Crossed system (Changed Step)

Once students have learnt to move in a direct system, we can introduce both possibilities of stepping.

We teach the base, changing the support of the leader's foot after having made the opening. The leader goes forward with the left leg while the follower steps with the left foot. Both of them step with their right feet and the follower makes a cruzada while the leader prepares the left leg to coordinate with the follower's right leg (which is coming out from the cruzada) and to align with it.

The leader can stop at the moment of the follower's cruzada for it to make it along the music tempo. We teach this at the beginning, but we have to immediately present the topic of half-beat because it is what leaders usually use on the dancing floor.

The follower has to get used to the fact that a cruzada can be performed in two speeds. The follower will have to interpret it at one beat or half-beat according to the leader's walk. If the leader slows down the walking in the fourth step to close up with the right leg, the follower makes a cruzada at one beat.

If the leader does not stop in this intention of moving forwards, leads the follower to make the cruzada at half-beat.

The Ochos Backwards.

After the opening, the leader has two options: Start with the right leg or left leg. What students cannot fully understand is why we change the steps to achieve the same goal.

The goal of the crossed system is to make leaders enter into the towards the follower's back, which becomes the second basic movement to start figures.

When changing the opening step, the leader goes forward with the left foot and the follower goes backwards with the left as well. In the next step, before the follower's right leg passes the line of the supporting leg, the follower is turned with the shoulder line so that it can make a crossing backwards. Meanwhile, the leader has opened the right leg to this side creating a frame where the follower can make her ocho backwards.

The follower will land on the right leg and this will be the new axis, where it will turn again to pull out the left leg and to make another ocho backwards. Crossings are made perpendicularly to the dancing line, while the leader follows these movements with the shoulder line in front of the dancing line, making openings without needing to join the feet.

Repetitions are made and led by the leader, who finishes on the right, while the follower is making a crossing backwards with the right leg.

The leader places the follower in a profile to go out with the follower in the direction of the dancing line (that is, the leader stops turning) on the left side, which is a similar situation to the beginning of the basic step, so that the follower makes the cruzada in half-beat.

It is convenient for the followers to practice ochos at the bar, while the leaders practice their part separately before dancing together. This practice will take the necessary time, not for them to achieve the perfect ochos technique, but to be sure that they make the crossing with the right foot; because it is a very common mistake to make a double turn and go out with the wrong foot when they have to pass the axis.