Controlling the Free Leg - The Free Leg - The Basics

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For The Followers: This is really about learning to make the body connected in a natural way. When you feel pressure in the body, this causes the center to move and that causes the leg to move. It's one of the most important ideas in following.

For The Leaders: This enables a profound togetherness. It's beautiful and fun.

Artist Name:
Mandragora Tango
Song Title:
La Payanca
Album Title:
Siete Tandas
Artist Website:
http://www.mandragoratango.com

From website: Mandrágora Tango is a tango band headed by bandoneonist Bob Barnes and guitarist Scott Mateo Davies, 2 Minneapolis-based musicians who are wildly passionate about tango. We have been playing tango for dancing and listening since 2001 and we are still going strong. We've played in over 40 cities all over the United States.

00:07
If I push her hands, the pressure goes through
her body,...
00:09
..the leg extends.
00:12
No pressure, it stays there.
00:13
If there's a pull, the pressure goes through
the body,...
00:16
..the leg comes back.
00:20
So, you can say, "Well I can use this."
00:21
I can get her leg to extend. And I can know
that it's out there.
00:25
I can get it to come in, and know that it's
there to drag.
00:29
He could also do it to the side.
00:32
N: Like that.
D: So we can in any direction.
00:40
And any leg.
00:48
If you look at the width of the foot,...
00:50
..the foot is less wide than it is long.
00:52
So, when you take someone to the side...
00:54
..you can only go from here to here at most.
Right? From the centre of the foot to the edge.
00:59
And that gets a full extension from the centre
of my foot, right here,...
01:02
..to the edge and gets a full extension
of the leg - for the followers, too.
01:06
If that sounds like a foreign language,
it really almost is.
01:11
We have a lot of trouble -
well, it's very difficult to teach people how to do this.
01:17
It's very difficult to learn how to connect
your limbs to your core, which is what he's talking about.
01:24
But, what we want to do is
connect the limbs to the core…
01:26
..and then connect our core to his core.
01:29
So, when he moves our centre just a tiny bit,
it moves the limbs or legs in this case a lot.
01:34
So you’ll see, I’ll move my centre forward,
which moves my leg forward.
01:39
But it also moves my arms forward
which moves her arms back…
01:41
..which moves her centre back,
which moves her legs back.
01:43
Now that should be a lot clearer.
01:45
Right? So, when moves back, her leg does.
01:46
But why is that?
01:47
Wrong way.
01:49
If we’re dancing, we're safe.
01:59
And so, we want you to do that, change in all directions.
N. Try it.
02:02
So, one of you get your partner
and you can switch doing this…
02:05
..and just move them a little bit.
02:09
And it’s got to be a tiny bit because,
if you move them too much, they’ll step.
02:13
So, move them just a tiny bit and that should extend
their free leg, quite a bit in any direction.
02:19
It’s really fun to move David.
02:21
And then, also, I want you to do this
without moving at all.
02:24
I want you to make yourself a rock,
standing on one leg…
02:27
..which is hard,
you have to lean into it a little bit or lean away.
02:29
And so, as the leader pushes,
the follower doesn’t move.
02:32
Don’t move the feet either,
keep the feet together.
02:34
This is an exercise.
02:35
Also I’m a rock.
02:36
You’re a rock. But you’re a rock
standing on your left foot.
02:39
What would a rock sound like?
I want to do a rock sound.
02:42
Okay, I’m on my left foot.
02:43
And then, as I push and she resists,
you’ll feel it right above the low abs of the weight bearing foot.
02:49
So, in this case, right above her left low ab.
02:51
So, I want you to say, when we lead this,
and when you’re following this, for the followers,…
02:54
..I want you to wait until
it hits that part of your body before you go back.
02:58
Good luck. Try it. It’s hard.