15. Back Ocho
The Back ocho is one of the moves where the technique used in close-embrace style is very distinct from the open style. The main difference is the lack of pivoting for the follower to twist the hip before moving.
The back ocho in close embrace:
Reduced space for follower's pivot
Followers, recall that in open style you first twist at the waist such that your torso still faces the leader but your hips are perpendicular (depending on the amount of forward motion during the back ocho) so in a sense you are simply walking backwards with waist twisted (rotated hips). Now this is the big difference in close embrace. You DO NOT pivot to make your hips perpendicular to the leader. Instead you extend your free leg behind the other leg in a plane parallel to your torso (as much as possible). There are a couple of reasons for this but
- 1) the main reason is that if you pivot and rotate your hips, it is extremely hard to maintain the connection of torso unless your are extremely flexible.
- 2) The second reason is that pivoting and twisting take time and the rhythmic nature of close embrace style does not allow this delay.
Starting with leader on the right foot and follower on the left
Step Leader Follower Count 1 Left side Right side 1 2 Bring right foot next to Left and change weight 3 Left side Left behind right 2 4 Right side Right behind left 3 5 Repeat steps 3 and 4 as long as you like
There are many ways to get out of the back ocho. One simple way is to stop at the end of step 4 above and follow step 2 of exercise 8 to lead a cross and walk straight ahead.
Note for leaders: Try to keep your torso strictly perpendicular to line of dance while taking side steps. There is a tendency to rotate your chest when the follower is doing the back ocho. You only dilute the effect of this step by doing so and send mixed signals to the follower.
Note for followers: Try to extend your legs starting from your ribs to get maximum extension.
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