One of my favorite types of dance and what this website is based off of is Tango. I always feel so sexy when I dance and want to share it with the world. So, I have thought of a few different beginner lessons and also some great resources for my readers. You will find some great tips here and the videos will help you get a great idea of how you can get started dancing with your partner.
Learning The Steps of Tango
The first thing is learning the frame of tango. This will be huge if you can master this. Not only does this allow you to portray your emotion but also to learn good habits in the beginning instead of trying to unlearn them later. Gray Miller has created a wonderful article on how to get this right and here is a small piece of it:
Before You Dance, the Frame
One of the more important aspects of the tango is the frame, or the way the dancers hold their bodies with each other. The dance position is “closed,” that is, with the lead’s right hand on the follow’s left shoulder blade and left hand extended to the side, grasping the follow’s right hand. The follow’s left hand is placed midway down the lead’s right arm. While this gives the appearance of the arm resting, no actual weight should be placed on the lead’s arm.
The lead and follow should look to the side, towards the left and right, respectively, with spines very straight and a slight tilt back to the follow’s head. Occasionally there will be tango dance steps that require them to snap their heads around and look at each other (often with a smoldering look) but their heads should always go back to the rest of the frame.
That frame is held through many of the steps, with only the tilt of the bodies changing (for example, in the corte). While this may seem like it makes the dance too rigid for some, in reality the stability of the dance frame makes all the rest of the tango dance steps more elegant. See the full post here.
Now that you have a good idea of how the frame is, it is time to learn the basic moves of tango. This maybe confusing and first so we recommend watching the video a few times.
Beginning Tango Steps
Now it is time to get started dancing. Learning the steps will help and give you a good basis of tango. There is a great resource for this on Endre Tango and also included is a bonus video to give you a good idea of sequences.
Although in Argentine tango there are no pre-defined figures or steps, leading the cross – often in the 8 step sequence – is one of the first things taught in all dance schools. You might have heard of this sequence as 8 count basic.
The methods used to teach leading the cross vary from teacher to teacher but as mentioned above the 8 step sequence is frequently used.
Why is that? With these 8 simple steps we can prepare and lead the cross, closing down the sequence.
This is all nice and simple but as a teacher I beg you NOT to practice or teach 8 step basic starting with a back step!!!
Steps of the 8-sequence:
step 1 – the leader takes a step to the back. It is advised to ignore this step as the leader cannot see behind himself and could collide with others!
step 2 – side step or “salida” usually towards the center of the dance floor.
step 3 – the leader steps on the outside of the follower
step 4 – preparation of the cross with a forward step
step 5 – the leader closes his feet, the follower completes the cross step
steps 6-7-8 – these steps terminate the sequence
After you get the hang of dancing I would recommend going to a music studio or meetup to find some lessons in person. A professional instructor will be able to pinpoint anything you are doing wrong and is well worth the money spent. If you are passionate about Tango, you will have a great time and learn quickly. Video with Tango instructions included below: