Contra Check - Tango

Tango Contra Check

Tango Contra Check is a Gold level figure. This online reference gives a detailed description of the dance steps, including timing, footwork, alignment, and movement; steps diagram; a list of figures that may precede or follow the pattern; and videos providing instruction and demonstration of the figure, techniques and practice routines that include it.


  1. S: LF fwd in CBMP slightly flexing the knees | DW pointing almost down LOD | B (Flat) | Body turns to L | CBM

  2. Q: Transfer weight back to RF | DC against LOD | BH | Body turns to R

  3. Q: LF placed to side w/o weight in PP | Facing DW | IE of B of LF


  1. S: RF back in CBMP slightly flexing the knees | DW feet backing almost LOD | B | Body turns to L | CBM

    • Upper body should be very compact (no loose R elbow), keep tone, whole arm/shoulder connected and move as one.

    • Use the standing L leg, lower into it. Allow left hip to rotate back, RF turned in, big step back.

    • Transfer weight to back foot, don't let upper body go back too quickly with the shoulder, have solid base first before trying to make shape. Need ankle strength.

    • Give hip to Man. Leave elbows and arms to Man and make shape, head look over left shoulder, do not look up and break the back of the neck.

    • Tango's contra check dynamic is different from that of Waltz.

      • Think about S as QQ: staccato, there is some timing separation of movements for legs and body

      • 1st half Q: rotation of hip and R leg back, almost have an upper body/head wind up to R before body rotate to L in next half.

      • 2nd half Q: upper body/head extend.

    • Contra check can be danced with CBM or CBMP.

      • Often previous step ends with shape to R and head to R. Keep head to R longer while flexing the hip area, twisting in base doing CBM.

      • Head is conclusion of the contra check. Don't do head with CBM. Head is the last, very fast.

  2. Q: Transfer weight fwd to LF | DC against LOD | BH | Body turns to R 1/4 to R btwn 2-3.

    • Keep very left to Man.

    • Get weight onto LF first before turning into PP (which helps to stay back behind Man), do not turn too early.

  3. Q: RF placed to side w/o weight in PP | Facing DC | B LF with foot flat and IE of B of RF

    • Turn the waist area only.

Preceding Figures

  1. Back Corte

  2. Basic Reverse Turn

  3. Brush Tap

  4. Closed Promenade

  5. Fallaway Reverse and Slip Pivot

  6. Open Reverse Turn, Lady In Line

  7. Open Reverse Turn, Lady Outside

  8. Outside Swivel

  9. Progressive Side Step Reverse Turn

  10. Promenade Link

  11. Reverse Outside Swivel

  12. Rock Turn

Following Figures

  1. Closed Promenade

  2. Open Promenade

  3. Natural Promenade Turn

  4. Promenade Link

  5. Back Open Promenade

  6. Fallaway Promenade