06 Mar Walk and Pivot
In general, a walk moves the axis of the walker linearly from one point to another while keeping the orientation of his/her lower body the same, and a pivot changes the orientation of the pivoter’s lower body while keeping the location of his/her axis the same.
Most movements in tango dancing can be decomposed into walks and pivots: an ocho is a walk followed by a pivot followed by a walk, molinete is repetition of the cycle of walk (side), walk (forward), pivot, wark (side), pivot, and walk (back), a boleo is due to a pivot followed by another pivot in the opposite direction, and etc.
Problems occur when a walk and a pivot are tried at the same time when they should be executed in succession.
For example, in the front ocho of a woman, which is a front stop followed by a pivot followed by a front step, the pivot between the two front steps should happen after the weight transfer of the first front step has finished. This way, the pivot can be executed while she is on balance. If the weight transfer of the first front step is not yet complete and the pivot is started, let’s say the front foot has 70% of the woman’s weight and the back foot 30%, after a 180-degree pivot and alignment of the upper and the lower bodies, she will be off-balance by 30% of her weight, which will bring her to fall forward. If the man’s intention is still the front ocho, her falling forward will be in the intended direction, but if his intention has changed to a pause, she will not be able to pause since she is already falling to the floor.
When a woman continues ochos and molinete even when her partner wishes to stop, often the reason is that she cannot stop due to her falling in the direction of the next steps in ochos and molinete because she has not completely arrived on the next axis before starting a pivot.
When a pivot is not complete and a walk is started, one’s own leg and pelvis will get in the way, hindering the walk in the intended direction.
Unless specifically intended, complete the transfer of your axis in a walk before starting a pivot, and complete the rotation of the lower body in a pivot before starting a walk.