a barrida to a front cruzada
  2. But as I lead the front cruzada, I actually invade her space very slightly to send her into a very very slight colgada (Off-Axis Hang) as I bring her bring her around in a circular counter clockwise motion back forward into a Volcada. I keep the circular motion going until I get a gancho.
  3. After the gancho, I reverse the circular motion to go clockwise and send her back past her axis to a very slight colgada. Again I keep the circular motion going and then bring her forward again to get a back cruzada.
  4. I keep bringing her forward after the back cruzada into another slight volcada... just enough to free her left foot.