Back Ocho (ocho atras)

El ocho is considered to be one of the oldest figures in the Argentine tango. This figure dates back to the era where women danced in long dresses on dusty floors. The fancy footwork of the lady could not be observed. Only the trail they left behind on the dusty floor made it possible to assess her dancing skills.
The next footwork diagram shows how to get into a back ocho.

Tango ocho entry

In the 'entry' a foot change is applied: the follower weight remains on the same foot during step 2 and 3.
A clear demonstration of this is provided by Lieske De Vuyst and Yannick Vanhove, one of many Argentine tango dancing couples on YouTube.


The next drawings show the zigzagging movement which is typical for the ocho. Timing is important. The shoulder movements and the steps of the leader must be in sync with the start and completion of the turns of the follower.


Tango ocho leader
Tango ocho follower
Tango ocho synchronicity


This clip shows the back ocho integrally.

The next diagram reveals how to terminate (exit) the swaying back ocho movement. A cruzada of the follower reverses the initial footchange of the leader, resulting the couple standing opposite to eachother again. The leader takes step 13 and 14 with the same foot.


Tango ocho termination

A variant of the back ocho is the so-called lazy ocho.
The lady hardly turns and the leader minimizes his steps by not touching the floor during step 5, 7 and 9 in diagram 'complete'.

Tango ocho complete

The final video clip demonstrates the de lazy back ocho.




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