6a. Basic Front Ochos Led Counter to the Follower's Motion

While front ochos are usually led WITH the follower's motion (see Level 1, section 3a. which you may review by clicking here), some figures work better and look sharper if they are led COUNTER to the follower's motion. Practice leading front ochos with both types of motion.
This ocho was led WITH the
follower's motion. The leader's
body is in line with the
follower's at the pivot.
Where he leads her to go,
he will go too.

This ocho was led COUNTER to
the follower's motion. The leader is
not lined up with the follower
at the pivot. He causes (leads)
her pivot by moving in the
opposite direction.

THE LEADER steps sideways and pulls the follower to step forward into the ocho just as he does in an ocho WITH the follower's motion (see Level 1, Section 3.1). However, once he has set up the forward motion of her step, he shifts his weight in the opposite direction of her motion. This action creates a subtle "sling shot" effect that pushes the follower forward and rotates her sharply, more sharply than in the normal ocho. Keep in mind that it takes a small counter motion to communicate the ocho to your follower. If you exaggerate this motion, rather than keeping it small and relaxed, your partner will feel as if she is being thrown around.

THE FOLLOWER's ochos are done just as they are when led WITH her motion. She, however, will feel the "sling shot" effect of this counter-motion lead, which usually causes her to step and rotate more quickly than she might in a lead WITH her motion.

The photos to the left, in addition to showing the different positions of the dancers' bodies in the ochos led with the follower's motion and without, also show their chests oriented toward each other even though they are standing perpendicularly.


The pictures show the dancers just after the follower has pivoted in her ocho. In the first picture, the leader has led an ocho WITH the follower's motion. This is the most common way for the leader to do the ocho. In the second, leader has used a COUNTER motion lead. Notice his body position in relation to hers. In the first picture, his body is in line with hers. In the second, he is away from her.

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