Every week, you’ll find on our blog class notes and a summary video from our Wednesday Improver / Intermediate tango group class, our Thursday beginner tango group class and our weekend pre-milonga group classes.
These video and notes are meant to help our students remember what they’ve done in class.
Beginners / Improvers: The classic cross
- You need to dissociate slightly as you take your site step to prevent your partner from stepping all the way. Make sure to dissociate as you go and not on the spot. Your partner should end up slightly to your right and you should have space to walk on her inside lane.
- Take two steps on her inside lane, whilst keeping your dissociation. Your second step should be a little smaller than hers. Halfway through your second step, you need to simultaneously bring your torso back to neutral and collect your feet at neutral too. This move from your torso at this exact time is what will create the cross.
- Make sure your steps follow nice, clean directions: the side step should be exactly to the side and your steps forward should be exactly forward. Avoid taking diagonal steps when leading the cross.
- After leading the cross, your torso should be exactly at neutral and not facing outwards. Your partner’s torso should be at neutral too.
- Try and maintain a strong frame with your arms so that the lead can be transmitted directly to your feet, without any loss of energy. If your embrace is too soft, it will be difficult for you to perceive the lead for the cross as you might end up opening your free arm backwards too much.
- At the side step, don’t force your way and take a step smaller than your partner’s. Your should end up to your partner’s side, not in front of him
- Try and maintain your hips parallel to your partner when stepping backwards.
- For the cross, you should first respond to the lead with your torso, hence closing your dissociation. Then bring your free leg in to cross. At the cross, immediately transfer your weight to your front leg, freeing your back leg to exit.
- When exiting the salida, make sure you’re pushing with the front leg to take a big step and realign your back leg by extending it slightly to the right.
Intermediates: Cross, uncross and back cross
- For the uncross, you’ll need a slight circular motion from the torso to take the follower slightly off axis forward – this is what will make her uncross. Use the position of your feet and the transfer of your own axis forward and backward to lead this move.
- For the back cross, you’ll need another circular motion to take the follower slightly off axis backwards this time. This will make her extend her free leg, then bring her back to her axis with a slight displacement to your right to make her do a back cross. Use the position of your feet and your transfer of axis.
- To exit, take the follower slightly off axis forward again. This should free her front leg for the exit.
- Tip: Try and visualise the movement you want the follower to execute with her free leg and “mime” it with your torso. This is the lead.
- In this step, you are mostly slightly off axis. The leader puts you in this off axis position to free your free leg and reposition it where needed.
- After the first cross, when you feel slightly off axis forward, let gravity help you free your right leg forward. When you feel slightly off axis forward, use this to extend your free leg; this will be the entry into the back cross. For the back cross, make sure your feet are next to one another and that you are creating a tight cross. When back crossing, you shouldn’t be moving backwards, you should be able to do back crosses on the spot. When doing the back cross, be careful to keep the big toe of your back leg on the floor, so that you don’t end up with your small toe on the floor (never, never elegant!)
See you soon on the dancefloor,
Nati y Bruno