Part 23: About Argentine Tango dancing steps

Lidia and Hector Legrand

If you are interested in learning more about Argentine Tango and Tango events in SaddleBrooke, please visit our website where you can also read Parts 1 through 22 of this series.

Argentine Tango dancing is different from other social dances in the sense that seasoned dancers do not dance to a sequence of well defined steps. Argentine Tango is danced by improvising within the guidelines of the style but in a spontaneous manner as determined by the leader. Most Argentine Tango teachers teach steps, but these steps are merely taught as tools to be later used as to improvise.

When Argentine Tango dancers dance to a sequential or random series of well defined steps, this is known as a routine and is not considered by the Argentine Tango community as authentic Argentine Tango dancing.

Improvisation demands above average following and leading skills which is why Argentine Tango dancers excel at other socials dances.

Having said all this, following is a short list of the most popular of more than 100 standard steps. Please note that all over the world, regardless of the local spoken language, Argentine Tango steps are called by their name in Buenos Aires.

Caminatas (walks): is the quintessential step. A caminata is not just plain walking as you would do when going out for a stroll; it has to be done complying with the basic elements of style.

Resolución (ending): any of several patterns that end a figure.

Cadencias (cadence): as when soldiers count cadence by stepping in place. (The word is sometimes mistakenly applied to the following.)

Cruzada (to cross): the follower or leader places one foot on the opposite side of the other.

Ocho adelante (forward eight): Too lengthy to describe; we teach four variations of this popular step.

Ocho atrás (backward eight): Also lengthy to describe, we teach four variations of this step.

If you would like to have a complete list (the list is always evolving) of the most popular steps, please send an email to [email protected].

About Lidia and Hector: Argentina born U.S. citizens and SaddleBrooke residents, founding members of SATS, chartered in both HOAs. They travel to Buenos Aires often to dance Argentine Tango, to participate in International Argentine Tango Festivals and to further refine their Argentine Tango teaching skills. 2015 is Lidia and Hector’s twelfth year as SaddleBrooke Argentine Tango Dance Instructors of both group and private students. They have been teaching Argentine Tango dancing for sixteen years. They also offer seminars and workshops on Argentine Tango music, history, culture, and cuisine. Please visit their website: