Learn to Tango
Argentine Tango Lessons : Stokeinteignhead : Lesson 5 & 6
Ganchos & Saccadas
Aim of the lesson:
To encourage followers’ awareness of where and how they use their body weight.
Warm up exercises
- Walking forward and backwards
- Forward and backwards ochos
- Lapis: quarter, half and full turn
All dancers to practice moving their body weight from one foot to the other – particularly sideways and on to a bent back leg – remember to keep your body upright and don’t lean backwards.
Lapis: One leg stretched out in front, weight on back leg, half circle outstretched leg with simultaneous turn of body in direction of leg, close feet together at end of move.
Start with your weight on your left leg. Let your leader lead you into three backwards ochos. On the third step your leader should trap your left foot between their two feet. Your weight should be back on your right leg (which is bent). Allow your left arm to slide down your partners right arm so that the space between you has increased but DON’T let go of their arm. As the leader shifts their weight back onto their right leg you will be brought upright onto your left foot. From this position you can be led into a gancho or a giro with a leaders saccada.
Gancho: Your partner will invite you into a forward motion, block the movement and give an impetus for a backward upper body move. Keep you upper body straight (do not tilt back) and relax your right leg. Gancho should happen by itself.
Saccada: Your partner will lead you into a giro and intercept your sidestep. Let you leg swing out and continue with a giro till the movement is stopped by your partner.
The followers will begin with their weight on their left leg. Lead the follower into three backwards ochos. As the follower steps backwards for the third time bring your right toe alongside the outside of their left toe and allow them to sit back on their right leg. Bring your left foot forward so that the toes are just inside the followers left toes. Transfer your weight and take a small step backwards with your right leg, and, in the process, bringing your follower to an upright position with all their weight on their left leg. From this position you could lead them to step over your left leg and into a gancho or a giro with saccada.
Gancho: Keep sitting into you right leg. Take you left shoulder right back to turn your partner to a right angle to your body (your partner is now facing towards your right shoulder). Your left leg should now be at right angle to your partner legs. Invite your partner to a forward motion. Block the motion before your partner is able to put the foot onto the floor. With you right arm block the movement and give a sharp impetus back. Relax your left knee, you partner’s right leg should now wrap around you left leg. Stabilize you partner and resolve position.
Saccada: Lead you partner into gancho. Nudge your partner’s right thigh during his or her first sidestep. To be able to do that you need to change your weight from your right to your left led and step forward into you partners right leg, nudging his or her thigh gently and commit you weight completely onto you right foot. Continue the impetus you give your partner with a giro.