Ocho is one of the oldest, most characteristic and most important figure of tango. Using the ocho the woman draws a figure 8 into the ground – hence the name.
During its first decades tango was danced on dirty floors, outside, on dirty-dusty streets. On these surfaces the beautiful curves of the ocho were clearly drawn. Nowadays you don’t see that a lot – dancers wear elegant tango shoes dancing on excellent wooden floors. :)
Things to be aware of before learning the ocho
This article is about forward ocho mainly for beginners and/or re-starters. It’s called ocho adelante in Spanish and front ocho or forward ocho in English. It is useful to recap on dissociation before trying the ocho – dissociation is the name of a bodily turn/rotation in tango whereas the upper body and hip face different directions. Many teachers – just like in the below presented videos – combine forward ocho with the previously learned cross step. If you are not familiar with it yet, take a look at the cross step here.
Video lessons on forward ocho
You’ll find both partner and solo exercises here. If you already know this step combination watch the videos anyway – you might discover something new looking at the videos from a different angle. And if this is your first encounter with ochos, come and learn! :)
Diego Blanco & Ana Pedron video lesson
Men’s technique – Jordi (tangotools):
Ocho can be lead in many different ways, however it’s worth noting that the shoulders are parallel to the ground and the arms are not moving up and down.
Women’s technique in forward ocho – Lia (tangotools):
This video puts emphasis on the way feet are held during the forward step. Three ways are presented: a natural step, stepping on the heel and a glided step.
Osvaldo Zotto & Mora Godoy video lesson:
Academia de Baile video lesson (spanish):
Please note that among many great video lessons there are terrible ones too! I’ll show you how NOT to learn or teach ocho…
Warning!! Explicit content!! As a bonus check their message at the beginning of the video! :)