7. Rocking cut-off steps, or changes of direction

First version, from the cross...

...leader's forward step of the rock....

...going back against the
line of dance, or, if the
figure were rotated, with
the line of dance

Back (The follower must
twist to continue to face
the leader)



Second Version: Prior to reaching
the cross, leader steps forward
left and twists left...

...and twists further left
taking his right step...

...and changes direction, this
time with the leader moving
forward. At this point, the
couple have turned 180 degrees.
On his next step, the leader
had the option to begin the
second version again, and thus
turn another 180 degrees, in-
stead of changing direction,
as in this video, by walking

The first version in the video begins just after the follower's cross, as the leader is stepping forward on his L foot and the follower back on her R (1st picture). He leads a syncopated rocking step to change direction to backward for him and forward for her. The follower rocks L forward, steps forward R, steps forward L on his right side, and then her R foot is free to walk sideways again. The leader rocks back onto his R, steps back L, steps back R, and his L foot is then free to step side left, beginning the basic step again. The leader must take extreme care executing these backward steps against the line of dance. Suggestions are to make the backward steps very short or to rotate the figure 180 degrees so that the leader is stepping backwards with the line of dance.

The second version begins before the cross, as he steps forward L twisting to the left, adjusting his position so that he lands in front of the follower (7th picture).

As the leader rocks backward R he twists further left so that by the time he steps side L the couple has completed a 180 turn to the left. Of course, it's possible to do this figure with either less or more of a turn.

It is particularly important to maintain a firm dance frame in this figure. The leader must keep his right arm, while encircling his partner, squarely in front of him during the rock and side steps. In both versions of this step the rock step is syncopated, so that both partners are stepping on 1 and 3 (or for variety 1 and 2) and then the 1 of the next measure for the walk out or side step.

The turning version of this step works any time the leader is free to go forward on his left foot in the parallel system*.

Follower's part: From her initial side step R the follower next steps back L, and then, twisting towards the left, she steps back R, forward L, and side R, being careful to keep her shoulders parallel to her partner's, and to stay in front of him.

Note: Though in general in Tango and Tango Vals the follower tries to finish each step by collecting her feet, or bringing them together, in this case the quick change of direction makes collecting the feet impossible.

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