I wanted to know what you think about a ladies ocho in dancing the tango. Is there a differnce or reason for lifting the leg higher, or keeping the landing tight at the ankles, or keeping the leg together and sweeping the floor with the toes to form
There is definitely a reason! What you are addressing are forms of style or adornment, and these are options that may be taken by the follow, or may at times be led.
An ocho is, for lack of a better way of describing it, a swivel. (If we want to be VERY technical here, that is loving called a "quatro," as it does take two to form that little 8 pattern on the floor, though one "quatro" does not mean another "quatro" must follow.) To execute a basic proper Argentine tango ocho you bring your ankles together (with weight still on the supporting foot) and rotate. The lady has options of embellishment for her free leg. She may flick, she may point, etc. In crowded social situations, the lady may opt to make a small beat at her ankle, or may opt for no embellishment at all. (Larger flicks, or boleos, may injure others if dancing on a crowded floor.)
To make a large fan, typically, the man leads this by lowering the lady. Her knees are now soft and she has the ability, or the room, to extend her free leg to create fan. If the lady is kept "up" by the man she will typically not make a large fan, but opt for a simple ocho or other embellishment, and these other embellishments do include the option of trailing the foot behind in a fan-like fashion. You may have noticed in your American that it is at times difficult to create fan, and this would be because the lead is keeping you "up."
Thanks for your input, That all makes since. I never knew why on the Amer. Tango fan, but that makes since. The piece we were practicing is for a performance, so I am not really worried about "Close Quarters". Sometimes we get so squished on the floor, I could very easily turn the ocho into a "Oucho". My main concern was the appearance, and of course technique. Thanks!ScottyBoysDoll
Terence I think you are correct. That is a huge problem, and probably always will be. Across the tango styles there are basic elements of movement, and an understood standard of correctness of movement. (Incidentally, this is how I was taught Salsa as well.) This is why my philosophy has been to focus on the very basic elements and build from there.
I can use the OPs question as an example. In this case, OP was asking two questions without knowing it. Question 1: "How do I properly execute an ocho?" and Question 2: "How do I properly embellish an ocho?" I dont want to "bash" OPs instructor, but it would appear that OPs instructor could not make the distinction between an element of movement and an embellishment of that movement. But, to take OPs question further, regardless of style, proper ocho execution would be to pull from the inner thighs, dance on inside edges of feet, maintain weight on supporting foot while rotating... When we come to matters of embellishment, or even discuss the degree of rotation, we begin to get into areas of differences that define style. Unfortunately, this is where you start finding instructors who will tell you X is correct and Y is wrong, when they are addressing issues of style, and not basic movement. Why this is done I do not really know. It could be argued they simply do not know the difference, or perhaps they are trying to market their own special style of tango... The student suffers either way.
I wanted to know what you think about a ladies ocho in dancing the tango. Is there a differnce or reason for lifting the leg higher, or keeping the landing tight at the ankles, or keeping the leg together and sweeping the floor with the toes to form the 8 pattern on the floor. I kind of have crazy legs, and my teacher says she just likes sweeping the floor w/ her toe. I do understand this maybe a prefernce thing, what do must do? Thanks ScottyBoysDoll Postscript: Sorry, I can visualize, but it is hard to relay what I am thinking!
I've been told to keep my ankles together, and not "twist up my legs" because I "have a retarded left foot" *snicker*.
It's not "just" the ankles or feet or even up to the knees- it's the whole of the body. I think of it as "closing" each time I swivel, that way my whole body's aligned and my lead-arse doesn't sag behind. Well, it still does, but at least I can think about it *while* I'm getting bellowed at.
Oh, by the way my shoes should be here today! I am so excited! Yeah, I can see where thinking "closing" each time helps. I mainly just do not want to look like a dog lefting my leg on a fire hydrant!! Thanks! For your time, ScottyBoysDoll
Thanks You, I just kind of wanted to know what others thought- I do not like it when things involve a preference. I like cut& dry, right way & wrong way. I know this takes a lot out of "artistic"interuptation, but when you are learning, a right & wrong way just helps! Thanks,ScottyBoyDoll
As not an expert...I add my humble opinion. By the way congrats on shoes. I love shoes they make me so happy!!
The foot drag will give it a much more Argentine feel which I don't think is preferrable if you are going to take it into competition.
Using the basic technique that gives Tango its flavor, your legs above the knees move as little as possible, below the knees open and then close again. All the action, as I was taught happens below the knees in the Tango, which allows it to be sharp yet still progress along the floor.
Thanks so much! No Comp. with our Tango. Just wanted to know what others thought. I'm going to try keeping it from the knees down, too! I was just taught social tango dance so pretty much anything goes! As long was I don't end up with my behind on the floor!! LOL Thanks, again!
The "everything happens below the knees" in tango conflicts- at least typographically- with what we've been taught, so now I'm curious for more perspectives.
We were taught to move from the hip still, like in all standard dances, BUT instead of placing the foot and rolling onto it, to snap onto it- or at least, the lead would put the lady's weight more quickly onto that foot than foxtrot, giving it the stealthy, expedient motion. The 'rubber band around the thighs" analogy also came into action, so that it LOOKED like the action was below the knees, but really, the whole leg was used still, just differently in application?
The foot , leg and body action in T/Argentino, can, and does, vary greatly, dependant on what the sequences are. The weight distribution may vary considerably when dancing specific figures. Also, the body action and foot placement, will be different in a " driving " as opposed to a " walking " action .
The other major difference that this style of tango offers , is its requirement to occasionally use the arms quite specifically to lead and a " no " contact prom. is commonplace .
Unlike the B/Room style, there are many who oppose any format and it even " splits " farther in the style one chooses within the genre( Milonga, Salon, Nuevo etc . )
I am new to this Arg. Tango, a couple of things you said , I do not understand or confused on. What is meant by driving action- I know what you mean by "walking action". No contact Promenade? I know the Bronze American, and I know about 3 steps in the Argentine. So, i am really just getting started, at learning! Thanks,ScottyBoysDoll