Ochos

Ochos are one of the most common moves in Tango. They are beautiful, and many more flashy and complicated moves start with ochos. It’s important to always be balanced, to employ clear weight changes, and to be patient.

Ochos always start out of a cross. To choose between backwards ochos and forward ochos, the lead must face the follow in the direction he would like her to travel.

 Backwards Ochos

  1. From the cross, the lead should face the follow’s back towards his right. Since the follow’s right foot is free, the rotation will allow the follow to step backward towards her left (the lead’s right).
  2. After the step, both the lead and the follow should COLLECT. This is a very important step which helps ochos be both more graceful and more balanced.
  3. The lead should rotate the follow towards his left. This will allow the follow to step backward to his left (her right) with her left foot.
  4. Continue collecting, rotating, and stepping.

Forwards Ochos

  1. From the cross, the lead should rotate the follow’s front towards his right. Since the follow’s right foot is free, the rotation will allow her to step forward with her right foot towards her left (the lead’s right).
  2. After the step, both the lead and the follow should COLLECT. This is a very important step which helps ochos be both more graceful and more balanced.
  3. The lead should rotate the follow towards his left. This will allow the follow to step forward to his left (her right) with her left foot.
  4. Continue collecting, rotating, and stepping.

Tips & Tricks

As you can see from the above descriptions, the move is very similar whether you’re going forwards or backwards.

Tips for Leads

  • Make sure to go slowly. This is a complex step, and it requires a lot of patience and balance. If you move slowly, the follow will be more comfortable and balanced.
  • Take small steps until you are comfortable with both your and the follow’s capabilities. The follow’s ability to step is severely hampered by her rotation, so smaller steps will help everyone maintain their balance.
  • It is important to become familiar and comfortable with the direction you must rotate the follow to get the desired step.
  • Try varying how much you rotate the follow. Shallow rotations allow you to cover more distance, whereas deep rotations look flashy.

Tips for Follows

  • Try to think of STEPPING, COLLECTING, and PIVOTING as three separate actions. If you muddy these three concepts, then your ochos will look sloppy and you will likely lose your balance. Pivoting and stepping are the most commonly muddled steps.
  • Make sure to employ clear weight changes. Do not split your weight.
  • Wait for the lead when stepping and pivoting. The lead may choose a shallow or deep pivot based on the surroundings and the music; alternatively, he may choose short or long steps. It’s also important to wait so the lead can try more complex moves, like ganchos and boleos.
  • Stay balanced however you can (tap a foot down momentarily, lean on the lead, etc.) – but eventually, you want to be able to engage your core and balance on one foot without trouble.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: