Tango Progressive Link
Progressive Link is a Newcomer 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.
Q: LF forward in CBMP | DW | H | No Turn | No CBM
When man steps on left foot, he should turn his frame when his weight is on his left foot, then put down right foot under shoulder, in promenade position.
This first step is a very small step, very strong CBMP feel, very tight, using inside L knee next to outside of Lady's L knee, mini contra check, feeling the LF is slightly turned in to help with the rotation into link.
Create torque to wind up lady before turning her.
Turn the lady to Right, not Left.
Man steps beneath the lady. There is the effect of a windup before the second step.
Keep shoulder flat, do not pop.
Q: RF side to side and slightly back in PP | Facing DW | IE of foot and IE of B of LF | 1/4 to R | No CBM
As the second step is taken, the RF should move slightly back and to the side of the left foot. This step release the tension of the CBM of the last step. RF steps under right shoulder, frame turns sharply right.
rotate thigh and hips first, then upper torso catches up, but elbow never goes behind body. Lady is in front Man, but behind right hip.
Frame is turning to R at the same time to lead lady into a link (as opposed to progressive side step).
Make it quick and short.
Head should always be at the same level. Avoid the tendency to lower on a walk, and then rise back up on the side step on the progressive link, which causes right side to go up relative to left side.
Knees coming together, flexed.
do not to raise right shoulder, expand across chest, maintain big frame.
Q: RF back in CBMP | BDW | BH | No Turn | No CBM
Start with winding up to left (rotate L hip to L, R hip fwd)
RF strong CBMP (underneath body, crossing in the back more to give Man room to step, otherwise Lady's R leg blocks Man's L leg).
Think about front of lower R thigh is against the back lower L thigh very tightly (that paper in between won't drop, there is a lot of pressure).
RF follows where center moves. R toe in, outside edge first, small step. (Some coach says big step, depending on partnership.)
The second the RF lands, start rotating to R (the tendency is rotating to R too late, action feels disconnected. Rotation to R, swiveling on RF starts after more than half weight is committed on RF, not when weight is fully committed on RF.)
After putting Ball of RF down, R heel will kiss the floor before transfer weight to LF on next step.
Stay very left behind in Man's R arm throughout. Hip is quite closed up to Man. Center is to Man.
To increase impact, turn left first on this step and then sharp turn to R on next step. (There is also slow progressive look.)
Q: LF side, slightly back in PP | Facing DC | IE BH of LF and IE of B of RF | 1/4 to R |
The position of the step is slightly back in relation to the body (after 1/4 turn), not LOD. Body is more or less facing wall, Hip FDC.
Depending on the direction Man wants to go, this could be either almost in place or side/slightly back step.
Stay on Man's R, stepping a bigger step, to end behind Man in promenade position.
Swivel on Ball of LF. Hip turn 1/4 to R, but body turns 1/8. Keep body as still has possible. Things happen in base areas.
Promenade finishing position:
Rib and hip should rotate 1/8 relative to each other.
Knees more together, not open.
L hip is higher (but not in a way falling forward), it enables upper body to forward easily.
If R hip is higher, it makes one heavy and slow, more difficult to move.
You want to dance off the ball of foot, not heel of the foot (so you don't want to sit back and have R hip higher).
LF (yes, LF) should be on the IE of the foot. LF is 45 degrees (DC) off the line of travel (LOD), parallel to RF.
RF is one floor board off to R, giving it room for Man and Lady to step through in the middle.
Bring R side to Man. Upward feeling.
Extend - from 7th vertebra bend back. Connection with Man moves lower to hip/leg
Do not turn away from Man. Right shoulder needs to stay with Man, try to get shoulder to square with Man (end up with small V is ok). Do not turn shoulder out, otherwise, it cancels the effect of extension.
R arm: do not do things on its own, do not pull behind shoulder. Not too much tension. Power is in the base, not in the arm. Wind up creates power, not using arm muscle.
Different coach has different preferences on how high Lady's R elbow should be. Some prefer it to be horizontal. Some coach prefers it to be slightly downward.
The general idea is that action is at base, dance the base, don't dance arm, keep arm light, with tone, not noodly and don't change elbow during the step.
R hand: do not bend wrist back. wrist forward.
L hand: maintain "up and out" position, do not slide.
Head turning: should not be on its own, shouldn't be too late or too early. Turning the head when weight is changing onto LF.
Head change finishes when the action finishes. (It shouldn't be that leg/feet finished and then head changes.)
The figure has solid, sharp feeling, not soft. It is more of an "upward" action with body projecting upward.
90 body rotation in body seems to give the right look and impact.
Actions are in hips, nothing should affect top shoulder line, arm relaxed, no increased tension. Even when doing with full power, arms should not be involved.
As described above, the link starts in DW. But often, link is preceded by 2 walks which started DW. Walks naturally curve to left, so the Link will end up with Man's feet facing LOD, Woman's feet facing center., traveling DC.