«The infinite Tango “ocho” »
The Tango «ocho» is more than just a simple tango step.
The 8 in tango is a famous historical move that is transmitted from generation to generation, first through the milongueros who taught us more than anything by copying and inspiration and then with the technique evolution, many teachers were and are teaching its structure so that students can enjoy it and understand it in an easy way.
In the beginning we didn’t learn about the details so much, we had to figure out what they were telling us. IT WAS «THE OCHO AND THAT WAS IT» (to repeat, practice and react to the movement, in my case to the lead).
The truth is, I don’t know who created it but over the years more circular sequences were created than in the beginning of this dance.
You had to discover this little gem without losing the detail and find out what was hidden behind this simple step.
The tango «ocho»
It is one of the most important and representative movements of tango, but many times it is necessary to give the attention it deserves and to know in depth this elegant and complete figure. 🤩
↔️This step is used to change directions and to give fluidity to the dance so that your body is not all the time «milongueando» as a block, it also helps to create other movement alternatives. ↕️
It consists of walks and pivots, but this goes beyond the traditional and simple step called 8 because of the drawing that is formed on the floor generated by the action of your body.
Why is it so important? What is behind this figure?.
It is a step that is identified with the «symbol of infinity», it is a complete and complex icon even if it looks simple at first glance.
Infinity comes from the Latin infinitus, is that which does not have (nor can it have) an end. The concept is utilized in various fields, such as mathematics, philosophy, astronomy, and in tango as well. ♾
But it has greater depth than a simple number.
It is associated with it due to the fact that neither the beginning nor the end of the symbol can be determined, since all its elements are connected.
The idea of the 8 as a symbol of infinity, since it has the same shape as I tell you above but turned on its side, horizontally.
It is a movement that combines your walk with your pivot, where you can see the woman’s body showing off her femininity by achieving that spiral shape. Specifically, to complete one tango “ocho” you will do 2 walks with a pivot in the middle to join the 2 steps. 🎱
It is super feminine and elegant in its anatomical shape.
But watch out! It also applies to the leader, it is not exclusive to the followers. We all walk and pivot.
The «milonguero» also performs this beautiful twisted movement, dissociated or whatever you want to call it.
In this infinite step the expression, energy and emotion of each interpreter shines. Ceasing to be just a simple “ocho” step and giving it the spotlight and tribute it deserves.
It is a movement that if you do it continuously, it has no end, therefore «INFINITE».
The true complete 8, as a result of my experience as I told you above, is made up of 2 walks and the pivot that joins them at the ends to change the direction and start all over, but in a «straight line» to really be able to draw the «ocho» on the floor, the «Classic». A round trip.
Structure of the Tango «OCHO»:
1️⃣- The standing leg determines where the body is.
2️⃣- And the free leg draws the path like a comet’s wake, leaving the walking trail behind.
trails left behind by the tango “ocho”
You could say that:
1️⃣- The standing leg accentuates the beat of the music
2️⃣- And the free leg follows the melody.
There are as many styles of «8» as there are many people who dance to it, but… what kind of 8 are you looking for? or what types of «ochos» do you know?
🔴The boring or the powerful one?
🔴The sleepy or the awake one?
🔴The rushed or the pleasant one?
🔴The traditional or the new one?
🔴The dull or the bright one?
🔴The casual or causal one?
There are many varieties of colors, tastes, sizes, shapes. It all depends on the experience, the information and the importance you give to this historical dance figure
We can say that there are different types:
⭐3- Cut ( “cortado”)
⭐5 – Embellished
⭐9- Infinite …
⭐10 – Small, large, long, with the heel, with the point.
It will be your choice, challenge and feeling, to discover them and to enjoy them.
There are 2 «classic» and well-known “ochos», the one going forward and the one going backward. (that is, the pivot determines the direction of the movement).
If you practice them in a straight imaginary line you will feel that by connecting the parts of the walk with the pivot, you are drawing an eight, and then with the continuous movement you will achieve that moment of infinity.
But beware! It can be endless and even dangerous if we do it without control.
You also have variations of «ochos» where the infinite drawing is fading away, opening up new figures and movements.
1 – If you pivot less, you can create a diagonal walk, achieving a new Zig Zag movement. It would NOT be an «ocho» anymore (but you can start practicing this way and then add more pivot and achieve the true historical «ocho»).
2- If you pivot more, you will find an opposite direction (with a big forward pivot you will generate a change of front with back direction). And if there is a lot of backward pivot, you generate a past movement in a forward direction. You would also produce another movement.
Stay until the end and I will show you a video so you can see what I mean by these options.
Do you dare to try different examples? It will help you react to all the different proposed embraces.
✔1- The classic «ocho» in line.
✔2- With less pivot.
✔3- And with more pivot than normal.
In this post I want to clarify some myths related to the «ocho. We as followers never know how many «ochos» can be led, but if we know the process of this movement and how to execute it, we will be able to control back and forth.
If you still don’t feel like you can control the tango «ocho», it’s time to take action so you dance with more confidence and shine.
⭐ You can achieve this by committing to daily individual mini practices to familiarize yourself with this beautiful tango icon.
I invite you to enjoy every movement of the «ocho» and thus you will stop guessing or anticipating how many you have to do.
We will never know when the step begins and neither when it ends until we feel the lead. But yes, I would love for you to enjoy its journey.
They are not infinite but, if the movement is not defined it will feel like infinity and no one will stop us ha!
The magic of your «ocho» sparks the leader’s creativity to execute different figures, playing with your space, responding to the lead of the moment. It is all very diverse and brief. Enjoy every moment on the dance floor!
E.g.: paradas, sacadas, giros, carousel, barridas or a simple “ocho” together … etc.
Did you know that the number 8 has so much power that according to numerology?
8️⃣- It is related to balance and stability.
8️⃣- It means the beginning. It symbolizes the transition between heaven and earth, and written horizontally, it represents infinity, as I have been telling you
8️⃣- It is considered as the number of justice, equity and renewal.
8️⃣- It also means the beginning of something new.
8️⃣- The eighth day is equivalent to the start of a new week.
8️⃣-In the musical scale with the eight a new octave begins.
8️⃣- In many cultures the 8 is considered the bond that connects our world with another one better, bigger and much more developed.
8️⃣- The octagonal star and the figure of the octahedron symbolizes the union of these two worlds. And there must be a lot more information related to this infinity symbol.
8️⃣Tango centurion infinite step
We must also know that by practicing the movement of the 8 continuously, we are representing the eternal sign.
If we talk about the dance, the leader can indicate different moments with the lead and the embrace.
1- Several continuous «ochos».
2- A «parada» stop (pause-stop) after an 8 or a half 8 or 3 «ochos». Undefined options.
3 – You can rewind the lead movement, forward «ocho» and then back «ocho».
4- It can be simply backward or forward.
5 – Long, Short. Melodic, rhythmic … infinite options.
6 – Fast, slow … how many more options can you think of?
There are infinite versions and options as I tell you above. Each person has their own personal way of expressing the movement.
🤗 The more versions you recognize through experience, the more you will enjoy this special «ocho».
🤗 The more you practice different options on your own, the better and more confident you will be prepared when the step is lead or it stops.
🤗The «ocho» has a history and I would love that every time you feel this movement you give honor to it through your body.
And finally, I invite you to explore your dance and that each time your infinite appears you can make it shine. Because every woman has an «ocho» to express.
According to the Milonguero Horacio Prestamo:
The «OCHO» is the TANGO, it is the only dance that includes this classic figure.