Voleo Circular

A voleo is a special effect in which the Revel’s projection is maximized into the air.

Voleo = projection + power.

If it’s a front projection, you get a front circular voleo. If it’s a back projection, you get a back circular voleo.

The power comes from co-contraction. The mark creates co-contraction and the revel’s body mirrors it.

The power can be delivered in two ways

  • Pro (or “with”) voleo: He adds power in the same direction as the projection. The benefit of this kind of voleo is that the Mark controls the speed, dynamic and exit of the voleo.
  • Contra voleo: He cracks power through her body by moving in the opposite direction. This voleo has a snappy, rhythmic dynamic and the exit is automatic.

The mark can use front, side or back steps to create the power.
If it’s a pro voleo, there is no change of embrace.

If it’s a contra voleo, like any contra movement, there has to be a change of embrace to allow the partners to move in different directions. the Mark initates and the revel mimics lateral shoulder-flexion.

Whether pro or contra, the geometry for a circular voleo is the same. The Mark makes a co-contraction step along the perimeter of a circle around the Revel.

A voleo can be marked any time the revel is on one foot.

Revel’s work in voleo
  1. Take the extra power into your arc. Fortify your arc with the hip flexion of your base leg and contraction of your triceps. The shape of your arc should not change, the external rotation of your shoulders should not change, and the flexion of your elbows should not change
  2. Make co-contraction in your base leg by contracting both quadriceps and hamstrings.
  3. Contract the oblique muscles of your base leg, so that you counterbalance the power going into your free leg with rotational torsion in the opposite direction.
  4. The free leg’s hip moves first!
    • In a back voleo, the hip extends (contraction of gluteus muscles)
    • In a front voleo, the hip flexes (contraction of adductors)
  5. As soon as possible, extend the ankle fully and point the toes.
  6. The knee flexes last.
  7. After reaching the maximum point of the voleo, the contracting muscles release, returning the free leg to projection, toes touching the floor.

Moreover the revel does all this as a consequence of the mark’s co-contraction, and with the same speed and intensity. There is a range of possibilities for co-contraction dynamics – fast and slow, big and small, soft and sharp, languid and percussive… and the Revel must allow her body to express his intention as accurately as possible. If she has difficulty with this, it is likely she is moving too soon. If she waits longer in projection, she will be able to feel and echo his quality of motion better. Remember, the revel’s movement in co-contraction should be delayed, like the tip of a whip.

The mark should not need to rush to “catch” the revel at the right time to make a voleo. It is the revel’s responsibility to maximize the time of her projections, to hold her position using hip flexion, and not to step automatically or arbitrarily. The only time a voleo is impossible is during her transfer of weight because she has no free leg. Even if she has finished her step and her feet are together (in the position referred to as “collect”), her free leg must be relaxed and a voleo can be marked from here.

The revel must not fall onto her free leg after the voleo, automatically do a second one, or take an unmarked step or pivot. After the voleo she needs to maintain her arc, and let her free leg be ready to move in any direction. In a voleo-circular, her foot should return to the floor (to the nearest projection) and then she can release the torsion of the voleo (but releasing the torsion does not mean then pivoting unmarked in the opposite direction!)

Variations of the Mark’s step

The mark can use side, front, or back steps to mark both pro voleos and contra voleos.

In the front and back steps, remember:

  1. It’s not necessary move far along the perimeter (or to take a big step), but he does need to move on that perimeter and not on a line or into the circle.
  2. Maintain external rotation in both legs. Don’t twist your upper body too much trying to face the revel, because this often causes internal rotation in your back leg.



Contra voleos are automatically elastic. Pro voleos can have many different dynamics, including elasticity.

Vertical arc of the voleo

The height of a voleo is a function of the amount of power the Mark puts into the co-contraction. (Of course the flexibility of the revel will determine the absolute height, but the mark can create various heights within a Revel’s range.)

To mark a voleo baso (arc is in horizontal plane only) flex the base leg more during projection to extend the revel’s free leg on the floor and do not release this flexion, then make a pro voleo, with not too much power. (Some marks try to hold the revel down when leading voleo baso, but this is uncomfortable and unnecessary.)

Multiple voleos

A nice variation on voleo is to repeat it. The most common way is to go from a front circular to a back circular, or vice versa.

  • An interesting variation on this common sequence is for the mark to make the two sequential co-contractions in the same direction, this means that one voleo will be pro and the other contra.
  • An elegant variation is for the mark to make the two sequential cocontractions without a change of foot between. So for example the first voleo could be with a side step around her to his left and the second with a front step around her to right. In this case, the left foot acts twice as the receiving leg for the two sequential co-contractions
  • It’s also possible to repeat the same voleo. To do this, prevent the Revel’s release by using conservation of co-contraction. You can repeat the same co-contraction, or step through it to the next step around her. (For example, if the first voleo was marked with a side step to left, you can mark the next one by conserving the co-contraction on your left foot, transferring your weight on to it and making the next co-contraction around the circle as a front step with right.)

Alternative Exits

Rather than exiting to another voleo or ocho, try exiting to Revel’s sacada, or using conservation of co-contraction to exit to side step for a mark’s sacada or a front gancho.

Variations of Each Element




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