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.

Theme: Rhythmical orchestras

In this class, we continued our exploration of some rhythmical steps that can be used with rhythmical orchestras, like D'Arienzo. We saw a sharp boleo and a classic step from the Golden Age of tango: Petaca's unique walking step, apparently inspired by a galloping horse.

Summary video


Sharp boleo


  • At the side step, you need to ground your partner so that her right foot is solidly anchored in the floor.
  • For this sharp boleo, your aim is to prevent your partner from pivoting. Usually, boleos involve a change of direction in an ocho, therefore the follower is used to pivoting when doing boleos. For this boleo however, you need to make sure the follower doesn’t pivot on her supporting leg.
  • When leading the boleo, to give your partner enough support, you need to dissociate more from the right side of your torso than your left side. The left side should stay as static as possible, whilst the right side has a quick backward / forward action.


  • 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 sharp boleo.
  • Don’t allow the supporting leg to pivot.
  • Try and maintain your hips as still as possible and move only the free leg, in a sharp move. First tuck one knee behind the other and then have a sweep motion on the floor with the foot.


Petaca’s style of walking

Petaca is a milonguero born in 1934 who’s danced on all the orchestras from the Golden Age. He passed away in 2011 from a heart condition and is recognised worldwide for his contribution to tango social dancing. His real name was Leonardo Lerman and his nickname comes from “petacas”, small packs of 10 cigarettes. Petaca’s favourite orchestra was D’Arienzo. His walk is very playful and works brilliantly on rhythmical orchestras. The legend says it was inspired by a galloping horse.

If you want to see Petaca in action, here’s a video of him:



  • Use the side step to position yourself on the inside lane, by dissociating to the right as you step.
  • To walk like Petaca, you need to go slightly diagonally to the left, then to the right. Don’t go too much sideways or the change of direction after the downward step will be quite difficult to lead.
  • For the first two steps, the energy is up and the steps are on the half beat.
  • The last step is down and on the beat.
  • Take the whole beat before changing direction. This is what creates the nice rhythm associated with this step.


  • Make sure you follow your partner in terms of direction but also changes of height. In this step, both partners go up and down together. This requires a firm but flexible embrace.
  • When crossing backwards, make sure you keep your knees together.
  • To stay forward in the embrace, you need to stay on the ball of our feet. If you bring your heels down, you might pull your partner off axis.


See you soon on the dancefloor,

Nati y Bruno