What is the sacada?

The sacada is one of the most popular figure in tango.  It’s name derives from the ‘sacar’ verb, which means ‘to take out, take away’.  Why this name? Because, optically it looks as if one leg is pushing the other leg away from its place, displacement. But obviously this is not the case, as the initiator’s leg moves weightlessly into place. Many times their feet do not even touch each other during the sacada. In short, one partner initiates the movement of the of the other’s leg out of it’s original place, to make space for his/her foot. Some instructors say that it is a simple displacement, as the leader replaces the space with his foot as he has just “chased” away the the foot of the follower.

Leader’s and follower’s sacada

We can refer to the sacadas accordingly to men (leaders) and women (followers), as to who initiates the movement and steps into the free space.
Leader’s sacada- first moves the follower away, then he step into that place.
Follower’s sacada- , The leader moves himself away from the spot and then makes the follower  step into that place.

Sacada Directions

We can step into the sacada in a forward, sideways, and a backwards.  It can also be defined by the direction of the follower. .  It’s not really clear right? :)  After having watched the videos everything will be easier… I promise :)

Tips and Tricks

This  part is for those who have already learned the basics of sacadas in class, and/or have watched the videos above.

  1. Some teachers suggest that the sacada is initiated by lowering into the movement the body, others say that it can be initiated as a simple walk, keeping the body at walking level. Do not worry as every teacher might have a different approach to the movement. All of the can be right but in a different way.
  2. In a leader’s sacada, first lead the follower, then the leader moves.
  3. For followers,  imagine that you need to make a large space for something to pass through, therefore allow as much space as possible  between your legs.
  4. If you are recieving a sacada, be aware of the timing, to remove your leg a bit later from where your partner placed his foot, than too soon.  During the motion, rather think about stretching your leg and making space for your partner’s foot, than about taking away yours.  Once you do remove your leg, then execute with a relaxed, bent knee.  In this way, one can avoid getting caught like a hook in each other’s feet.
  5. An important and key part of the sacada’s movement depends on disassociation technique.  It is advisable to find technique exercises, in which you can improve and develop disassociation abilities.
  6. The ‘sicle foot’ is a continuous challenge in dance, as it can occur easily in sacada movements. Try to become aware of this. Foot strengthening exercises can be done in any sitting situation: at work, in class or anytime  in front of the computer.

Now the videos:

1. Diego Blanco and Ana Pedron – Sacada Instructional Video

2. Ozvaldo Zotto and Mora Godoy – An ultimate classic instructional video:

(the ‘rulo’ means a small circular motion made with the free leg)

3. Sacada with forward ocho from Tango Tools

the following video is a good start for a small sacada combination.

Coming soon a series of advanced  sacada instructional videos. Until then check the other instructional videos.