Last night’s improvers/intermediates class was a challenging one: all about volcadas. If like me your eyes instantly glazed over; it is a step that involves the follower being out of her axis. In other words, the lady leans the majority of her weight on her partner then circles her leg around before crossing it neatly into a salida. If done right, it looks easy and extremely graceful – with plenty of time to incorporate adornments! For this it is a Milonga favourite. If not, it can look like you’re clinging onto your partner for dear life. Apparently of course… 😉

So, how can you make a volcada look natural? Firstly, men, when leading a lady into a volcada you need to be very clear, you don’t want your partner to be oblivious and to step back with you. Also, when it gets to you supporting your lady’s weight, tilt her gently so that her weight is at an angle. All of her weight should be resting on her ribs/shoulder. This gives her more support and prevents her from having to use her core muscles or back which may hurt her. Try not to bring her back too far otherwise you may both lose balance and fall, or you may put unnecessary strain on her. Similarly, don’t take a step so small that she has no space to move her free leg. You should also have your weight on one leg and lean very slightly into her to counterbalance her leaning. Easy right? Don’t worry: practica makes perfect!

For maximum style, the leader can initiate three volcadas in a row! The slower it is done, the more adornments both dancers can show off. Two is a possibility; however the follower will be on the opposite leg to what she’s used to and may end up doing something very strange in surprise. Leaders, you can also change things up a bit by stepping each time she’s in the salida changing her weight. Don’t travel though; you’ll need to step back to neutral when she swings her leg around again. Work at complimenting each other’s movements; you should never disengage as a couple.

Well done to everyone that danced last night! There was some strong leading, beautiful following and polished adornments – oh and nobody dropped their partner which is always good 😉

By Emma Langschied