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:
In each step pattern diagram the first step is always the right foot, even though it is just a matter of putting your weight on that foot (a ’silent’ step).
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.
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.