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The Structure of Argentine Tango
Part 3: Variations

In Part I of this article, we looked at the basic structure of tango which consists of 5 distinct parts: A (verse) -- B (chorus) -- A (verse) -- B (chorus) -- A (versue. It was mentioned that not all tangos, fit neatly into this structure, but that this simple structure is usually present.

Caminito
Let's start with an older tango "Caminito" performed by Francisco Canaro from 1926. This song has several variations to the basic structure, but as you will see, that basic structure is still there. This song structure goes:

intro -- verse -- pre-chorus -- chorus -- verse -- pre-chorus -- chorus -- verse

Caminito (The Whole Song)

 

Caminito (Introduction)

 

Caminito (Verse 1)

 

Caminito (Pre-Chorus and Chorus 1)

 

Caminito (Verse 2)

 

Caminito (Pre-Chorus and Chorus 2)

 

Caminito (Verse 3)

 

Introduction
"Caminito" has a cute little 8 second introduction, before the first verse begins. This is very common and happens often in tangos. Dancer's Note: This introduction actually does have a strong beat, but usually they will not, so we rarely dance to an introduction. In fact, we usually don't start dancing until the first beat of the second phrase of a typical tango song, so if the song has an introduction, we might begin dancing on the first beat of the first verse.

Pre-Chorus
After before each chorus in "Caminito," there is a pre-chorus that lasts for about 8 seconds which consists of a bandoneón solo and then a piano solo. Sometimes you can also have pre-versus which work the same way, but before the each verse. Dancer's note: This is a good time to execute a corté (break) or parada (stop) and for women to embellish. It might also be a good time for a calesita. Basically, something which keeps us from progressing.

Humming and Whistling
One other interesting note about this song, is that during the first chorus you can hear the band members humming or moaning the chorus and during the second chorus someone is whistling the chorus. This song was recorded in 1926 and singers were not added to dance orchestras until 1927, when Canaro recorded "Así es el Mundo," featuring Roberto Díaz, as a chorus singer. See my article on "The Role of the Orchestra Singer" for more information on this subject.

Poema
"Poema" is a very popular tango which was recorded in 1935 by Francisco Canaro with Roberto Maida singing. It has a very distinct variation on the basic structure, while still keeping the verse -- chorus -- verse -- chorus -- verse structure. Listen to the song and then see if you can hear what it is.

Poema (The Whole Song)

 

Poema (Verse 1)

 

Poema (Chorus 1)

 

Poema (Verse 2)

 

Poema (Chorus 2)

 

Poema (Verse 3)

 

The first verse is 32 single-time beats, as we would expect, but then the chorus is only 16. Then the second verse is a whole 64, instead of the usual 32. Then the chorus is only 16 again and the final verse is 64.

Also, listen to verse 1 and then verse 2, there is no better example of a singer performing as an instrument of the orchestra. In the 2nd verse, notice that Maida imitates the violin of the 1st verse. The singer and the violin accent almost the same notes.

Dancer's note: "Poema" is also a great example of the choruses being more rhythmic than the verses. The tempo is the same, but notice how the energy goes up. There is actually a strong beat during the verses, but the melodic rhythm is equal if not dominant. During the verses, you have an option to dance to the beat or to the melody or switch between phrases. There is less option during the chorus, there is little melody and the beat is very dominant. Below is a performance of "Poema" by Murat and Michelle Erdemsel. It includes a painting of his which visually represents the different sections of "Poema." You will see the melodic sections represented as blue circles and the more ryhtmic sections represented by a rectangle with sharper lines and deeper colors.

Below are two great performances to "Poema" by Pablo Rodriguez and Noelia Hurtado and Javier Rodriguez and Geraldine Rojas. See you can see how they shift in energy between the choruses and verses. Also, notice that they both begin with a step on the fist beat of the 2nd phrase, this is not at all necessary, but is very common.

The Structure of Argentine Tango
Part 2: Rhythm, Melody and Phrases

Rhythm vs Melody

The rhythm of a song is the basic beat, "pulse," or steady flow of the music. The rhythm is what you would clap your hands to or change weight to as you listen to a piece of music. 

The melody or melodic rhythm is the "wave" of the music or what you would hum. Melody would consist of the shape, movement and intensity of the notes to one another.

Usually, the rythm is played by the accompaniment consisting of piano, double base and one bandoneon while the rest of the instruments play the melody or solos. You might have two melodies playing at the same time, overlapping each other, such as two bandoneons playing different melodies. Also, melodies will often repeat, with variations, throughout the song.

The rhythm would be each individual sound, while the melody is the wave-form of those sounds. If you just listen to a single measure, you will not hear the melody. If you listen to a phrase then you will hear the melody. The melody might last from anywhere from one phrase (see below) to a whole section of the song. Melody is not just about the notes played, but HOW they are played and where the accents are placed.

Dancer's Note: Imagine the rhythm as being a steady base that lies underneath with the melody floating on top.

As dancers, we want to be aware of both the rhythm and the melody. We can dance to either one, but the mark of an advanced dancer is being able to hear which is dominant and be able to adapt their dance accordingly. If both are equal, then it is up to the leader.

Also, you want to hear the flow of the melody, so that you can hear the melodic accents and climaxes in the music. These accents will often correspond to a beat of the rhythm. If we are dancing to the melody, this when we want to step or perform a boleo or gancho. The accents can be placed on any beat, but almost always on the first beat of a measure. You don't necessarily have to "know" the song by heart to hear these accents coming. Since tangos often repeat themselves, if we pay attention to the first verse and to the first chorus then we should have a good idea of where the accents are going to be for the rest of the song. I say a good idea, because often accents do change from section to section.

 


 

Measures

Tango music is in 4/4 time (4 beats per measure), two upbeats and two downbeats (strong). In the graphic below, 1 is a downbeat, 2 is an upbeat, 3 is a downbeat and 4 is an upbeat. Dancer's Note: As tango dancer's we first learn to step in "single-time," which means to walk on the downbeats, so we step on the 1 and the 3. Then we learn double-time, half-time and syncopation. To dance just in single-time would be very boring. We will look at these other times the article Musicality 101.

One measure in 4/4 time:

One measure in 4/4 time

Phrases

Each of the 5 sections of a tango are made up of 4 phrases. A phrase consists of 4 measures or 8 single-time beats, so each section has 32 sing-time beats.

One phrase in 4/4 time:

One Section (Four Phrases):




Exercise: Let's listen to "Que Nunca Me Falte" by Ricardo Tanturi. In this song, you can clearly hear the ending of each phrase. You will notice that each phrase ends on the seventh walking (strong) beat and that the eight is silent. Then the next phrase begins with a strong 1.

Deeper into Phrases
The understanding of phrasing is one of the most important aspects to good musicality. I like to think of a tango as a story, each section as a paragraph, each phrase as a sentence and each beat as a word. While words (beats) do convey meaning, the sentence (phrase) is really the most important thing to express.

These sentences can convey a simple statement, exclaim strong emotion or can even ask a question. My favorite way of thinking of a section of tango music is that there is a question and then an answer (call and response). This can take many forms. The first phrase might be a question which then gets answered by phrase 2.

Let's listen to the first two phrases of "Bahía Blanca:"

Phrase 1 & 2 of "Bahía Blanca:"

 

Phrase 3 & 4 of "Bahía Blanca:"

 

I like to think that the first two phrases are a statement or question and that the last two phrases are a sharp response. You can even hear Di Sarli putting a period or exclamation mark at the end of the last phrase with the piano "ping." The last phrase of a section usually ends more dramatically with some sort of strong punctuation to let you know that the section is over and that a new section is beginning.

Dancer's Note: In my opinion, being able to hear the ebb and flow of the phrases and the resolution of phrases is one of the most important concepts to understand about the music. Notice if the phrases are flowing together or if each phrase is ending in a strong period or comma (pause) and exploit that knowledge in your dance. It is especially important to be able to hear the end of the final phrase of any section, as those mark crucial transitions within the song.

The end of sections, is where we want to pause or end an idea such as a turn or sequence. It is SUPER important not to "blur" the end of a section, if there is a pause in the music. Imagine that at the end of a section is a red light, which you need to acknowledge. The first beat of the next section is your "green light" to move again.

 


 

The Outro or Coda (tail)
The outro is usually the final verse of the song. It is usually very similar to the first two verses, but will often include an instrumental solo or some slightly different instrumentation. Often the outro will gain in energy leading up to the final chum-chum. Listen to the Outro (Verse 3) of "Pensalo Bien" and notice the bandoneón solo runs.

"Pensalo Bien" Verse 3

 

 


 

Chum-Chum
The final two notes of a tango are often referred to as chum-chum. Many orchestras put their own unique stamp on the chum-chum.

End of "Al Compas del Corazon" by Miguel Caló
Strong first chum -- pause -- soft piano notes for second chum

 

End of "Llorar Por Una Mujer" by Enrique Rodriguez
Rodriguez probably has the most famous ends, because he would only do the first chum and then skip the second chum.

 

End of "La Yumba" by Osvaldo Pugliese
Strong first chum -- pause -- Soft second chum

 

End of "La Vide Es Corta" by Ricardo Tanturi
Strong first chum -- pause -- piano note for second chum

 

Part 3: Variations

The Structure of Argentine Tango
Part 1: The Basic Structure

In this article we will learn about the basic structure of Argentine Tango. In very simple terms, most tangos consist of the following elements:

  • A typical tango consists of 5 sections
  • Each section consists of 4 phrases
  • Each phrase consists of 4 measures
  • Each measure (in 4/4 time) consists of 4 beats (2 "strong" downbeats and 2 "weak" beats).

The Basic Structure

The basic structure of a simple Argentine Tango consists of 5 sections. Some people like to describe this structure as ABAB and others say that it is ABABC, meaning that often the last section often has a little different structure than the previous A sections. Often, in this final section there will be some sort of instrumental solo. But there is nothing guaranteed. Sometimes sections are longer or shorter or have little intros to the sections. This is just a general structure to listen for and the really important thing for dancers is to hear wihen these sections are coming to an end and when a new one begins.

A Sections (or Verses)
I like to think of the A sections as verses. In popular music, this would correspond to the lyric of the song and a singer would sing all three verses. In tango, the first verse is almost always an instrumental. The second verse, is either an instrumental or sung depending on the orchestras use of a singer. The third verse, is often an instrumental with a solo, but it is occasionally sung.

In tango, the verses are usually musically similar. So, if you pay attention to the first verse, it is likely that the next verses will follow a similar pattern. Also, verses are usually more melodic in nature.

B Sections (or Chorus / Refrain)
The B section is usually repeated twice and will be the same both musically and lyrically. Once again, the first chorus is not sung in most tangos, for dancing. If the song is not an instrumental, the second chorus is almost always sung, but of course there are variations. The chorus usually has a more upbeat and more rhythmic feel than verse, but not always.

Dancer's Note: This structure helps us as dancers, if we pay attention to the first verse and the first chorus, then we will know, within reason, what to expect for the rest of the song.

Exercise: Let's listen to Carlos Di Sarli's "El Jagüel" from 1956. If you listen closely, you will clearly hear the end of each section. Di Sarli ends each section with a single ping of the piano. If you listen a few times, you will hear the music build up to the end of each section.

 


Now let's listen to two famous tangos, "Bahía Blanca" by Carlos Di Sarli from 1957 and "Pensalo Bien" by Juan D'Arienzo with Alberto Echagüe singing from 1938, and see if we can hear this structure.

 

Bahía Blanca
"Bahía Blanca" is an homage to Carlos Di Sarli's hometown, which is located in the south-west province of Buenos Aires. It is a great example of an elegant, sophisticated tango.

First, let's listen to the whole song:

Bahía Blanca (The Whole Song)

 

Next, let's listen to the 5 sections independently of each other.

Bahía Blanca (A 1)

Bahia Blanca: A 1

Bahía Blanca (B 1)

Bahia Blanca: B 1

Bahía Blanca (A 2)

Bahia Blanca: A 2

Bahía Blanca (B 2)

Bahia Blanca: B 2

Bahía Blanca (A 3)

Bahia Blanca: A 3

Now, go back and listen to A 1, A 2 and A 3 and notice the similarity. You will notice small differences in the instrumentation, but the overall structure is very similar. Then go back and listen to B 1 and B 2. You should find them very similar as well.

 


 

Pensalo Bien
Now let's examine "Pensalo Bien" in the same fashion. First, let's listen to the whole song:

Pensalo Bien (The Whole Song)

 

Next, let's listen to the 5 sections independently of each other:

Pensalo Bien (A 1)

Pensalo Bien: Verse 1

Pensalo Bien (B 1)

Pensalo Bien: Chorus 1

Pensalo Bien (A 2)

Pensalo Bien: A 2

Pensalo Bien (B 2)

Pensalo Bien: B 2

Pensalo Bien (A 3)

Pensalo Bien: A 3

The first difference that we might notice is small, but each verse begins with a slight 2 second intro played only by the bandoneon. Another noticeable difference here is that Alberto Echagüe sings the second chorus. Echagüe is playing the common role of the tango singer as an "estribillista" or chorus singer.

In the vast majority of tango songs, played for dancing, the singer will only sing a small portion of the lyric. Usually they will only begin singing during the second verse and/or the second chorus. This helps us as dancer's, because we get to hear a whole verse and chorus without singing, so that we can hear the musical structure before the singing starts. For more on the singer's role in the tango orchestra read my article: The Role of the Tango Orchestra Singer.

 


 

Tempo
One difference to notice between these two songs is the tempo. Tempo is the overall pace (beats per minute) of a piece of music. Both songs have the same amount of beats, but "Bahía Blanca" is 2:52 while "Pensalo Bien" is 2:18. What is different is the beats per minute. "Bahía Blanca" is played at approximately 56 bpm and "Pensalo Bien" is played at approximately 67 bpm. When I say beat, I am referring to the "walking beat" (aka downbeat or strong beat), which I will explain more in a moment.

Dancer's Notes: Tempo has a lot to do with our style of dancing. Below are some examples of how we might modify our dance depending on tempo. Notice that I keep using the word "might" as these are general ideas and not absolutes. We might do exactly the same steps in both, but the quality that we give to those steps might be very different.

Faster Tempo Slower Tempo
We might dance in a closer embrace. The embrace might be slightly firmer so that we stay connected while moving faster. BUT should not be too firm where the woman might not be free to move. We might feel like opening the embrace periodically for more challenging steps. The embrace might be less firm, giving her plenty of room to pivot and take larger steps.
We might walk more staccato, meaning that we might walk with shorter steps and we might begin and/or end our steps more sharply. We might walk more legato, meaning that we might feel like taking larger, longer steps and to walk more smoothly through our steps.
We might be more playful with our steps and embrace. We might be more serious and dramatic.
We might move more linearly. We might curve our steps and movements more. We might allow for more fluidity in our embrace. We might do more turning walks and more turns in general.
We might maintain a more constant flow and pause less or we might pause quickly and then begin again quickly. We might use long dramatic pauses and then begin moving again very slowly.
We might try to step on most every beat, rarely skipping beats. We might skip beats and really stretch out our steps.
We might work in quick embellishments with little flurries of their feet or quick toe taps. We might work in more long, stretched out embellishments, which the men should wait and give the women time to complete.
We might use more rebound steps with lots of quick changes of direction.  
We might use the quick, quick, slow rhythm more. We also might use the quick, quick, quick, quick, slow rhythm. We will always dance with rhythm, but that rhythm might be more sub-dued and a the "slow" of the quick, quick, slow might be stretched out a bit more.

Here are two demos from our classes that show very similar steps performed to "Bahia Blanca" and "Pensalo Bien" which should show some of the different qualities mentioned above.

Part 2: Rhythm, Melody and Phrases

Rhythmic Embellishments to the Ocho Cortado

This class demo is from a class on adding rhythmic embellishments to the ocho cortado using the music of Juan d'Arienzo. We looked at embellishments for both men and women. We started by encouraging the men to use their feet a little more to the rhythmic music of d'Arienzo, but picking up their feet slightly and stepping to the rhythm of the music. We also looked at using the quick quick slow rhythm on the arrepentida leading up to the ocho cortado and on the side step.

You can see a very basic ocho cortado at .43 of the video.

Embellishments for the Women
We started by discussing the fact the the men are not doing anything different. They are simply leading an ocho cortado and the women are choosing which embellishment to do.

  1. The first embellishment can be seen at .23 of the video. You can see that Shelley places her weight on both feet during the side step and pivots her hips and feet (not her upper body) clockwise and then pivots back and crosses.
  2. At .29 of video, Shelley shifts her weight completely to her left leg, pivots on her left and flexes her right foot up. (We also encouraged the men to be more playful with the music and to repeat the ocho cortado twice in a row).
  3. At 1.27 of the video, Shelley shifts her weight to her leg and actually collects her right. She then returns to her right, pivots and crosses. This one is tricky and requires women to be very fast on their feet.

Very Compact Ocho Cortado
At .51 of the video, you can see a very compact ocho cortado which could be used for very crowded floor.  The men simply turn their chests (not hips) clockwise while extending their right foot slightly forward. His weight and balance should remain on his left foot.

Men's Embellishments
Starting at 1.00 of the video, we can see several embellishments for men. Essentially, I am balanced on my left foot and using my free, right foot to place it to the inside of her right foot and then the outside of her left (and added a barrida for fun). I could also place my foot to the inside of her right foot, etc.

Demo performed to "Qué Noche" by Juan d'Arienzo.

Milonga: The Baldosa Box with Variations

Milonga is one of the 3 basic rhythms that we dance to at tango dance parties, also referred to as milongas. Milonga is in 2/4 time and is one of the predecessors of Argentine Tango.

The Baldosa Box
A baldosa is a large tile. You are considered a great tango/milonga dancer if you can dance on a baldosa (i.e. in a small area). The baldosa box is a basic and very useful figure of tango, vals, and milonga which goes like this:

Steps Leader Follower
1 Back open step with the right Forward open step with the left
2 Side open step with the left Side open step with the right
3 Forward cross step with the right to the open side of the embrace Back cross step with the left to the open side of the embrace
4 Forward open step, back in front of the woman, with the left Back open step with the right
5 Side open step with the right Side open step with the left
6 Change weight, in place, to left / Often this step is done in double time Change weight, in place, to right
  Then repeat. Often steps 5 and 6 are double timed (quick quick). Also, sometimes I like to collect and change weight at 4 instead of stepping forward (.22 of video).

To see a clear demonstration of this step, watch .15 to .19 of the video below.

Variations

We then looked at many ways to alter the figure to add musicality. We started this class, by listening to several popular milonga and finding the 1 & 2 in the music. Milonga has two beats per measure. The 1 is usually the strongest and we encouraged the leaders to find the 1 and to step on it with their right feet. We also encouraged the women to be listening to the music (as always) and to want to step or change weight on each beat, unless the men specifically do something to prevent that.

  1. If the floor is crowded, I often change weight in place instead of taking the forward step at number 4 above (.22 of video).
  2. Turning the step - You can turn any of these steps, but I especially like to turn the side step (Step 5 above) 45 to 90 degrees and then turn back to the line of dance on the next back step or side step.
  3. Rocking the side step - I also like to create a rocking feeling with the first side step (Step 2) (.39 of video). I begin taking the side step to my left, then rock back to my right, collect my left and change weight.
  4. Hesitation steps (.11 of video) - I would also refer to these as traspie. Most people refer to traspie as meaning double timed steps, but the true meaning of traspie is "to stumble". Whatever you call it, I begin taking a small step back with my right leg and stop mid-way through my step. I put a tiny amount of weight back on my left and push off to take a slightly larger step. I want to resist rocking back and forth, so I don't go completely back to my left. It is more of a feeling of going back, slight pause and going back some more. We can use these hesitation steps on all of our steps forward, side, and back. (1.21 of video). I also like to do double hesitations on my side steps (4.01 of video).
  5. Toe Points (.53 of video) - I love this one and women really seem to love it as well. There are a few hints for this one. I step outside partner to the open side of the embrace with my right foot, making contact with my upper right thigh to the her upper right thigh. Then I pivot slightly to the left and then back to the right (repeat as many times as I like) and then step back with my right. Another secret is that I try to stay as much on my left as I can, so that my right leg is free to move side to side, BUT I can't lean my upper body backwards. I want to stay upright and straight.
  6. The walk around (1.51 of video). When I begin walking backwards, I keep turning clockwise with my right shoulder going away. I also take very small curved steps to try and create a very small circle. She is on the outside of the circle so she has to take much larger steps. I have to keep curving, until I want to exit. Once I get back to the line of dance, I straighten my body and she comes back in front of me. I usually do this when I step back with my left and then have her take a straight step back into my path with my back right.

Below you will find a video of these steps being demonstrated to two different milongas, one slower and one faster.

....

Tanda of the Week: Osvaldo Pugliese from 1956-58

This week's tanda is one of my favorite tandas to dance to by Osvaldo Pugliese. It has everything that makes Pugliese great. These songs are bold but tender, calm and then energetic. To enjoy dancing to his music, you have to be able to enjoy the silence. It is about the moments between the steps.  Many believe that you have to have a large vocabulary to dance to Pugliese, but actually I probably do less when dancing to his music. It is about patience, balance and the connection to your partner.

More about:

 

 

Does humor belong in Tango?

Frank Zappa used to ask, "Does humor belong in music?" They are asking "Does humor belong in Tango?" I think the answer is yes. There are many ways of expressing Tango: elegant, sensual, playful, sexy, fluid, etc.

What they are doing here is very difficult and takes a very high degree of skill to do well.. and they are doing it very very well.

The Milonguero Dip

In this Tango lesson, we teach a figure called The Milonguero Dip, and is part of our Popular Steps for the Social Dance Floor series. This step is a popular step that I saw used in the milongas of Buenos Aires, Argentina. I have recently been informed that the step was named "milonguero dip" by Ney Melo and Jennifer Bratt.. and that they first saw it done by Javier Rodriguez and Geraldine Rojas and that Javier called it "ocho seco."

The joy of this move is in the musicality and the swoosh feeling it gives the followers during the dips (changes of our vertical plane). Every time I teach this move, it always receives lots of positive feedback from the followers. They love it.

Breakdown of the steps:

  • In this class, we started the move off from back ochos. When I lead a back ocho to the man's right, I begin by pivoting on my right foot counter-clockwise and crossing my left foot in front of my right, while leading her to take a back cross with her left around me. KEY MOMENT: My left foot should hit the floor at the same moment her left foot hits the floor. At this moment I also go down slightly in my left leg(dip).
  • At this point, there should be lots of compression in the embrace, as I lead her to take a side step around me with her right foot as I pivot around on my left and switch weight to my right.
  • I continue leading her around to a forward cross step with her left, as I step around her with my left. KEY MOMENT: As I step around her with my right, I need to make sure that I do not go too close to her (I might push her off her axis and that I don't go to far away (pulling her off of her axis).
  • I sink down (dip) into my left leg as I lead her around to another forward cross with her right. As she takes that forward cross I step back diagonally with her.
  • To finish I lead her to yet another back cross in front of me and I switch weight to return to parallel system and walk out.

Important Notes: This move requires a relaxed embrace, so that she can pivot inside my embrace (especially my right arm). If I hold her too tightly she will find it difficult to do the large pivots necessary for this move and it will be very uncomfortable.

Musicality Notes: In the first part of the demo, we danced to Carlos di Sarli's "Junto A Tu Corazon." This this we keep things rather calm and stretch the dips out as long as we can. Starting at 0.43 we dance this same way to Juan d'Arienzo's "Compadrón" to show how it works, but does not quite fit with the music. Then bumped the energy up just a little bit to fit with d'Arienzo. We shortened the steps and made them a little more staccato as opposed to the more legato of di Sarli. In both cases, we use a quick-quick-slow timing for her first back cross and side step.

 

Video Demonstration:

 

 And a second video of us teaching this step:
 

Walking While Switching Sides and Systems

This move is part of our Popular Steps for the Social Dance Floor series.

The interesting thing about this step is that while walking (caminata) the followers keep switching sides and switching systems (parallel vs cross) during the step. They start out on the leader's right side, switches to the left and then back to the right. So, this requires a flexibility or elasticity in the embrace to allow her to travel within my embrace.

The second thing is that we have the followers take two steps to our one step twice in the move. We like to call this “dancing the woman” or “the invisible lead,” when I ask her to take steps that I am not doing myself.

Step Breakdown (the numbers below correlate to the numbers in the slow-motion part of the video):

  1. We start by leading her to a Salida Americana. The leaders take weight on their right leg and as she takes weight on her left leg she comes back to neutral in front of us. At this point we are in parallel system. Now the leader stays on his right leg, while leaving his left behind, and leads her to take a side step with her right leg. Now we are in cross system and she is on our left side. We must relax our embrace during this move to allow her to travel to our left side, if we hold her too tightly then she will either not go or will pull us off balance.
  2. Now we step forward with our left and she steps back with her left. We stay on our left, leaving our right behind, as we lead her to take a back cross step across our path to our right side. We are back in parallel system.
  3. We collect and step forward (outside partner) with our right. She steps back with her left.
  4. We step back in front of her with our left as she steps back with her right and we are done.

At parts 1 and 2 above we take one step while leading her to take two steps. This takes us from parallel sytem, into cross system and then back into parallel system. We can maintain a close embrace during this whole step, but must relax the embrace enough to allow her to move slightly in the embrace.

Additons to the move:

  • At 1.26 in the video, we look at an alternative entrance to the step. Instead of starting with a Salida Americana we simply started by walking outside partner and then leading her to a side step.
  • At the beginning of step 2, when the leader steps forward with his left, he could perform a forward sacada to her left as she steps back with her right.
  • Also, at step 2, we could lead her back cross with or without pivoting her first and then changes the feeling of the move.