Sacadas are a beautiful and dynamic tango movement. In a sacada, the partners displace one another, meaning that the exchange exactly the position of their axes! Sometimes their legs strike, but this is not required or necessary. What is essential is that the partners move at the same time.
There is always a sacada waiting for you in your dance, wherever you are. Here’s a foolproof guide to great sacadas:
Leader & Follower technique
- The person doing the sacada steps just to the inside of the foot the person receiving the sacada is departing from.
- The steps need to be in a slightly obtuse angle, meaning just a little more open than 90 degrees.
- Relax your shoulders to facilitate moving away from each other (and arriving there!).
- Both parties need a lengthy and stable flexion and projection before moving.
- After a big step like this, you need to push the floor hard to ensure a stable axis on arrival, before trying to pivot.
- Doesn’t matter who is doing the sacada:
- Flexion in your base leg (without moving!)
- Show her the direction you want her to go (just intention, don’t tug on her or she’ll step too soon!)
- Drive off your base, letting your body move her so that you step at the same time.
- For a leader’s sacada, be sure to lead her direction a big step and away from you, before going.
- For a follower’s sacada, give her the direction, but don’t tug on her with your arms, let the energy of your step, moving away from her, provide the energy for hers. If you pull on her with your arms, she’ll step too soon.
- Crashing: check that the geometry of your step is at least 90 degrees.
- Leader feels rushed: check to see that the follower is making a lot of temporal space in projection before moving.
- Not stepping at the same time: Extend the time of projection before stepping.
- Lackluster or rough: Put more energy into the flexion before your step and relax your shoulder joints to accommodate the movement.
- Chicho says that regardless of whether it’s a leader or follower’s sacada, the follower’s step should be linear, and the leader’s step and body slightly curve around her.