Right to Right Inline Drag with Mutual Sandwich

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The gentleman is past the
lady and her right foot is
about to be dragged.
Notice the gentleman's waist
level will lower below

To prepare for the extension
(next photo), the gentleman
bends at the knees

One more step (a small
one for the lady, a
larger one for the man)
to go.

Kana: You want to feel right side to right side connection. Lady’s and gentleman’s right side opposite each other. Common mistake would be to get apart from one another instead of his right side directly in front of her right side.

DT: So his right half and her right half are in front of each other?

Kana: Almost, yes.

DT: When the gentleman straightens up at the end of the clip on this page and in some of other figures as well, it strikes me that it is unavoidable that the leader and follower will be torso to torso, or against each other. I’ve heard some dancers from time to time, especially beginners, express ambivalence about the contact. Do you have any thought on that?

Kana: Many people might be little frightened at first but in tango, supposed to get over it. No fear of intimacy in tango. Get over it. [Laughter]

DT: How about that Andrew, can tango be too electrifying?

Andrew: For beginners it can be electrifying AND intimidating at first.

DT: With a drag, where is the foot to foot contact? What part of the feet?

Andrew: When the leader goes to drag the follower's foot, it's not necessarily a drag, we need to get our right knee on the outside of the follower's right knee. Basically, just accompany her foot to the next step.

DT: So part of the contact is with the knee?

Andrew: No, my knee is on the outside. The contact is the top of my foot to the top of the follower's foot.

DT: Okay. The dragging leg has to be bent, is that right?

Andrew: Correct, the knee needs to be flexible. We need to actually bend our legs through the motion and extend it and then we collect and take weight. In the beginning a lot of leaders try and drag with a flat foot.

If it's an in-line drag we basically drag with our toes. The top of our foot on top of the follower's foot. If we are dragging to the side as with the Ochos, we need to use the side of our foot, our heel is off the ground. We can't drag with a flat foot.

DT: Kana suggested that the leader's right side --head to toe– stays in front of the follower's right side on the in-line drag.

Andrew: It could depend on how long of a drag. It could be small and we'll stay right side in front of right side. But with a longer drag, I go into a lunge and I get my body past hers and I leave my right foot behind. My right leg will be against her right leg because my right knee has to be on the outside of her right knee.

Kana: What I was talking about right side right side is that common mistake that beginners make is get too offset and try to do only the leg in-between them and so far away try to drag. So it doesn't even look together. You will see the distortion when that happens clearly, but they often get too much distance between standing legs – left leg and left leg.

DT: So the distance between the couple is the distance between their standing left legs, no?

Andrew: True. I could match my left leg with her left leg or I could go into a lunge and go past her. But as Kana was saying, beginners sometimes tend to get to far away and the leader then has to drag the follower's foot on the diagonal. And another tendency for followers is to direct her foot to the side rather than straight back.

DT: It was not what we illustrating on this page, but I wanted to ask Andrew about the leader walking backwards. Do you do that much?

Andrew: I do not walk backwards a lot as a leader but what I keep in mind is that just as the follower walks backwards, I need to extend and reach with the ball of my foot and have that very slight lean forward. So I'm not walking backwards with a flat foot or placing my heel first. I always walk with the ball of my foot, reaching.

DT: Are you as the leader walking backwards the same as the follower would walk backwards ?

Andrew: Yes.

DT: Andrew, from the leader's perspective, are all drags alike?

Andrew: The drag is pretty much the same thing. it's just a matter of how we enter it, if we take the drag from the back ocho we are actually starting the side step of a molinete. If we were to just change the ocho into a molinete without the drag, it's basically the same thing. Except we are forcing the side step of the molinete.

DT: Does your foot stay on the floor on the drag, Kana?

Kana: My toes, I believe yes, my heel, no.

The Keys:
An in-line drag is straight ahead, not to the side. The gentleman's right is dragging the lady's right (a right to right drag). The standing legs, the left legs, need to be close to each other.

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