12. Cadencia in a Rock Step Siiiiiide Step

For this exercise, let us define a ‘step’ as an actual weight change from one foot to another. Assume that the leader is on his right foot and the follower on her left. Recall that a forward step starts with an intention and then actual forward motion with a weight change. Now imagine stopping with just the intention and not following through. This looks like a slight sinking (or contracting the body) in place for the leader (the intention) resulting in the follower starting to move her feet back but the leader keeps her torso in place by keeping the embrace in place (this is one use of the right arm).

Now imagine a situation between these two extremes where the leader in fact slightly touches the ground with his left foot as if taking a forward step but doesn’t really follow through, resulting in the follower slightly touching the floor with a backward right step but not going anywhere.

We call this a ‘check step’ or ‘cadencia’. The cadencia is usually done as a quick-quick, where the first quick is the slight touching of the floor with the left foot forward for the leader and the second quick is undoing the first part and regaining complete balance back on the right foot. So the ‘move’ is:

Leader does the following 4 steps in Quick-Quick-Slow-Slow order:
Left forward cadencia, LS, RS

Follower does the mirror image of this, that is,

Right back cadencia, RS, LS
This pattern does not take you anywhere while you still enjoy the music, which is a great asset on a crowded floor.

Dancetutor: "Intention", what do you mean by that?

Sridhar: Intention is basically emphasis of various motions or "steps" in tango at the very early stage of the initiating the motion. For example when we walk on our own we shift weight to one foot that causes contraction of the body slightly and then we step which relaxes the body again and it repeats. When we walk on our own we are never aware of this and we don't have to be but when you are glued to the partner this slight contraction is to be clearly communicated for the forward walk to happen smoothly.

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