Tango Argentino > Sidestep leading?

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by A.Victor, Nov 28, 2013.

  1. A.Victor

    A.Victor Member

    I've been practicing argentinian tango for the last three months and I want to ask some questions, if I may, as they come from my practice.

    First I want to say that I love tango a lot and that I think about it dayly and play tango songs in my head. I'm from Romania. I'm 30 years old.
    My purpose right now is to master the steps to the point where I would be able to flow from one step into another with ease and at will, from any position.

    With these being said, how do I lead a sidestep, for the woman to do a forward ocho, BUT without me actually moving my feet from the floor?
    I am not allower to lead with my arms and I've been doing this technique by moving my weight towards the way I want the follower to move, but it makes me lose balance and she doesn't get everytime what I want from her (I dance with many partners during a class).
    I believe that a good tango dancer can dance with anyone (my teacher is able to lead a beginner through new steps with ease without her knowing the techniques).
  2. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    o_O you are standing in front of each other without physical contact and with your arms hanging loosely down at your side?

    Ok, not really dance-orientated, but can be done.

    The follower has to copy your moves mirror-inverted. Only make tiny intentional moves with your upper torso and watch how she reacts.

    Bring her weight on one leg by an intentional move of your torso to one side first. Then twist your shoulders slightly by a tiny torsion of your upper body. This should make her pivoting on her weighted foot.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2013
  3. A.Victor

    A.Victor Member

    Thank you for your quick answer, but there is physical contact.
    We are in open embrace, I have to lead her into a forward ocho without actually moving my feet (they are close to eachother, touching).
    The moves before this are: sidestep to the right while turning/preparing her for the ocho, forward ocho to the left AND THEN forward ocho to the right without moving myself this time with her so that I would prepare her for a sacada.

    Sorry for the confusion.
  4. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    0) stay equal weighted but bring her with your hands on one foot weighted 80/20%.
    1) also changing weight from equal to 80/20% lets her make a sidestep in the unweighted direction.
    2) stay 80/20% leaves her weighted on one foot.
    3) slight but almost invisible torsion transmitted by your hands makes her pivot on her weighted foot.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2013
  5. bookish

    bookish Active Member

    If you're staying in one place, her side step goes around you, no? So rotate your torso toward where you need her to go. If she does a "linear" side step then either you need to go with her, or she is moving away from you.
  6. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    I'll confess that I'm not crystal clear on the details of what you are trying to do, thus some of what I will say may not apply to what you are trying to do.

    IMO, if you want her to take a side step, but you are not going to step with her, then the only option I can see is for her side step to go around you (and the lead for that would involve twisting your upper body in the direction you want her to step). Otherwise she would be leaving you (and I would say that shouldn't be happening).

    The lead you described above, which I bolded, is more or less how I would lead a follower to do a weight change (without a real step).

    What I don't know from your post, is where you want her positioned when she does the front ochos. The two common possibilities are she does them to the leader's right side, or she does them while staying in front of the leader.

    It does sound like you are trying to get into cross system first (along with getting her weight on the foot you want), and then do the ochos. Assuming that is what you are trying to do, another possibility for you to do the weight change in place (and not her), to get into cross system. Then you can lead the pivot for her to start her ochos. Also, if she's not on the foot that you want her weight on, you can first accompany her on a side step first (before you do the weight change that she doesn't do to get into cross system).

    Hope this helps, good luck.
  7. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    You are both moving to your right. Is that correct?

    If so, you can lead her to be a bit the your right by letting your torso turn to the right as you are transfering your weight onto your right foot. Your arms are connected to your torso, so they will turn to your right, and it will feel, to her, as though your entire body is going there.
    (or at least she will interpret what you are doing as, he is leading me to step a bit further than he is moving.)

    This "leading with the torso" is something you hopefully have been hearing about, and have some experience with.

    Now, to have her do a forward ocho from here (she is positioned a bit to your right), you must first get her to put her weight on her right foot, which will free her left leg.

    One way to do that would be for you to do a simply weight shift onto your left foot. You could lead her into HER weight change by rotating your torso to your left, but that is a bit more difficult if you haven't been doing the lead with the torso bit.

    Now, she has her weight on her right foot.

    If you have been keeping your weight towards her with your center over the ball of your foot and with good posture, you should be able to move your weight back, away from her ever so slightly and enough to have her move forward (she has to be doing the same thing with her weight and posture). As she is moving you direct her to your left by rotating your torso to your left.
    If you are both have good technique, including clear weight changes, she should be doing a forward ocho there.

    I'll stop here for now. Maybe let me know if any of that made any sense.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2013
  8. tangomaniac

    tangomaniac Active Member

    The first part of leading an ocho is to pivot the woman in the intended direction, forward or backward. Why are you losing your balance? You have to solve that problem before you can lead the ocho.
  9. NZ_Guy

    NZ_Guy Member

    The way I do it relies on the follower being confident to take the step without me (especially if it's in open). I usually dance in close. Pivot her, then change weight to lead the step. I think of weight changes as being 2cm side steps - exact same technique. But for this, push the floor harder than you would for a 2cm side step (push as hard as you would for 1 shoulder-width side step) but step only 2cm to the side. Hopefully the follower will step assuming it'll be a 1 shoulder-width long step. Follow her with your arms to reassure her that this is what you want despite your body not coming along with her.
  10. A.Victor

    A.Victor Member

    I thank you for your answers and I apologise for answering back so late (the site didn't send me a notice for some reason).
    The sidestep is not around me, it's linear towards my right while I'm standing with my feet close, in starting position for practice.
    Feet close, standing upright, girl right in front of me. I do a sidestep to the left, twist her for forward ocho, I do another step to the left, forward ocho, than I need to make her do another forward ocho to the right this time, but without stepping with her.
    I understand now, I need to move my weight toward right and also move my frame a few inches, without actually moving my feet.
    Thanks! Do we also have a facebook group?
  11. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

  12. NZ_Guy

    NZ_Guy Member

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