Monday, October 6, 2008

Walks In The Tango

The Tango is a passionate and romantic dance characterized by the use of staccato movements. The hold is similar to the hold in the other ballroom dances but is more compact. There is no rise & fall and sway in Tango. The feet are slightly lifted and placed on each step rather than gliding to position as in the other ballroom dances. The feet are moved with a sharp or staccato action and the back foot on a forward walk is delayed for as long as the music will allow. The Tango in its very basic form is perhaps one of the easiest dances to learn because it is based on walking. Among the popular Tango walk figures are the following:-

Walks - The beginner will usually start off by learning how to do the basic walks. Remember to be very positive and place the whole weight on the standing leg before proceeding with the next step. One popular sequence would be to dance two walks followed by a progressive link or sometimes known simply as two walks and a link. When doing the progressive link the lady must turn her head sharply to her right when taking the second step. This gives the dance its very character or flavour. End with a closed promenade and delay the closing of the feet as long as the music will allow.

Stalking Walks - Stalking walks are a delight to dance and to behold. Standing on one leg, the dancer places the other foot in front and slightly across and points the toes at the floor. Like an animal stalking its prey, the dancer takes alternate stalking steps and dances a few of these walks before continuing with a fast-paced figure. Sometimes when dancing this figure I imagine I am a lion stalking its prey and ending with the chase. Must have been watching too much of "National Geographic!"

Skating Walks - This is one of my favorite Tango dance figures. In this figure, the dancers skim their feet on the dance floor in a semi-circular motion as if to mimic the skating actions of an ice skater. The Italian pair of William Pino and Alessandra Bucciarelli ( were maestros at performing skating walks. When dancing this figure they give the illusion that they are skating rather than dancing on the dance floor. Ces't Magnifique!

They say that the simplest of things can sometimes be the most difficult to master. Ditto for the Tango walks. When I first learned to dance the Tango I remembered how flustered I was when my dance teacher used to instruct me to spend 30 minutes during each lesson just doing the Tango walks. Little did I realize that those basic steps were the most important steps that I had ever learnt. Once you have mastered the fundamentals and the techniques of any dance that you learn, you will learn to really enjoy the dance.

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