Tango Notes: Sacadas

A sacada is a move that is found in tango and few, if any, other dances. It's part of the class of characteristic tango moves involving foot and leg play. There are many kinds of sacadas, but they all involve one partner (most often the leader) displacing the partner's leg by either touching it or appearing to touch it.

High and Low, Inside and Outside, Etc

High and low. Low sacadas aim for a touch at the shoe or low calf.Low sacadas often have only the illusion of touching, esp where the M's foot steps where the W's foot is leaving.High sacadas use a nudge of the thigh.Knees should never be used.

Inside and Outside. Either the inside or outside of either the M's or W's leg can be involved.If the sacada is on the W's outside, a front boleo is typically led. If the sacada is on the W's inside a pivot or back cross can be led.Slight inside sacadas can also be used in continuing to walk. In some sacadas, eg a sacada of the W's trailing foot in a front ocho, the low sacada is almost on the front of the W's leg.These can be considered inside sacadas because of the direction the leg is moved.

W's leg to back or front. Think about where the W's leg is going to go - in front of her or behind her. This corresponds the inside sacada versus outside sacada.

Across or Diagonal, Left or Right. All combinations of the M's and W's right and left leg may be involved in a sacada. The high/low, in/out, L/R options result in 16 combinations.Another way for the leader to think about it is whether the sacada step is being made straight across or diagonally. When the leader steps diagonally to make the sacada, it often requires a big pivot to face the W. This may be challenging so it is easier to sacada straight across.

When: (1) Front Ochos, (2) side steps, (3) walks back. There are three common opportunities to make an inside sacada on the W's foot that is about to become unweighted: (1) as the W is making a front ocho (front cross), (2) as the W takes a side step, and (3) when the W is walking backwards.The molinete (giro) has many opportunities for sacadas.

Rotational energy. The sacada gives the appearance of supplying rotational energy that pivots the W, but most (or all) is supplied by the W's momentum and M's body lead.The rotation of the outside sacada is typically continued in a front boleo, and other sacadas into a back cross or side step. Where the intent is to continue walking, rotation is not an issue.

Common problems.

Back sacadas? This doesn't cover back sacadas, which are done by either the M or W by stepping backwards to make the sacada.

Only some combinations work

Only some combinations of inner and outer leg portions work well (ignoring back sacadas).Sacadas to the inside of a W's leg result in the leg moving back; to the outside to the W's leg moving forward (eg, in a front boleo).

M = leader, W = follower, R = right, L = left, In = inside of leg, Out = outside of leg.

WR In WR Out WL In WL Out
MR In Yes Yes
MR Out Yes Yes
ML In Yes Yes
ML Out Yes Yes

More Combinations. Because these can be high or low, there are 16 obvious combinations. But there can be different setups, executions, and followups so the number of options is really quite high.In addition there are some nice sequences of sacadas.

Weightless Low Sacadas. In typical low sacadas, the leader steps onto the leg the did the sacada. Sometimes the leader places no weight is placed on their sacada foot and withdraws itto a neutral position after the sacada.

Follower Sacadas. Yes, the follower can also sacada the leader, but they are led by the leader.



Simple sacadas in front ochos

How to Sacada 3:06
By Hudson Dance Studio Edgewater. Simple sacada in forward ocho, then putting them into a chain of these sacadas, and finally one of the giro+sacadas patterns.
Sacada con Ocho Adelante 5:00
By Osvaldo & Mora. Teaches sequence of forward ocho sacadas.
Forward Ochos & Sacadas for Leader and Follower 2:57
By Michelle & Joachim. Shows a simple sacada (leader's left - follower's left) during front ochos. They also show a more advanced chain of leader then follower then leader etc sacadas.
How to Sacada 3:38
By Diego Blanco & Ana Padrón. Shows a sequence of three sacadas starting at position 5 with a giro. The first two are sometimes called easy sacadas because the leg that is being sacadad is already about to move in that direction. The third sacada, high in the thigh area, causes the follower's leg to do a boleo.
Tango 202: more Sacadas 2:04
By Los Angeles Tango Academy. Lots of nice sacadas.
Tango 301: Sacadas Deconstructed 2:20
By Los Angeles Tango Academy. Nice, clear dancing with sacadas at all levels. I'm not sure what the word "deconstructed" has to do with this video, but it's worth watching.
Tango interactions » Sacadas I - 08.11.2015 7:16
By Tanguito. Starts with the simple front ochos sacadas, but quickly moves to the high inside sacadas done while walking in cross-foot.

Intermediate Sacadas

Tango axis » Pasadas and paradas - 10.05.2017
By Tanguito, Argentine Tango Academy. This video has nothing to do with sacadas except that at 6:02 it shows a nice series of overturned front ochos with sacadas.
How to Lead a Sacada for Followers
By Diego Blanco & Ana Padrón.
Tango Lesson: Alterations - Sacada versus Gancho 26 Mar 2019
By Homer Ladas. Follower back sacadas leader at 2:16