"Dancing Tid-bits" Issue #63, Thursday, August 9, 2001

Dancing Tid-bits
Two Walks and a Link

Famous last words of Luca Baricci and Larrain winning the Championship Title at Blackpool 2000. Indeed, it seems like every time I take a coaching lesson in Tango the whole hour goes by and we do not seem to get beyond 2 Walks and the Progressive Link. Why?

Why, because the whole thing about Tango is the Tango Atmosphere and Tango Movement of which these two steps are classical representations. So a few thoughts.

Two Walks: Everything in Tango is as a result of Tango Hold. As we know, knees are slightly flexed, the hold is more compact, lady is slightly more to man's right side, so man ends up holding her around waist more or less going across her spine with his right hand and therefore the left hand (R for the lady) is more acute angle at the elbow, etc., etc. Why this "HOLD" is so? They tell me that Tango goes back to it's ethnic roots of tribal hunting in Africa with stalking walks and then its development in the brothels of Argentina. It is because of this particular hold that the following characteristics apply to Tango Walks.
  1. Stay Low, Knees slightly flexed
  2. Feet can be slightly lifted off the Floor
  3. Man: LF walk in CBMP, RF walk more open with right shoulder leading. Lady: RF back in CBMP and then LF back more open with left shoulder leading following the man
  4. The walks curve to the left a lot, almost like making a circle if several walks were taken one after the other. (Remember the stalking of a pray)
  5. Body probably moves at a constant speed but legs and feet are staccato...check with your teacher to show you what that means. Actually every time I say something about that, a coach contradicts me so I better not say too much. What does Staccato mean? If you see a person with Parkinsons disease walking, they seem to walk like 'stop and go'. Because of it's stalking nature the Tango Walk is staccato. The moving of the back leg is delayed as much time as is allowed in music and then moved abruptly. Does that make any sense?
PS Stay low means weight going down with knees flexed slightly but keeping body supported and a feeling you are "sitting up"

Even though the classical walks will turn to left but I guess we can also do these walks without turning if the situation calls for that.

Progressive Link: The problem with the link seems to be the technical descriptions of Feet positions which is really a topic by itself, so in order to keep things brief as I have promised to many readers let's discuss this in the next issue. Send me your comments and critique, that always helps. With Best Wishes, Max

Questions and comments to Dancemax@aol.com, thank you.

This article is part of and should be seen in the frame context of Dancesport UK, Tid-bits