Level 1 Feb - Mar 2019

Good habits for tango dancers
  • 'Steel vs spaghetti': Your standing leg is like steel - dynamic, strong and grounded, your free leg is like spaghetti: light and loose without tension.
  • Your free leg hip is stable yet loose and lower than your base leg hip (this removes tension from your free leg)
  • 'Collection' - Thigh or ankle (as you prefer) connection as you walk
  • Push off the floor as you walk - to make your walk more dynamic. 
  • Never lock your knees: You standing leg knee is softly flexed (not locked) - this gives you better contact with the floor.
  • Always find your axis - 'it's your beauty and your power'
  • Walk in the line of your hips - Imagine your hips are at the centre of 2 crossing lines: one going forward / back and the other - left /right. The first line is the guide for forward and back steps, the second line guides side steps. 
Tango Music - for practicing 

Check out Sophia's spotify lists:
Tango (Trad) Best for practicing musicality - walking to single, double and half time.
Tango (Neo) contemporary songs (good for practicing technique)

Link to 250 songs
The following link will download a collection of 250 of the most popular songs (tango, vals and milonga) played in milongas around the world! Focus for now only on the tangos. Also focus on instrumental songs as opposed to vocals as these are easier to find the beat. Di Sarli is one of the better orchestras to start with: 250 songs download
This link goes to a zip file (little less than a 1 GB file). 

Here's a link to help you better understand tango music for dancing

Week 7: starting March 18
Reviewed all steps from previous weeks:
  • C-Step and Parallel Cross
  • Forward and Back Ochos from Parallel Cross
  • Tango Walk
Plus we practiced:
  • The embrace - maintaining the frame
  • Improvisation - linking and retracing these moves r with the walk 
  • Navigation - dancing in the line of traffic, in smaller space
  • Ocho Technique (leading half a step before the change of direction)
Please look again at videos from Week 1 for improvisation and linking of Level 1 moves.

Week 6: starting March 11
Reviewed all steps from previous weeks:
  • C-Step and Parallel Cross
  • Forward and Back Ochos from Parallel Cross
Week 5: starting March 4
  • C-Step and Parallel Cross
  • Forward Ocho from Parallel Cross
How to turn Forward Cross Steps into Back Cross Steps (also meaning how to turn Forward Ochos into Backward Ochos)

Parallel Cross with Forward & Back Ochos with Resolution

Week 4 : starting February 25
  • Reviewed C-Step and Parallel Cross (noting the difference between these moves)
  • Introduced Forward Ocho
  • Added Forward Ocho to Parallel Cross

Parallel Cross - Forward Ochos - Resolution

Here's a preview of what we're covering in Week 5 - converting Forward Ochos into Backward Ochos. This is achieved by not pivoting at the end of each step:

Parallel Cross with Forward & Back Ochos with Resolution

Week 3 : starting February 18
  • Reviewed C-Step
  • Introduced Parallel Cross with Resolution

Parallel Cross with Resolution

Leaders: Note the first two steps of C-Step and Parallel Cross are the same.  As with the C-Step the first side step, due to dissociation, causes the follower to under-step the leader. 

Leaders and Followers: 
The Parallel Cross and C-Step introduce the concept of 'Inside and Outside' positions.
Note that when the follower is lead to Outside position her back leg  (left leg) has stepped slightly to her right - to stabilise behind her front leg, crossing to the right of, or behind, her spine).

In Inside position her back leg (left leg) has stepped in a straight line behind her - parallel to her front leg and not behind or crossing to the right of her spine.

Two backwards steps (follower) in Outside position leads to the Cross. The first Outside position step is the Leader's right leg stepping forward (Follower's left leg stepping back). The second outside step is the Leader's left leg stepping outside (Follower's right leg stepping back).

Week 2 : starting February 11
  • Reviewed C-Step
  • Introduced concept of dissociation - upper body moves different to lower body.
  • Introduced Lapiz Walk exercise
The first side step of C-Step, which requires dissociation, can be described as a  'Blocking' step: The leader angles his torso to his right to lead follower to under-step him. The follower angles similarly to her right (to connect with her partner 'heart to heart') as she steps to the right.


Improvisations in Week 1

To give you an idea of what is covered in our Beginner and Intermediate series :

North Sydney

Improvisation using L1-3 moves (4.2.19)


Improvisation using L1-3 moves ‎(5 Feb 2019)


Improvisation using L1 - 3 moves ‎‎(6 Feb 2019)‎‎

Improvisation in Week 2 - focusing on just Level 1 moves:


Improvisation using L1 moves ‎(13 Feb 2019)

Drill for practicing between classes:

Lapiz Walk

  1. Practice Lapiz Walk - ideally to song 'Cara Sucia' which is the first song in Sophia's Spotify List: Tango (Trad). Optional (and for extra credit!): See if you can fit the whole movement within a musical phrase (each movement is 8 counts, as is each musical phrase).
  2. Review C-Step - Leaders only memorise this step. It is not helpful for followers to memorise steps, but useful to watch how follower connects with her partner and footwork.
Week 1 : starting February 4
The focus was on:
  • Synchronising with a partner
  • Balance technique tips
  • Changing weight
  • Walking technique (side, forward and back)
  • Leading from the torso
  • Practice hold and open embrace
The move introduced was the 'C Step':


We worked on musicality, walking to single time and pausing. We used the count 1-2-3-4 walking on the strong beats of 1 and 3. Counting can also be 'I and 1 and...' 1 here is for the strong beats of 1 and 3 while 'and' is for the soft beats of 2 and 4.

Here are some end of class improvised displays from previous terms this year. Display from this term to be uploaded shortly.

End of class displays:

End of class display Glebe 13.2.18

End of class display - Glebe 6.2.18