Level 1 Sep - Oct 2018

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 October 15
1) We reviewed all the moves covered this term:
  • Tango walk
  • C-Step
  • Parallel Cross with Resolution
  • Parallel Cross with Forward Ochos
  • Parallel Cross with Forward and Back Ochos
  • 4 Step Turn
2) We linked these moves together in a smaller space to practice navigation and floor craft
3) We played with musicality - with single, half time, double time and pausing.
- half time for Forward and Back Ochos
- Single and Double time Cross
- Pausing and half time for leading into the Parallel Cross (i.e. first 3 steps)

4) We showed how retracing and deconstructing the Parallel Cross and C-Step could lead to numerous new possibilities of movement!

5) On Sunday October 14 we ran a one hour 'Integrate / Initiate' workshop to conclude your Level 1 course. The first 30 minutes was a review of all the above moves in preparation for dancing at our Celebration (Practilonga). The second 30 minutes was a guide to floor craft and etiquette for social tango dancing. 
If you missed this workshop you have a $20 credit towards a private lesson (expiring on October 28).

Happy practicing! Please refer to previous weeks's videos for reviewing all Level 1 moves.

Week 6: Starting October 8
Introduction of:
  • 4 Step Turn (Change of Direction)  

4 Step Turn (Change of Direction)

Review of:
  • C-Step Vs Parallel Cross (with Resolution) and how they differ
  • Forward and Backward Ochos entered from Parallel Cross
Week 5: starting October 1
Review of:
  • C-Step Vs Parallel Cross (with Resolution) and how they differ
  • Forward and Backward Ochos entered from Parallel Cross
See videos from previous weeks.

Week 4: starting September 24
Review of: 
  • C-Step Vs Parallel Cross (with Resolution) and how they differ
  • Review of Forward Ocho, entered from Parallel Cross
Introduced - how to turn a Forward Ocho into a Backward Ocho

Parallel Cross with Forward & Back Ochos with Resolution

Week 3: starting September 17
  • Review of C-Step
  • Review of Parallel Cross with Resolution.
  • Introduction of Forward Ocho entered from Parallel Cross
'Ocho' means 'eight' in Spanish - this is a curvy move, like the number!

Parallel Cross Forward Ocho Resolution

Week 2: starting September 10
  • Review of C-Step
  • Introduction of 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).

Parallel Cross

Practice Lapiz Walk (see video below)
Review Parallel Cross & C Step videos. 

Week 1 : starting September 3
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':
The C-Step involved using dissociation in the first side step. Dissociation is when the upper body moves differently to the lower body. 

The dissociation in this move involves turning the upper body to the right while stepping sideways to the left.  Hips remain straight while stepping.

The first side step of C-Step can be described as a  'Blocking' step: The leader angles his torso to his right to lead follower to under-step him.


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.

We also introduced the 'Lapiz Walk' ('lapiz' means pencil in Spanish):

This is a great exercise to practice between classes to help strengthen your balance, walk and musicality. 

Recommended to be done to the song 'Cara Sucia' by Carlos Di Sarli. The Lapiz is also used as an ornament to the walk in social tango dancing by both leaders and followers.

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

End of class display:

End of Class display