I don’t usually get technical on these blogs, since I prefer to save technique tips for lessons. But I think it’s worth taking a few moments to write about the ocho.
If you’re familiar with tango in any capacity, you’ll know what an ocho is: A step with one foot (forward or backwards) followed by a pivot with the same foot.
Conceptually, it’s very simple. But it also reveals several elements and questions we need to think about:
– Are we leaning too much on our partner?
– Are we paying attention to our partners, or doing the ocho on our own?
– Are we using too much of our arms when leading an ocho?
– If leading, are we giving our partners enough time to finish their ochos?
– Are we rushing our pivots?
– Are we stepping out of the ocho before being invited?
– Are we tensing up the shoulders? Disassociating enough?
These are just a few things, and I’m sure you’d be able to add your own thoughts to the list. But the fact that we can even come up with a long list for such a simple step ought to speak to how important it is.
So, the next time we find ourselves daunted by a challenging figure that involves any circular movement, let’s go back to the ochos.
Refine them as much as we can. It’ll make learning more efficient, hard steps easier to understand, and improve many other areas of our dancing. More on this in the next blog…