astrology in Argentine tango
tango advertisment

introduction | Caminada | Baldosa | Basico con cruzada | Ocho adelante | Ocho cortado | Ocho atras | Sanguchito | Media luna | embellishments

Basic tango step explained for beginners

This page presents a selection of well-known argentine tango figures. The tango figures are described by step pattern diagrams and video clips. Dance step description by combining diagrams and videos will provide a sufficient kick-start for beginning tango enthusiasts to obtain control over the footwork of the basic Argentine tango dance steps. The following tango figures can be regarded as a basic repertoire:

Basico con cruzada
Ocho adelante
Ocho cortado
Ocho atras
Media luna

In each step pattern diagram the first step is always shifting the weight from two feet to one foot (a 'silent' step). From the leaders' point of view: it is usually the right foot where he puts his weight on first.
And the number of counts to the beat of the music is always a multiple of two. Each tango figure described, begins and ends with the position where the dance partners are facing each other, with both feet together and almost touching. These restrictions make it possible to ’glue’ the step patterns together into a diversified tango dance.
Still, tango dancing is not just the execution of tango steps. Tango let you express energy, style and emotion. Men, be bold while providing clear leads. Ladies, be playful, suggestive or seductive even.

Ocho Cortado Tango ocho synchronicity Cut Ocho
Basic steps with cross step Tango short basic step Tango original basic steps

A basic repertoire of complete figures will provide beginning tango dancers with some confidence and basic capability in comparison to advanced tango dancers who navigate smoothly across the dance floor. However you will find that you cannot always finish a tango figure due to obstacles on the dance floor or twists in the music. Therefore it is important to be open to all kinds of variations at any position at all times. As your tango 'mileage' increases you will become comfortable to add some of your imagination to the dance. You may switch between the rhythm and the melody of the music to guide your steps. Followers will find ’here and now’ to be the only thing that matters in order to stay alert for alternatives, spontaneous stops and additions. This is not easy for women who are used to being in charge in everyday life: they have to fully let go. The level on which the follower is able to stay connected to the leader and perform her movements clearly and marked, is key to the pleasure of the common dance experience.

This page has been reviewed on 7 January 2014