Advanced Elements - Colgada
The skill of balancing someone either leaning toward them or leaning away is something that has to be learned from nothing. We start people leaning towards each other but leaning away is somewhat more difficult. Being balanced when you are both standing up is hard enough but being balanced when you aren't upright is even harder.
For most styles of dancing tango, the colgada doesn't occur very often so you don't get enough practice to make it comfortable. That's the answer. Like most things you want to learn, it gets smoother and easier and therefore more fun once you've practiced enough. (Our teacher used to say "500 times", which, at the time of the comment, meant only 496 left to go, so everyone would laugh.)
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- Por Una Cabeza
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- It Takes Q To Tango
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(From the website): Created in July, 2009 by Erskine Maytorena, a third generation tango musician and opera singer, QTANGO performs authentic Argentine tango arrangements as often as two to three times a week throughout the Southwest for tango dancers and listeners.
- We’re going to introduce Colgada here.
- I think of colgada as one of the hardest of
the very basic advanced tango steps.
- And then later on, we'll, in another video
in the future...
- ..we’ll have a whole lot more detail about
the techniques of colgada.
- But this is a start.
- So, fundamentally, colgada means to hang...
- ..and so, basically, we’re just leaning
away from each other.
- But we’re leaning away, keeping our chests close.
- So we lean away kind of as if we’re sitting in a chair
and keeping our chests to each other.
- So to begin with, I want you to do this exercise where...
- ..you'll just stand flat on your feet, you'll hold your partner’s hands...
- ..and you’ll sort of bring your butt back
as if you were going to sit in a chair.
- Until if either of us let go, we’d both fall.
- Do you want us to show?
- No I don't. Are you kidding?
- I knew you wouldn’t, it was just to have fun. I couldn’t resist.
N. He couldn't resist that.
- So, once you get that, you do the same thing...
- .. but now you do it with straight legs
on flat feet.
- And then after that, we’ll be in a dance embrace,
but we’ll still do that.
- And then after that, we’ll be on the balls of our feets
and we’ll lean away.
- N: "Feets"
D: Yes, our feets. The plural of one foot is two foots.
- And then, if you don’t speak English natively,
I was being really silly and that’s not true.
- So after that, then we’ve got the mechanics, as an aside,
the reason for that is...
- ..because this is Argentine Tango
and we want to be here, intense.
- Right? So, if I’m doing a lean, and here’s my beautiful partner,
I’m not going to do this.
- I’m not going to lean away from her.
- D: Hello Barbara, you know, that’s not good.
N: It’s just not tango.
- It’s not tango to be this.
- So instead, you’ll see my lower body will lean away…
- ..but my upper body will stay to my partner.
- In that camera,
they’re not going to see our lower bodies together.
- D: Yes, they did. They saw.
- The lead for this is the tilt of the forearm.
- So on my forearm, if I did this
and you can imagine a stick or a chair…
- ..you know, chairs are our favorite things
in David’s tango lessons.
- "Dear Diary, I watched another of David’s Tango lessons.
He had a chair again."
- So you can imagine, you have a chair in your hands
and if you tilt the chair this way…
- ..it would go away from you
or actually let’s do it here, to this camera.
- If I tilt the chair like this,
the upper part goes away from me.
- If I tilt like this, the lower part goes away from me.
- And that’s what we went,
that the lower part go away.
- Right, so you want to imagine that it's as if you’re doing that.
- So that the ladies' lower body goes away,
while her upper body stays with you.
- Let’s show the step.
- It’s kind of fun.
It’s kind of hard and it’s kind of fun.
- So it starts,
he’ll step side left, she, right.
- He’ll take her forward, up over, lean back,
turn, grab, spin, trap.
- So if I break down the leader's part – let’s do this angle
- We have side, I lean her away and I have to counter lean…
- ..and then I’m going to open my body to my right...
- ..and extend the right foot,
so I’m on the inside.
- Without the lean it would look like this.
- And we’ve done that in other sets.
- So you’re grabbing the sacada,
on the inside of her left leg.
- One more time, no lean we have this.
- With lean, it’s the exact same thing
except she’s pulling away. No big deal.
- N: Oh, right.
D: Right, right.
- And now, once she’s in that lean,
he can walk around her.
- He just steps to that foot…
- And traps.
- So after she’s in the lean, here I step to the foot turn a little bit...
- ..put the other foot down around her and go to it.
- For the followers, you just make sure the pull is even.
- And I use this arm.
- Yes, and you can use your left arm to pull in.