16. Ocho Cortado

The close embrace ocho cortado or ‘cut’ ocho is the of the forward ocho in open style. The reasons for its evolution is the same as that for the back ocho in close embrace style - it is more compact and it can be done without compromising the close ‘embrace’. Again, there are many ways to get to ocho cortado. We will practice one of them.

Carefully review ‘Left forward Cadencia’ in exercise 12. That is how we will start this pattern. Also, notice that the ‘left forward cadencia’ is done in quick-quick beat and at the end of this the leaders have their weight on their right foot and followers on their left foot.

Exercise 16.

Starting with leaders on their right foot and followers on their left foot,

Step Leader Follower Count
1 Left forward cadenica Right backward cadenica 1 - AND
2 Left back Right forward to the leader’s right side 2
3 Right side with a clockwise pivot on left foot Left side with a clockwise pivot on right foot 3
4 Change weight to left foot (no other movement) Change weight to right foot (no other movement) AND
5 Pivot counterclockwise on left foot and bring right foot next to left and change weight pivot counterclockwise on right foot and cross right foot in front of left and change weight 4

At the end of step 5 the leader is on right foot and follower on left, you can either walk straight ahead or repeat the whole thing (which is a good thing to do if you can not move forward due to traffic).

Notice that the follower is supposed to pass to the leader's right in ‘parallel’ system in step 2. There is tendency for the follower to step behind her left foot (go outside) since she may feel a lack of space to pass through between her left leg and the leader’s right leg. Leaders make sure that you keep your embrace firm and strictly keep your torso in the same orientation and give clear indication for the follower to move in instead of out. Observe the video carefully. Remember that the next step is a clockwise rotation so if the leader does this too early the follower will step behind her left foot. So leaders, wait before you rotate clockwise.

Note that the pivots in steps 3 and 5 are more like sharp twists of the torso.

Note for follower. It is critical that you change weight in 4. There is a tendency to do this without changing weight, which does not have the same sharp and grounded effect.

Note to leaders. Make sure the change of weight in step 4 is properly lead by bring down the energy momentarily but clearly.

In this series we have introduced to you the general philosophy of close-embrace tango and given you enough tools to keep the connection, play with the rhythms, move in the line of dance, stay in place and rotate counter\clockwise in one place, all of this without taking much space.

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