Salida with alteration ala Veron   Leave a comment

Salida with alteration ala Veron

Back in the 1990’s, the San Francisco Bay Area was arguably the US capital of Argentine tango. Particularly the period between 1995 and the end of the century, saw the best of the best Argentine tango dancers make the Bay Area the place to visit, and the place where to launch their teaching careers around the country. Countless of personalities passed through our home, danced at our milongas, and taught under our auspices.

Many of those dancers visiting for the first time sometimes acted like children at Disneyland for the first time, and quite a few did something that we will always treasure and relish. They “threw us a step” as a way to show their appreciation and gratitude. That was in keeping with the time honored tradition of passing the knowledge only to friends and family. For them, it was the very best they could give in lieu of a hostess gift.

Times are different now, and the “sanctity,” allure and intrigue of the tango are not longer that intense. Regardless, our time continues to pass, and want to share some of those gifts we got from many who inspired us when we were militants on a tango quest that swept the Bay Area and began to spread across the nation.

We’re beginning a series of lessons called Tirando pasos, where we share a collection of steps “tossed” by legendary dancers who visited the Bay Area in the 1990s.

This one is from an exhibition at the 1997 Stanford Tango Week by Pablo Veron. It is a rare salida that includes an alteration and resolves into the left side of the woman in crossed feet system.

At the moment of starting a regular salida, the trick resides in the man managing to mark the woman’s side step while changing axis to his left foot and receiving her lateral opening with an outside cross with his right leg, or in shorthand, matching her side step with a back step. That’s the alteration. Marking the woman’s opening or side step is described in detail on page 76 of Gotta Tango. Instead of opening with his left, the man changes weight to his leg keeping his feet together and steps back with his right.

At the end of the first step, the man remains on the woman’s left side so he steps with his left foot on her left side receiving her left leg back diagonal. Next, the man begins a change of front as he steps with his right foot receiving her outside cross. Finally, the man steps back with his left foot while holding her on axis and turning her 180 degrees if an exhibition mode. In this case, he will return where they came from with a crossed feet salida to the woman’s cruzada.

When dancing on a regular floor surrounded by other dancers, it is important to respect the imaginary line of dance, so the man walks a calesita awhile she is on her right axis, and continues with the crossed feet salida to cruzada in the direction of the line of dance.

Posted October 11, 2011 by Alberto & Valorie in Gotta Tango

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