Ballroom Dancing – The Basic Tango Pattern

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 86,994
    Professional dance instructor Terry Dean demonstrates the basic tango pattern.

    Terry Dean

    Terry is the owner and principal male dance instructor of Terry Dean’s Dance Studio, in Charlottesville, Virginia. He has been teaching ballroom dancing for 30 years and opened his own successful studio following a 19 year career with Arthur Murray Dance Studios. Terry has received accolades for his choreography and has been honored as Virginia State’s Top Studio and Top Teacher twice. He and his staff teach students of all levels, whether they are interested in social dancing, exhibition dancing, or competitive ballroom dance sport. He has led many of his students to win top level gold medal competitions, and he is pleased to share his expertise with you today.

    Hi, I am Terry Dean from Terry Deans Dance Studio, today were teaching the tango. Were going to start off with the basic component of the tango.

    The tango is basically made up of walking steps, much like just walking. The idea in walking steps in the tango is, again, as we walk, we roll our feet from heel to toe, as the lady goes from toe to heel when she is going backwards. If the man is going backwards, he goes toe to heel, and she does heel to toe. In the tango, the walking steps are going to be a little bit more cat like, so were going to be very staccato; step, step, step, and the lady comes at me; step, step, step, step, still striking the heels and rolling toes; walk, walk, walk; walk, walk, walk, walk. Were also going to be taking side steps. Side steps go side close, side close, side close, side close, side close. Now, were going to do the basic pattern showing you with these components. First of all, the man will take three forward steps while the lady takes three back steps; walk, walk, forward side, and then closes. Do that again. Walk, walk, forward side, close. Im going to demonstrate this because there is something that were going to be doing here thats a little different. Were going to be taking three walking steps; walk, walk, forward side. Now, as we close our feet, were actually going to close the feet, but not switch weight, thats important. Sometimes we count this by spelling out the word tango, it goes like this. T-A-N-G-O, and remember we dont change weight on the O, we just the pull the foot in. T-A-N-G-O. If we use counts, it would be slow, slow, quick, quick slow; slow, slow, quick, quick, slow, and we dont shift weight on that slow.

    Now, the lady is going to be doing the natural opposite. So, she is stepping back on her right foot doing slow, slow, quick, quick, and then dragging her foot in on slow. Again, rolling the feet; slow, slow, quick, quick, and then dragging in on slow. Lets demonstrate that a little closer. Slow, slow, quick, quick, slow. Thats the basic tango step.

    Next, were going to show you the basic posture for the tango, and the look that were trying to achieve.