Gancho from Left to Left Parada

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She is about to step over...

...and just as she puts
her foot down he...

...rotates, and she goes back.
She contacts his thigh, so
it's a gancho.

DT: Andrew, It looks like you step in, she steps over, then you step further in just before the gancho.

Andrew: Yes. As the follower steps over we slide our foot a little further in to anticipate the Gancho. We make sure the follower steps over, takes weight on the leading foot, then we go into a lunge that's the further step in. We go into a slight lunge and lead the gancho.

DT: Does that further lunge create room for the gancho?

Andrew: Correct.

DT: When does the lunge occur?

Andrew: We ask the follower to step across because she doesn't know we are leading the gancho. We let her take weight on the forward foot and then that's where her left leg is bent. As we bring the follower back over her back leg and stand her back up on her axis, that's when we do the lunge.

DT: When you bring her back is she up straight?

Andrew: Yes, and when she executes her gancho, her left leg will flex a little, but she's not going to sit down, lean back, lean forward, lean into us, lean away,-- we should be able to actually let go of the follower with both hands and the follower should be able to execute a gancho without holding onto us. If we had to do a gancho, we should be able to do the same thing.

DT: Kana, at some point, there appears to be thigh to thigh contact prior to the gancho. Do you feel that contact before you kick back?

Kana: Yes. Itís very important that you keep both your standing legs in very close contact. If ladyís standing leg is very far from gentlemanís standing leg, or, she doesnít feel his thigh just before the gancho, she may kick him.

DT: So itís thigh to thigh before the lady lets fly with the gancho?

Kana: Yes.

DT: I hadnít noticed before someone pointed it out to me that people do not gancho much in New York at social dances.

Kana: We should probably mention that gancho used to be considered vulgar.

There are still many teachers, especially from Argentina, who refuse to teach the gancho. They talk about it is vulgar to go in-between strangerís leg and do gancho. So people used to get kicked out from the club because of gancho. But I also tell students not to overuse it.

DT: What if the gentlemen is having a good time leading ganchos and the lady is embarrassed by it?

Kana: Ladies also have a choice that if she doesnít want to do gancho, Ė for some reason, sometimes the height doesnít match, if a short gentlemen leads taller lady to do the gancho, it is not comfortable, or if lady wears a short skirt, or long evening dress Ė the lady doe not have to do gancho, she can do boleo in front. So, itís good to know the option and itís good to know the history. And the gancho also involves some risk that someone gets kicked. When I went to Buenas Aires, teacher always said ďplease keep both feet on the floor at all times.Ē In New York I tell students unless they are 200% sure noone is behind them, do not do gancho.

[7a. Click for video of lady substituting a boleo for a gancho.]

DT: So the lady has the option to substitute the boleo for the gancho. Andrew, how often does that happen.

Andrew: I find that if I lead the gancho, most followers will take the gancho. And they can also do the front boleo afterwards. Some followers won't do ganchos, they will just do front boleos all the time.

Kana: He has long legs. Easy to gancho. But sometimes the height doesn't match or leg length doesn't match. It is sometimes impossible or not very comfortable to do gancho.

The Keys:
The lady's standing leg (non-ganchoing) flexes just a little, but not too much, at the gancho. The standing leg of the leader and follower should be near to each other. Ladies have a choice not to gancho and instead to do a boleo.

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