Double ocho with two pivots
At the core of the classical dance are three traditional ways of changing the direction of the woman as she dances around the man. Each change of direction can take place at one of the three steps of the code of the tango: the inside forward cross (forward step), the lateral opening (side step), and the outside back cross (back step).
The characteristic of these traditional changes of direction is that the woman repeats the same step of the code she used to stop traveling in one direction in order to begin traveling in the opposite direction. For example, if she is dancing to the right of the man and stepping forward with an inside cross of her right leg, a change of her direction to the man’s left will have her pivoting clockwise on her right axis and stepping to the man’s left with a forward inside cross of her left leg. The resulting figure is what is commonly known as a forward ocho, because with a little imagination you can see a number 8 drawn on the floor by the fanning action of her legs. It takes one pivot to complete a forward ocho.
To dance a second forward ocho, or double ocho, the woman will pivot a second time, this time counterclockwise on her left axis, to begin the second forward ocho. She’ll step forward with an inside cross of her right leg, and change her direction to the man’s left with a third pivot, this time clockwise on her right axis, stepping to the man’s left with a forward inside cross of her left leg. It takes three pivots to dance two consecutive ochos.
The use of the phrase change of direction in the context of dancing tango refers to the trajectory that the woman follows as she dances around the man. Her intention must always be to dance around the man, either to his left side or to his right side. She must never “follow” by stepping back away from or stepping forward into the man. Changing directions while traveling along the dance floor creates a mesmerizing intertwining of legs, which is what everyone notices right away. In this lesson you will learn how to create another illusion of the tango with a clever and well-understood sleight of legs. A woman’s double ocho with only two pivots.
As with seasoned and smooth illusionists, to make a real impression with your sleight of legs, the set up, execution and ‘ta-da’ must have a good dose of entertainment and attention grabbing content.
The first minute of the video clip contains a review of concepts regarding the salida and crossed feet walking. At 1:05:00 we start with the setup. A salida in crossed feet system, walking three steps with the man stopping on his third step using the impulse to mark a diagonal fourth back step to the woman (1:12:00). This is what’s called a “parada.” Next the man sandwiches the woman’s right foot and passes over from her left side to her right to position themselves for the beginning of the first forward ocho (1:23:00) to the man’s right.
The first illusion occurs when the man locks his right shoulder to stop the woman before she completes her back step while touching her forward foot with his right foot as if he stopped her with his foot (1:14:00). To complete the forward ocho, the woman changes direction with a pivot clockwise (first pivot) and readies to step forward with her left to the left of the man. But…
As she advances her left foot, the man steps forward (1:32:00) having her land on his right side. As he pivots clockwise to open to his left, the woman steps forward a second time to the man’s right (1:37:00) beginning her second ocho without having had to pivot. The man receives her forward step in the open position, marks a change of direction, the woman pivots clockwise (second pivot) and finishes the double ocho having pivoted only twice. Ta-da!!
Hidden into the illusion there is another illusion created when the man walks forward as the woman is completing her first forward ocho. It appears that the woman has displaced the man effectively doing a “sacada (1:33:00).” The third illusion was to have relative new beginners learn how to do it by explaining the trick to them, force them to think, learn it, and explain it others, and then doing it themselves without being told about the “advanced” nature of the move.
References, Gotta Tango by Alberto Paz and Valorie Hart