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Tango
Basic Walks
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1. Basic Walks

Walks are the basic building block of Tango, but they are also considered a syllabus figure. There are two walks: One on the left foot, and one on the right foot, typically but not necessarily taken in succession. Each pair of walks can be repeated indefinitely, though the practice of dancing more than two walks at a time is typically done more as an academic exercise, and not so much in a real world application.

Walks in Tango differ from the basic walking action of the other ballroom dances in several ways:

  • There is no rise and fall.
  • With each step, the feet are liftend slightly off the floor, and each step is placed with an articulated foot action.
  • The walks are often described as having a staccato quality. This is achieved on forward walks by delaying the moving foot from below the knee for as long as the music will allow, thus requiring a quicker movement of the foot into position.
  • Walks normally curve to the left.
  • The man's left foot forward walk (lady's right foot back walk) is taken in CBMP.
  • The man's right foot forward walk is taken with his right side slightly in advance. Likewise, the lady's left foot back walk is taken with her left side slightly in advance.

Note: When curving to the left, a typical error is to place the left foot walk across the track of the right foot. Take care not to overcross the step; It should arrive having been placed along, not across the track of the departing foot.

Making the Move from American Style

American style dancers should be aware that the International version of Tango has no "basic step", per se. There is no [step]Tango Close||1121[/step], and although the basic walks are repeatable, as noted above this is not typical. The closest approximation to a repeatable basic pattern similar to the American style is a combination of a right foot walk with the [step]Progressive Side Step||261[/step], which can be likened to the American [step]6-Count Basic||822[/step]. International style is not built on the premise that each dance has a single, repeatable basic pattern, and so one typically learns a combination of two or more figures, linked together to form a repeatable group. The following amalgamations are suggested for beginners, in order of complexity:

  • Right foot forward walk, [step]Progressive Side Step||261[/step].
    (Note: Entire combination should begin with one Left foot forward walk)
  • Two walks, [step]Progressive Link||262[/step], [step]Closed Promenade||263[/step]
  • Two walks, [step]Progressive Link||262[/step][step]Closed Promenade||263[/step][step]Back Corté||267[/step][step]Open Reverse Turn||265[/step].

1c. Walk on Right Foot to Promenade

A simple method to achieve promenade position is a basic right foot walk (lady back on left foot), ended in promenade position. It can be useful for beginners who have not yet learned the [step]Progressive Link||262[/step], but would like to try a promenade figure such as [step]Closed Promenade||263[/step]. It could also be useful as a means of avoiding traffic, when space does not permit the Link.

The right foot walk is taken as any other, but rather than continuing to move the body across the foot, the dacners stop, and the free foot (man's left, lady's right) is placed to the side in promenade position. Note that this does result in a different alignment than would result from the [step]Progressive Link||262[/step]: Rather than lady turning 1/4 while man has no turn, on a right foot walk to promenade, both man and lady turn 1/8. A promenade figure that would otherwise have moved down line of dance will in this case move toward diagonal center.

1. Basic Walks
STEP#COUNTDESCRIPTIONNOTES
Begin Closed position.
 
1SlowLeft foot forward in CBMP.A slight curve to the left can be made. 
2SlowRight foot forward, right side leading.A slight curve to the left can be made. 
1c. Walk on Right Foot to Promenade
STEP#COUNTDESCRIPTIONNOTES
Begin Closed Positon
 
1QuickRight foot forward, right side leading. 
2QuickPlace left foot to side in promenade position, without weight.1/8 turn to left. 
1. Basic Walks
STEP#COUNTDESCRIPTIONNOTES
Begin Closed position.
 
1SlowRight foot back in CBMP.A slight curve to the left can be made (according to man). 
2SlowLeft foot back, left side leading.A slight curve to the left can be made (according to man). 
1c. Walk on Right Foot to Promenade
STEP#COUNTDESCRIPTIONNOTES
Begin Closed position.
 
1QuickLeft foot back, left side leading. 
2QuickPlace right foot to side in promenade position, without weight.1/8 turn to right. 
Walk on Right Foot>> Walk on Left Foot
Closed Promenade>> Walk on Left Foot
Rock Turn>> Walk on Left Foot
Open Reverse Turn, Lady Outside>> Walk on Left Foot
Open Finish>> Walk on Left Foot
Back Corte>> Walk on Left Foot
Open Reverse Turn, Lady In-Line>> Walk on Left Foot
Progressive Side Step Reverse Turn>> Walk on Left Foot
Open Promenade>> Walk on Left Foot
Natural Promenade to Rock Turn>> Walk on Left Foot
Promenade Link>> Walk on Left Foot
Promenade Link, Lady Turning>> Walk on Left Foot
Reverse Promenade Link>> Walk on Left Foot
Outside Swivel (method 1)>> Walk on Left Foot
Reverse Outside Swivel (method 3)>> Walk on Left Foot
Reverse Outside Swivel (method 4)>> Walk on Left Foot
Four Step Change>> Walk on Left Foot
Brush Tap>> Walk on Left Foot
Basic Reverse Turn>> Walk on Left Foot
Walk on Left Foot>> Walk on Right Foot
Progressive Side Step>> Walk on Right Foot
Walk on Left Foot>> Walk on Right Foot to Promenade
Progressive Side Step>> Walk on Right Foot to Promenade
Walk on Left Foot>> Walk on Right Foot
Walk on Left Foot>> Walk on Right Foot to Promenade
Walk on Right Foot>> Walk on Left Foot
Walk on Right Foot>> Progressive Side Step
Walk on Right Foot>> Progressive Link
Walk on Right Foot>> Rock Turn
Walk on Right Foot>> Open Reverse Turn, Lady Outside
Walk on Right Foot>> Open Reverse Turn, Lady In-Line
Walk on Right Foot>> Progressive Side Step Reverse Turn
Walk on Right Foot>> Four Step
Walk on Right Foot>> Four Step Change
Walk on Right Foot>> Brush Tap
Walk on Right Foot>> Fallaway Four Step
Walk on Right Foot>> Oversway
Walk on Right Foot>> Basic Reverse Turn
Walk on Right Foot>> Fallaway Reverse and Slip Pivot
Walk on Right Foot>> Five Step
Walk on Right Foot>> Contra Check
Walk on Right Foot to Promenade>> Closed Promenade
Walk on Right Foot to Promenade>> Open Promenade
Walk on Right Foot to Promenade>> Natural Twist Turn
Walk on Right Foot to Promenade>> Overturned Twist
Walk on Right Foot to Promenade>> Natural Promenade Turn
Walk on Right Foot to Promenade>> Natural Promenade to Rock Turn
Walk on Right Foot to Promenade>> Promenade Link
Walk on Right Foot to Promenade>> Promenade Link, Lady Turning
Walk on Right Foot to Promenade>> Reverse Promenade Link
Walk on Right Foot to Promenade>> Back Open Promenade
Walk on Right Foot to Promenade>> Fallaway Promenade
Walk on Right Foot to Promenade>> The Chase


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