Right and Left Gancho in 3/4 Grapevine
("Front, Side, Back, Gancho")
Lady swivels on her
left foot 240 degrees from
...Wait. During the swivel --
about 120 degrees into it
more or less, the man makes
contact with her left foot
Here the lady's swivel ends
Leader allows the lady
to put weight on her
lead foot before...
...shifting her to her
back foot for the gancho
DT: You have title this figure a "gancho from 3/4 grapevine". Why do you call it a 3/4 grapevine?
Andrew: The follower does 3 out of 4 steps of the grapevine, first a grapevine to the left, then a grapevine to the right. In each, she does forward step, side step, back step, then we interject our leg and she does a gancho. We ask her out of the gancho and that's the forward step, side step, back step, and we interject our other leg -- so that's the 3/4 grapevine.
DT: I expected the answer to be that she was doing 3/4 of a circle, but defining by the steps is much more helpful.
DT: Generally, on any back step of the molinete, would a gancho be leadable? Could the leader interject a gancho?
Andrew: Yes, as long as we indicate to the follower to take a long enough backstep. Sometimes a follower will not take a long enough back step in a grapevine and it may be due to their ability or a more subtle lead. If we are slow in the lead or don't have a wider stance, she may backstep too short. The wider stance by the leader will lead a longer backstep.
DT: I just said that the gancho was led on the backstep, but it's led just after the backstep, isn't it?
Andrew: Correct. We need the follower to place her weight or her axis on the backstep. When the follower does a gancho, she should be straight over the weighted leg, the standing leg, so she can execute the gancho and not fall out of it, as I call it. If the followers are leaning a little too forward or are not standing completely straight up, after the gancho they will fall into the forward step. And we don't want that.
DT: So there are leads in the leader's repetoire for longer and shorter backsteps? Sounds subtle.
Andrew: Yes, as I said, if our feet are open under our shoulders, the follower has to take longer steps to get around us to execute a grapevine correctly. If the leader's feet are together, her steps can be shorter.
DT: What is going on with the followers, Kana?
Kana: As Andrew mentions, ladies should try to stand up straight and upright and keep her upper torso very calm when you do the gancho instead of letting your leg affect your upper body, so the ladies try not to lean back or lean forward or bend over, which is common mistake.
DT: Kana, you frowned when I said a moment ago that the gancho could be done on any backstep in the molinete or grapevine. Did Andrew redeem me with his explanation?
Kana: I think of gancho AFTER the back step. Ladies take a back step and before she does any other move after she takes a back step, the next thing she has to do is close her feet. When she closes her feet, her left foot will go backward towards her right foot or standing foot. So that's when her option to close feet is interrupted by gentleman's leg. That is how gancho happens.
DT: So after the back step, the feet never do come together and the gancho is interjected.
Kana: Uhh, yes.
Andrew: I use this figure to teach accelerated beginners the grapevine. I have found that it is easier for followers to first learn this figure, and then they have the grapevine. For the leaders, it emphasizes the turn in the circle, so if they get this, they have the grapevine also. You teach this figure and then take away the gancho and they pick it up quicker. In the beginning, followers have trouble remembering forward pivot, side , back pivot, side -- the sequence gets lost at times.
DT: So in a way you are going from harder to easier.
Andrew: Exactly, exactly.
DT: Main points?
Andrew: For the leader, plant that back step of the follower in the grapevine. The leaders should try to put the interjecting foot towards the back foot of the follower. Reach all the way in, slightly bend the knee so she has room to gancho.
Kana: Again, for the follower, be standing straight when executing gancho, and I think of gancho as squeezing his thigh between my calf and thigh, very quickly, in a snap. It is important for ladies to keep her toe on the floor until the moment it has to leave the floor, and come back to floor as soon as possible.
Some Keys:A wide back step by the lady is favorable for the gancho and can be led by the man. The gancho occurs immediately AFTER the back step. Usually, the contact is described as thigh to thigh for the gancho, but Kana points out that though the initial contact may be thigh to thigh, it is more fully a "squeezing his thigh between my calf and thigh." It should appear that the lady's upper body does not know that her leg is performing a quick, snappy kick. It should be still. Lady's should not bend or lean during the gancho, and should return the ganchoing leg to the floor as quickly as possible, -- again, without disturbing the upper body.
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