Ballroom Dances‎ > ‎American Style‎ > ‎

Tango

Note! These are notes from dance classes prior to 2004. They are archived here for occasional reference.


Tips and Notes:
    2001.10.15
  • In promenade position, my center faces partner, feet and head face left, knees point right. Feeling of leading with my knees.
    2001.5.22
  • If I don't step with inside edge of heel with right foot, I end up stepping on lady's toes if we are in closed body position.
  • More on footwork. On Slow, 'power' step on left, outside edge of heel, but don't really put my weight on it unless I am over it. I will be pushing the ladie's knee with mine. When I take the step, I want to collect my weight, that is, bring my right foot up so that my knees are together before I take my next step. My right foot then leads with inside heel, but less of a step than with the left. Again collect.
  • Difference between reverse turn variations and rock to corte: rock to corte has a scissors action, that is, the insides of my thighs stay together, similar to rock turns in foxtrot. It's when my right leg separates off to the side that liz and pearl think I'm leading a reverse turn variation.
  • Inside of left knee against outside of her right leg. LF steps contrabody, pushing her right leg, outside edge of heel leads, foot points out 45deg. RF steps, pushing inside of her left leg, foot points in 45deg, inside edge of heel leads. On close, left foot doesn't stop, it continues to drag on through to the next step.
  • On Rock to Flare, keep weight on bent left leg, right foot slide slightly back and forth as I lead her through flares.
  • In closed position, my right hand goes right in the small of her back, my right elbow is up, and I apply a little pressure with my forearm to her upper arm to lock in the frame. Her elbow covers mine.
  • Knees soft (remember that notion of imagining low ceiling) Lead with body, always, and always keep torso erect Rolling walk. First place foot, then shift weight. Light touch between inside of her right leg and inside of my right leg to help communicate lead. Right hand, keep thumb together with hand. For closer hold, hand goes a little lower down. Still want hand on her lats. Another walking suggestion--imagine that you are a big jungle cat. Feet are parallel. Tango is not like walking. Last step on basic is with left foot, and so is first step. Preferred basic is Basic with Left turning Tango Close followed by a Reverse Turn, so that we do a zigzag along the line of dance. Lock in the frame by pressing my left hand lightly toward her ear, and keep my shoulders square.
  1. Tango Close

    Variation of: Basic: Bronze 1
    Q. LF forward
    Q. RF side
    S. slide LF to RF, don't put weight on it
  2. Left turning Tango Close

    Variation of: Basic: Bronze 1
    Q. LF forward, pivot 1/4 turn left
    Q. RF side
    S. slide LF to RF, don't put weight on it
  3. Tango Basic

    Variation of: Basic: Bronze 1
    S. left foot forward
    S. rf forward
    Q. lf forward
    Q. rf side
    S. drag left foot to right
  4. Parallel Walk

    Variation of: Basic: Bronze 1
    On the two parallel walks, I do all the moving around. Follower just keeps walking in line. Frame still faces partner, and I stay close.
    S. LF diagonal left
    S. RF forward, on outside of follower (right)
    Q. LF forward
    Q. RF side, far enough to return to closed position
    S. Slide LF to RF
  5. Left Parallel Walk

    Variation of: Basic: Bronze 1
    S. LF forward
    S. RF forward
    Q. LF forward
    Q. RF long step side, so that follower is on my left
    S. slide lf to right
    S. LF forward
    S. RF forward
    Q. LF forward
    Q. RF short step right, so follower can come back into closed position
    S. slide LF to RF
  6. Right Turning Promenade

    Variation of: Basic: Bronze 1
    Start in Promenade Position, facing LOD
    S. LF forward
    S. RF forward, cross left
    Q. LF right, across follower toward wall, pivot right so that I face center
    Q. RF side
    S. drag LF to RF
  7. Tango Rocks

    Variation of: Tango Rocks: Bronze 1
    S. LF forward
    S. RF forward
    Q. LF forward, half-weight
    Q. Rock back on RF
    S. Move weight to LF
    Q. RF forward, half-weight
    Q. Rock back on LF
    S. Move weight to RF
    Q. LF forward
    Q. RF side
    S. Drag LF to RF
  8. Reverse Turn

    Variation of: Tango Rocks: Bronze 1
    Start facing diagonal center
    Q LF forward, QT left
    Q RF side
    S LF back, feet are parallel, left leg crossed behing right, Frame still facing partner, so CBMP, Should be facing center, with partner on outside.
    Q RF back
    Q LF side, Turn to face wall
    S RF feet together
  9. Rock Turn

    Variation of: Tango Rocks: Bronze 1
    S LF forward
    S RF forward, pivoting QT right. Turn frame QT right (CBMP)
    Q Pivoting right on RF, LF back, turning right
    Q Pivoting right on LF, RF forward, turning right
    S pivoting right on RF, LF back, turning right
    Q RF back, CBMP to left
    Q LF side, straighten out
    S RF slide to LF
  10. Left Turning Rocks

    Variation of: Tango Rocks: Bronze 1
    S, LF forward. S RF forward. Q, start in like rock to corte, LF forward, turning left, keeping thighs together. QQQ, three more rocks, continuing to pivot around. QQS, end with Rock to Corte, so four quicks for left turning rocks, and then rock to corte
  11. Argentine Walk

    Variation of: Tango Rocks: Bronze 1
    I can use this pattern to move quickly along the dance floor.
    S LF forward
    S RF forward
    Q LF forward, slightly across body, slightly faster than normal quick
    Q RF small side, lead with inside of foot and roll out, again slightly faster than normal quick, to allow for slight pause before next step. Don't step so far that partner thinks I am going to do Tango Close
    S LF forward
    S RF forward
    quick Q LF forward
    quick Q RF forward, lead with inside edge of foot, short step, followed by short pause
    QQS Tango Close
  12. Corté

    Variation of: Corté: Bronze 1
    S. lf back, sit back on left, body erect, slight turn of body to left, drawing her with me
    S. straighten up again, weight on RF
    Q. LF Forward
    Q. RF side
    S. drag LF to RF
  13. Outside Partner Corté

    Variation of: Corté: Bronze 1
    I can use this pattern to change direction a half-turn to a quarter turn right, going the long way.
    Start facing diagonal center
    Q. LF forward, pivot to face back diagonal wall, so that leader and follower are in parallel position, follower is on my right side
    Q. RF short step back
    S. LF back, lead stop, like in corté
    S. Shift weight to RF
    Tango Close
    Can follow with another Outside Partner corté
  14. Outside Partner Corté to Wing

    Variation of: Corté: Bronze 1
    It's not so much a corte, as a stop. I don't rise or fall, and should gently slow down to a stop on second quick.
    Q. LF forward
    Q. Pivot on LF, half turn, RF short step back, Partner is to my right(outside). Keeping right hip back will help lead her this way.
    S. LF back, lead stop, like in corté, Still facing partner, she is outside
    S. LF feet together. I need to be stepping forward to help lead her, Turn into promenade position, and use my right hip to lead her to turn into promenade as well.
    QQ. Turning frame, bring her to my left side.
    QQS Tango Close
  15. Outside Partner Corté to Leg Climb

    Variation of: Corté: Bronze 1
    Q. LF forward
    Q. Pivot on LF, half turn, RF short step back
    S. LF back, Turn frame to left, she can climb leg if she wants
    QQS Tango Close
  16. Flare release

    Variation of: Flare Release: Bronze 2
    Start facing LOD
    S. LF Forward
    S. RF forward, start lowering LH. Turn left hand over, so my hand is under hers
    Q. LF forward, release closed hold
    Q. RF forward, half weight
    S. LF feet together, facing wall
    S. LF forward, extend right leg to wall, while drawing my LH down and toward wall to lead her back into closed position, facing LOD
    S. RF cross left (to center), and bring LF together with right in closed stance facing LOD
    Finish with Tango Close
  17. Flare Release to Inside Turn

    Variation of: Flare Release: Bronze 1
    After opening up with flare release, lead her to pass me on my right for inside turn, while I walk the other way. S, LF forward. S, RF forward and diagonal, as I turn to face her. QQS, same movement as in the flare release.
  18. Flare Release to Outside Turn

    Variation of: Flare Release: Bronze 1
    After Flare Release, lead her to walk forward on my left for outside turn, while I go the other way, walking around to meet her in closed position. SSQQS.
  19. Shadow Rocks

    Variation of: Flare Release: Bronze 1
    SSQQS, flare release. QQS, J lead to shadow position, I don't need to move at all, should end up with her inside my right hip. Now do Tango Rocks in Shadow position. I think to end, QQS, lead her to open back out into released position, and do flare release ending. I don't remember how to end it.
  20. Flare Release to Flip Flops

    Variation of: Flare Release: Bronze 2
    Start facing LOD
    S. LF Forward
    S. RF forward, start lowering LH
    Q. LF forward, release closed hold
    Q. CW RF, half weight
    S. LF feet together, facing wall, Extend RH up and out
    Q LF side, toward partner, Bring RH in, LH does J-lead toward wall, QT Left
    Q RF forward, Release LH, let her RH graze my belly and back, QT left
    S LF feet together, Offer her my RH, extend LH up and out, QT left
    Q RF side, toward partner, Bring LH in, RH does J-lead toward wall, QT Right
    Q LF forward, Release RH, let her LH graze my belly and back, QT Right
    S RF feet together, Offer her my LH, extend RH up and out, QT Right
    S. LF forward, extend right leg to wall, while drawing my LH down and toward wall to lead her back into closed position, facing LOD
    S. RF cross left (to center), and bring LF together with right in closed stance facing LOD
    Finish with Tango Close
  21. Rock to Corte

    2000.11.21
    Shouldn't turn more than 3/8 on this, according to Denise. Legs should be in scissors position for rock, that is, my legs are only separated front to back, not side to side. Similar to foxtrot rock turns.
    This pattern should include turning to my left. Where I put my right foot as I rock the left is open. Once the right foot is planted, corte must go directly back, without continuing the turn.
    Q. LF forward, half-weight
    Q Rock back on Right
    S. LF corte
    S. Return weight to RF
    Q. LF forward, half-weight
    Q. Rock back on Right
    S. LF corte
    S. Return weight to RF
    Tango Close
  22. Promenade

    Variation of: Basic: Bronze 1
    Start facing Wall, turn face to LOD, pull RF in slightly to turn partner into Promenade Position
    S. LF forward across RF (along LOD)
    S. RF forward, across LF, along LOD. Turn to face LOD, keeping frame so that partner comes with me.
    Tango Close
  23. Promenade Pivot

    I have been taking a hook turn with the right foot on this. What it looked like when Vivian did it was that after stepping across with the LF, each succeeding step actually continues along the line of dance. Also need to keep the girl close, or I won't be able to get around a full turn. Someday I'll get it. The turn should not require me to drag my partner around. Simply turning my frame around should do the job.
    PP along LOD. S, LF forward. S, RF forward, cut across partner so we are back in closed position, and we are backing LOD. QQS, pivot turn, ending up back in promenade facing LOD.
  24. Link to Promenade

    This pattern is used to make a smooth transition into promenade, continuing along the LOD, instead of the jerking around of head and body to the left.
    Start facing diag wall
    S. LF forward
    S. RF forward
    Q. LF diag, along LOD, keep body facing same direction
    Q. RF feet together
    S. Forgot whether I just pause here, or go right into promenade.
  25. Spin Whip Corté

    Q LF forward, don't commit weight, CBMP left
    Q pivoting left on LF, RF back, maintain CBMP
    S LF small lunge back (corte), turned left
    S, with LH, put her RH behind her back, take with my RH
    QQS CW RF, so small lunge RF, Push RH down, this helps her turn and keeps her close. body over right foot to lead her away into full turn
    QQS Tango Close
  26. Rock to Fan

    Variation of: Rock to Fan: Bronze 2
    I have given the steps for Rock to Triple Flare here. For single flare, just cut out the first two flares. A combo Michele gave us was Flare Release to Flip Flops to Rock to Flare to Rock to Triple Flare. Skip the Tango Close until the Rock to Triple Flare. Feeling of the triple flare is like I am doing figure eights with my hips and upper body.
    Q LF forward, start turning left
    Q RF side, QT left
    S LF back, QT left. Right at end, turn frame slightly right, to lead her to swivel around and face backing LOD, and move frame forward slightly in anticipation of next step, Should be facing backing LOD
    S CW RF, forward movement of frame from last step should be leading her to step forward. Right at end, turn frame slightly left, to point her back the other way
    S CW LF, turn frame a little right, point her back toward backing LOD
    S CW RF, LF feet together, QT right, closing up like at the end of promenade or flare release
    QQS Tango Close
  27. Reverse Turn Outside Check and Flare/Quick and Slow Flares

    Variation of: Rock to Fan: Bronze 2
    Q LF forward, QT left, Start facing diagonal center
    Q RF side
    S LF back, QT left, keep right hip back. Want to lead partner to outside(right), Should be facing back diagonal wall, with partner on outside.
    Q RF back
    Q LF side, Turn to face wall
    S RF forward, Turn frame to face diagonal wall
    S CW LF, right at end, turn frame right, start moving weight back forward
    S CW RF, LF feet together
    QQS Tango Close
  28. Cross Lead Flares

    Variation of: Rock to Fan: Bronze 2
    Q LF forward, QT left, Start facing diagonal center
    Q RF side
    S LF back, QT left, keep right hip back. Want to lead partner to outside(right), Should be facing back diagonal wall, with partner on outside.
    Q RF back, QT left, moving away from partner to give her room to go by
    Q LF moving side, but don't land until slow, turn to face wall
    S LF lunge left, CBMP, to get her to turn and point backing LOD
    S no change, releasing ribs, get her to step backing LOD, then turn frame right to point her the other way
    S RF feet together, release LF, releasing ribs, get her to step along LOD, then turn to meet her, This is like end of flare release
    QQS Tango Close
  29. Argentine Link

    Variation of: Argentine Link: Bronze 3
    S LF forward, outside edge of heel, More CBMP to wind her up a little
    S RF forward, inside edge of heel, maintain CBMP
    Q LF forward, just beyond RF
    Q CW RF, turn it out, Frame turns 90deg right, snap it a little, we end up in promenade position
    S turn LF over, from flat, pointing out, to pointing with inside edge on the floor
  30. Brush Tap

    Variation of: Argentine Link: Bronze 3
    We added it to Flare Release. First two slows, and second SSQQS are omitted from the flare release in the following
    Q LF forward, release partner, slightly pushing her out, frame turns quarter right
    Q CW RF, turn it out 45deg
    & draw LF to RF
    S point LF out, toward lady, inside of foot to floor
  31. Right Turning Promenade to Left Side Walk and Grapevine

    I really want the walking and the grapevine to go along the LOD if possible, or use this to go around a corner.
    SSQQS Right Turning Promenade, Start promenade pointing diagonal wall. On Tango Close of Right Turning Promenade, step wider right, so that I can step outside my partner
    SS LF, RF walk, Keep connection, so that I am walking with body at angle to my feet
    Q LF forward, start to swivel QT left
    Q RF next to LF, finish swivel, she should be on my right
    Q LF back
    Q Pull RF back, keeping heel down, >swivel QT right, she is now on my left
    QQS Tango Close
  32. Link to Promenade #1

    Michelle's version, from Tango 1a class.
    S LF forward
    S RF forward
    Q CW LF
    Q RF under body, behind left, promenade position
    S Tap left foot
  33. Quick Argentine Link

    Normally followed by a pattern with one slow. For example, S, LF forward, Q, RF forward. Q, LF forward. S, RF to just behind left foot, turn frame back to closed position.
    S LF forward
    S RF forward
    Q LF forward
    Q RF to just behind left foot, snap turn frame to promenade position
  34. Closed Promenade Outside Partner to Outside Flare

    S LF forward, Promenade Position
    S RF forward
    Q LF forward, start moving to outside partner
    Q RF forward, cutting lady off, closed position, outside partner
    S CW LF, Lead lady to flare
    S CW RF, close feet, lead lady into end of flare, close up by turning my frame to her
    QQS Tango Close
  35. Back Tango Basic

    S, LF back, against LOD. S, RF back. Q, LF back. Q, RF back. Q, LF back. Q, RF back, QT left to face center. From here go right into reverse turn.
  36. Back Fan

    S, LF back while QT right (from absolute frame of reference, my LF goes side), RF brushes LF and back and point, touching inside edge of toe to floor, and lead into promenade position, waiting for her to snap around before next step. S, RF to LF, QT right back into closed position. On first S, I want to lead her to step under me, before I step to the side with my left.
  37. Continuous Back Fan

    Repeat Back Fan three times.
  38. Promenade Rock with Back Fan

    Quick Argentine Link to PP
    S. LF Forward
    QQ. RF forward, rock back on LF
    S. CW RF, and swing around right into closed position, cutting lady off.
    QQ. Rock, turning it if I like.
    Back fans, one or three.
  39. Shadow Rocks

    Open up as in Flare Release. QQS, big J-lead, to get her to turn right, so that we end up in shadow position. SS, two walking steps. QQS, rock step as in Tango Rocks, emphasizing CBMP. QQS, again on other side. QQS, lead her back out into open position, she turns left. End with flare release ending.
  40. Promenade Pivot to Basic Pivot

    After promenade pivot, do another pivot, ending it in closed position, rather than promenade, and go into tango close.
  41. Back Fan to Pivot

    SS, Back Fan
    QQ, pivot turn
    SS, back fan
  42. Doble Cruz

    Start in PP.
    S. LF forward.
    QQ. RF forward, LF forward.
    S. Hook RF, and lead lady to do the same, and then, on this same beat, ronde the LF.
    Q. LF back.
    Q. RF back.
    S. turn to outside partner, LF back, check, and start lead into fan
    S. Lady's fan, then tango close
  43. Doble Cruz with Spot Grapevine

    Start with Doble Cruz, but on the slow where I hook the RF, don't ronde.
    QQQQQQ. Lead lady to step around me, side-back-side-forward-side-back
    At this point, I should have turned around, and weight will be on RF, LF behind me, in CBMP.
    S. Lady steps side.
    S. Lady steps in, I lead her to flare.
    S. Close up, then tango close.
  44. Quick Pivot to Back Fan

    Start in PP
    SQQ, LF forward, then pivot.
    SS, back fan.
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