Basic Sacada Technique
A sacada is a displacement, meaning that we are taking the place of our partner. We are entering the space that our partner has just vacated. To accomplish this, the leader leads the follower to take a step and as she is taking weight onto her new supporting leg, he steps in to the space she is leaving. He should step just inside of her free leg just after the moment that it becomes 100% free of weight. To resolve the step, he should take weight on the leg he executed the sacada with and both partners should return to face one another.
Tips for Good Sacadas:
- Slow and Low - Don't rush back performing or receiving back sacadas. Also, stay low to the ground when performing them and that will help with your balance and will cause your partner to take a nice long step giving you a larger window for the sacada.
- Keep the heel down - As you execute a back sacada, attempt to keep your heel as low as possible to avoid any inuries.
- Don't fall backwards - As you execute a back sacada, do not lean back. Extend your leg while bending the knee of your supporting leg. Once the free leg is extended, push off the supporting leg sending your hips and upper body together. Often, leaders send their upper bodies and then their hips and this creates a falling feeling. Also, keep your balance towards the forward part of your foot and don't fall back onto your heels, especially when completing your step. As you complete a step, stop just shy of putting weight onto your heels.
- Relax your embrace - If either partner has a stiff embrace, they can easily pull themselves or their partner off axis (balance). The embrace should be relaxed and should slide, adjust so that each person is only responsible for their own balance.
- Practice pivoting - Good pivoting and balance is essential for back sacadas. You should practice pivoting 180 degress with your legs together. Think about pushing your thighs together as you practice your pivots.
- Respect her axis - Do not step in the middle of her step or towards her new supporting leg, as this will disrupt her vertical axis and cause her to loose balance. When performing a sacada step behind the other persons hips, if the hips touch then one of you will probably be knocked off their axis.
- Don't kick her - Step inside of her step but not on her toes and do not worry about making contact with her leg. There should be little to no contact between the leader's and follower's legs. You are not pushing her leg out of the way, you are taking the space as it is leaves.
- Complete the step - Leaders, finish your step by taking weight on the foot that you performed the sacada with. Don't just stick the foot out and then pull it back. Finish the step by taking the space that she just left.
Figure 1: Close Embrace Sacada (.11 of video)
In this first sacada, the leader performs a back sacada while maintaining a close embrace. After leading a cruzada, he steps outside partner to the open side of the embrace with his right leg while collapsing his right arm, allowing the follower to shift to his right side. This creates room for him to perform a back sacada with his left leg to her open step.
Figure 2: Her Back Sacada (.28 of video)
We start this sacada from back ochos. When leading her to a back ocho to the close side of the embrace, the leader sends an impulse around her, causing her to quickly pivot with her feet collected. He leaves his left leg free to recieve the sacada which he leads by inviting her to step back. In this figure, after the leader receives the back sacada he keeps leading her around in the molinete while crossing his left leg behind his right and performing a forward sacada to her forward cross step.
Figure 3: His Back Sacada to her Open Step (.36 of video)
We start this step from an arrepentida (a repent). As the leader leads the follower to an open step, he pivots on his right foot and performs a sacada with his left to her open step. He could then continue leading the molinete and execute another back sacada to her back cross.
Figure 4: His Back Sacada to her Back Cross to a Calesita. (.45 of video)
Figure 5: His Double Back Sacada (1.03 of video)
In this step, the leader performs a back sacada to her back cross, but does not complete his step. He pauses there and then performs another (higher) sacada with his right leg.
Figure 6: His Back Sacadas to Both Sides of the Embrace (1.14 of video)
FIgure 7: Altering the Speed of the Back Sacada (1.22 of video)
We should constantly be adjusting our steps to the music. If the music slows down, then we can slow down and move almost in slow motion. If we are moving together then this can be a lot of fun.
Figure 8: Interrupted Cruzada to Back Sacada (1.59 of video)
The leader leads a cruzada but does not give her time to settle. As she is crossing, he pivots her and they both step forward and he then performs a back sacada to her forward cross.
Figure 9: Double Back Sacadas (4.13 of video)
Here the leader performs a back sacada to her forward cross and then leads her to collect and to then perform a back sacada to him.
This has nothing to do with sacadas, but watch the leg wrap at 1.47 and see how Shelley completes the wrap and flicks her foot right on the accent in the music. I CAN'T LEAD THAT. That is her paying attention to the music and trying to accent the step.
Demonstration performed to "Forma" by Bajofondo Tango Club