Tango Topics | Exploring Your Dance

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The Linear Ocho Cortado

The word ‘Cortado’ translates into English as ‘cut’ or cutted (which isn’t a word in English) or an Ocho that is Cut. In today’s version of the modern Ocho Cortado, it rarely resembles its Ocho roots. It’s no wonder when people say the words for the first few times they get a little confused and can’t see the embedded Ocho properties that are sitting in front of them.

When we think of ochos, we tend to only think of BACK (Traveling) Ochos, not their Forward variety which is where the confusion comes from. Further, still it’s the interruption that of the Ocho (hence the ‘cut’ part) that people don’t see which creates even more confusion.

Today’s Tango Topic looks at this venerable Tango Turn and Vocabulary and looks at the Linear version of it, known as “The Linear Ocho Cortado”. So named because it’s done along a line. It should be noted that Tango Topics contains several variations of this venerable piece of vocabulary and that you really should check them all out. There’s lots and lots and lots of variation with this stuff. Further, still it should also be noted that this Linear Ocho Cortado is the ‘vanilla’ version of the Cortado. It’s the most common form and in Today’s Tango Topic we will not be showing any of the variations of the Cortado. For that, you really should go visit the link below and look at the other options. That said, let’s dive right into Today’s Tango Topic: The Linear Ocho Cortado.

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Have you seen our post on the Seven Basic Moves of Tango ? Quite possibly one of the more educational pieces of our yappage that really breaks down what the vocabulary is all about. The reason we stay that understanding what the dance is comprised of will give you a greater ability to change it to what you want it to be.
Learn About > The Seven Basic Moves of Tango

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What is a ‘Linear Ocho Cortado’ ? The are multiple versions or ideas of the Cortado. However, this particular piece of vocabulary is also what we consider to be one of the Seven Foundational Moves of Tango that every dancer must learn in order to be a socially competent dancer. Note that we said, not ‘Lead’, not ‘Follower’, but ‘Dancer’. That’s because both roles have a responsibility to this piece of vocabulary which we detail below. The Linear Ocho Cortado or ‘LOC’ as we’ll refer to it from here on out, is not something that is learned in a very specific progression of ideas. First and foremost you must learn how to walk, then Disassociation and Applied Disassociation which translates to Traveling Ochos, then Turns (Usually the Follower’s Molinete to the Lead’s Giro, and the Milonguero Turn as well), then the Argentine Cross, and finally the LOC. The LOC gets its name from the fact that it’s done in a line or along a linear path within the Line and Lane of Dance and does not break that convention. The LOC has multiple uses, from a Parallel System walk (shown in the full video above) to an endpoint or completion element. Meaning that you’ll use it as a resolution from a Molinete/Giro structure (mostly) as an example. The vocabulary itself is done on the beat, while the variations on a theme can be done in half-time, as well as double time. The LOC can be interpreted many, many, many different ways from a musical perspective. That’s one reason why it’s so venerable and versatile.

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Have you seen the Walking Systems video ? This video series showcases the Six Ways of expanding your walk in Tango using: Parallel System Walking, Cross System Walking, Three Track Walking, ‘Lazy’ Ochos, The Snake Walks, & Alternate Walking.

Learn > The Six Ways of Walking

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There’s a lot more to this ArticleThere’s the extensive Lead’s Perspective, the deeper Follower’s Technique Perspective, and sometimes we throw in a complete Dancing Perspective part, all of which are only visible to Tango Topics Freemium Registered Users, Gold Subscribers, Diamond Level Users, and Milonga Madness Users. To become a Freemium user, Registration is absolutely 100% FREE, click the button below, and you get access to this article, and over 400 videos, hundreds of articles on a wide range of Tango Topics. So what are you waiting for, go register, then login to your Tango Topics Library page and then select the “ARTICLES” button and you’ll see this article with all that good stuff in there. Easy. No ? 🙂

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The Reality of WHY You Need This: There are many moves, steps, patterns, and figures to Argentine Tango that are really cool. What you may not realize is that most of that stuff is ‘fluff’, they’re nice to have, they’re nice to know, but honestly, you’re not going to use them that often! Mind you this is one side of the argument. This ain’t that! This piece is one of the more venerable selections of Argentine Tango that you will use frequently like Walking, Milonguero Ochos/Milonguero Turns, The Follower’s Molinete/Traveling Ochos, or The Argentine Cross. Tango Topics take this stuff very seriously, and we say that because we use this stuff ALL – THE – TIME! Our case is that you need this stuff because > This is all about foundation, or one of the Seven Foundation Steps that we use all the time to create the dance that we know as Argentine Tango. That’s why! 🙂 That said, you do actually need to watch this stuff. You can learn what you need from this video and then apply it. No lie. No gimmick. As always YMMV and to remember that the video itself is only a stepping stone! You will need some private lessons to go along with it to get the ‘feel’ of things. That is the reality of WHY you need this stuff. So subscribing for a few months to TangoTopics to get what we’re on about wouldn’t kill you. Further, it would probably help to hear another person saying what your current tango teacher has been saying all along. Think of this stuff as one more reminder that you absolutely need to hear.


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About The Video. Total runtime for this video is 26:19. Lead and Follower Steps and Technique are separated. The item in bold is unedited and is at the top of this article as a sample.

Introduction – 01:46
Lead Steps – 04:08
Follower Steps – 03:02
The Couple’s Posture – 01:46
Lead/Follower Steps Together – 02:37
The Importance of the ‘Replacement Step’ – 02:23
The Follower’s Side Step Error – 03:04
The Close Embrace Version – 01:05
The Walking Example – 02:20
The Embrace Reminder/Closure – 03:16

Related Videos:

6 Ways of Walking – The Walking Bundle – Download
Circular Ocho Cortado – Article/Subscription Only
Ocho Cortado WrapsArticle/Download
Ocho Cortado Options – Article/Download
Rock Step/Ocho Cortado – Article/Download

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The Missing Information. Dearest Reader. TangoTopics is glad that you want to read this Topic, so that you can dig a little deeper into your foundation, into the music, into the codigos of the dance. However, you’re missing three important parts to this Article: The Follower’s Perspective, The Lead’s Perspective, and The Dancing Perspective. Which can change your thinking by informing of some important pieces of information that you may not necessarily be aware of. Watching a 5 minute video will not help you to change. Change is a concerted effort and requires a little thinking on your part: Becoming a Freeium User! As the name implies, it’s FREE. Register. You get to see everything above, and a whole lot more! 😉 Have a nice day.

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Why should you subscribe instead ?  Several reasons.  1.) Probably the biggest reason is to save a boatload of money. Buying these things outright isn’t cheap. Besides when you buy you only have access to the one video. Subscribing, on the other hand, gives you access to everything else so you can see the foundational material that goes with this stuff. 2.) Even if you’re a Free User, you’ll get access to free tips that aren’t available to anyone just reading the post like this one. 3.) Sometimes there are slightly different versions of the videos, that add a bit more content for the free user vs. an unregistered user. 4.) Because the Dancing Perspectives (Lead, Follow, and Dancing) are hidden to the open user. And that’s where all the information is at, unless you actually subscribe. Until you do, those very important textual descriptions of what’s going on for both Lead and Follow you want to read. 5.) And the real reason you should subscribe ? If you’re used to YouTube videos where you’ll see a performance, those Youtube videos don’t explain or walk you through how these ideas work! That is why! What you’re seeing is a presentation, a performance. Not how things work! And what you really need to see is how things work, and more importantly why they work! This website shows you that and more! 

Remember that what you’re seeing is a couple that is performing for the 15th row for a room full of people, they’re not social dancing. Whereas this website is all about ‘Social Dancing’  or how to make things function on a social dance floor. Social Dance floor ? Your local milonga! They’re showing flashy moves as a presentation! But not stopping and talking about how this works, why you’d want to put that piece of vocabulary there, or how to make things fit. This website is all about those things and more!

You could watch those videos and thereby spend your time, trying to infer, and figure out how things may work in that particular situation. Bend your body this way or that, twist and force this position or that. Place your foot here or there and figure it out. This is known as Tango Twister.  Which can be a lot of fun, but more than likely it won’t help you, because you’re missing something: The explanation from an experienced teacher showing you how to properly excute this stuff from a Leading Perspective as well as from a Following Perspective!

The goal of YouTube videos is to get you to study with those teachers in person. The goal of Tango Topics videos allows you to work at your own pace, in the comfort of your own space, so that you can play them over and over again to improve your understanding of the vocabulary or technique being described to therefore better your dancing experience. The goal of classes and workshops is to get you to come back over and over and over again, thereby spending more money with that teacher. This website and the videos under it are here to act as a resource for you to help you to improve your dance. Pay once and you’re done.

Eventually, one way or another you’re going to pay for this lesson, either here and now, or with them. TANSTAAFL! The difference between that lesson and this ? Is that you get to play this lesson over and over and over again. Further still, there are supporting materials (other videos) that help to explain the language and the underlying technique of how and why things work, so you can easily reference those things in the corresponding articles that go with the material, and or any language in the Tango Topics Dictionary. 


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