Tango

by BLong206B

Learn to Dance Argentine Tango, with Instructional Videos and links to additional materials.

Argentine Tango is composed of several dances each with multiple flavors. This article will teach you the slower Salon Style Argentine Tango. We will start with the Basic step, adding progressively advanced figures and a few show embellishments. Please moderate your patterns for the social dance floor. Kicks and dips should be left to the larger ballroom floors where the crowd is composed of ballroom or show dancers. The demonstrators here are blessed with a large floor with plenty of space so we can have a bit of fun with our styling.

The most important figure is of course the Tango Walk, you must develop your own walk with a controlled weight change and a feeling of gravitas. Dancing the feeling of the music is key, not only must you dance on beat but the mood of the music must be shown in your movements.

Begin with the figures presented here paying attention to the Leading and Following tips. This will speed up your learning of the Tango. Collect some quality music for practice and dancing pleasure. Try to locate an Authentic instructor as near to your location as possible and search for a Milonga to attend.

Tango Vocabulary

Tango Terminology, English Translation

Caminar - To walk

Cruzada - Cross

Ochos Para Adelante' - Forward (figure) Eights

Ochos Para Atras - Back (figure) Eights

Tango

Tango Pose "Parada"
Tango Parada
Tango Parada

Argentine Tango, El Basico

Argentine Tango, Lesson 1, The Basic

Argentine Tango, El Basico

Argentine Tango, Lesson 1, The Basic

Composed of 8 positions, The Basic is a teaching figure, a reference point used to teach newer dancers.  Experienced Tango dancers may use pieces of the Basic, or simply Walk.

 

Note: Stepping backwards is unsafe on crowded dance floors, many experienced dancers will leave off the back step and step side to position 2.  Advanced dancers may simply walk forwards.

Argentine Tango, Basic in Practice hold

Argentine Tango, Lesson 1a, Basic in Practice hold

Argentine Tango, Basic in Practice hold

Argentine Tango,Lesson 1a, Basic in Practice hold

Practice hold (dance position), allows both partners to move and dance somewhat independently of each other.  This minimizes errors and frustration caused by your partner disturbing your balance and coordination, and saves toes..

 

Note: there is some tone through the arms, elbows still have a little flex to them, both partners should tighten their mid to upper back and tone the midsection.

Argentine Tango, Ochos Para Adelante'

Argentine Tango, Lesson 2, Forward Ochos

Argentine Tango, Ochos para Adelante'

Argentine Tango, Lesson 2, Forward Ochos

The second figure I chose allows you to start and finish with parts of the Basic.  This allows a feeling of familiarity, so rather than learning a completely new step, we build on a known figure.

 

Note: The Leader stops in Position 4 allowing the Follower to continue to position 5.  Follower's Stay "Within" the mans open feet. Try not to get too far away.

Argentine Tango, Caminar

Argentine Tango, Lesson 3, The Walk

Argentine Tango, Caminar

Argentine Tango, Lesson 3, To Walk

The key to Argentine Tango is a beautiful controlled walk. Always strive to improve your walk.

 

Note: The walk may be done faster or slower, it's the control and feeling that are most important. Keep your body weight balanced within yourself and match the energy of your partner.

Salon style Tango music

Recommended Tango practice music
Mañana Zarpa Un Barco

The music of Carlos di Sarli is a great starting point for finding songs to add to your Tango collection. He is renowned for his "Walking Beat" in the music, easy to hear and dance to.

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Así se baila el tango

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Argentine Tango, Ochos para Atras

Argentine Tango, Lesson 4, Back Ochos

Argentine Tango, Ochos para Atras

Argentine Tango, Lesson 4, Back Ochos

The 4th figure selected is the Back Ocho, this figure introduces the cross system.

The Cross System means that both the Leader and Follower step with the same foot, for example Left and Left. Adding a slight rotation to the Follower's direction of movement give the appearance to some people as the couple being on "Cross" feet.

Argentine Tango, Tijeras

Argentine Tango, Lesson 5, Tijeras

Argentine Tango, Tijeras

Argentine Tango, Lesson 5, Scissors

The Mirror image to La Cruzada (the Cross).

This Figure can be part of a combination of Cruzada, Tijeras, Cruzada, and can be very musical.

 

Note: This can be a very subtle lead from the Man, using just his body position and angling the Lady's movements to create the cross.  It's not wrong to make leg contact but it should be smoothly done.

Argentine Tango, Parada Combinacion

Argentine Tango, Lesson 6, "The Stop" Combination

Argentine Tango, Parada Combinacion

Argentine Tango, Lesson 6, "The Stop (or block)" Combination

La Parada is a stopping or checking action, the Gentleman touches the Lady's foot with a "stay here" suggestion, he can then advance his movement around or past her.

Note: Slide the foot on the floor, avoid moving your leading foot up and then down on top of your partner's toes...

Argentine Tango, Three Entrances

Argentine Tango, Lesson 7, Three Entrances

Argentine Tango, Three Entrances

Argentine Tango, Lesson 7, Three Entrances

When you commence a pattern or group of patterns, we can say we start with the "Entrance"

This Video gives some information on the types of beginnings or Entrances you can choose from

 

Note: In all cases, use good posture, have a feeling of connection and balance with your partner and soften the knees before commencing the movement.

Tango resources from Amazon

Products for the Tango dancer
The Tango Fundamentals: Volume One - Basic Elements

Learn to dance authentic Argentine Tango in 10 easy lessons with Fabián Salas - Argentine Tango dancer, teacher, and choreographer from Buenos Aires, with over 15 years of profe...

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Gotta Tango (Book & DVD)

Gotta Tango is a superior instructional package for learning how to dance the authentic Argentine tango at a social level. Master teachers Alberto Paz and Valorie Hart take you ...

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Best Tango Album in the World Ever

All products are BRAND NEW and factory sealed. Fast shipping and 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed.

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Updated: 02/20/2013, BLong206B
 
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Roberto on 02/27/2013

A great way to relax, workout and meet people. Have our second Tango lessons and just like the other student said; Tango is addictive... Brett is a great instructor. Best part of tango, no beat required, for those who don't follow a beat (like me) this is great...

Mira on 02/12/2013

These are very useful videos. Tango is truly wonderful.

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