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Class Notes for The Structure of Tango: Part I

The Structure of Tango
Part I: Cross Steps and Open Steps

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Introduction: At the end of this class, you will find that no matter which foot you are on or what system (Parallel or Cross) you are in that you will always have at least  8 steps that you can execute.

In Tango classes, teachers often teach figures or patterns. These can be fun and give students something to do when dancing. I think of figures as words or sentences and all the figures that we do during a song as paragraphs or chapters. In this class, we are taking a step back and looking at the alphabet or ABCs of Tango. Our goal is to look at the technique of every step and to make every step that we take in tango count.

In this class we look at the 5 basic steps of tango: Forward Open Step, Side Open Step, Back Open Step, Forward Cross Step and Back Cross Step.

See the table below for the 6 steps used in this class. The man and the woman both  have 3 possible steps a Forward Cross, an Open Step (forward, side or back) or a Back Cross. When you combine these possibilities in both Parallel and Cross Systems you end up with 38 possible steps.