Every week, you’ll find on our blog class notes and a summary video from our Wednesday and Sunday tango group classes.

These video and notes are meant to help our students remember what they’ve done in class.

Dimension: Interactions - Theme: Barridas / Arrastres

Barridas (also called arrastres, or in English sweeps) are absolutely emblematic of tango. They form a family of steps one partner (often the leader) sweeps the other partner's foot. These steps are very pretty and require a particular technique to lead them and follow them properly. We saw a simple version of the step from corte in the beginners class and then more complex versions for intermediates and up.

Summary video


Beginners/Improvers: Sweep from sandwich

Top tips

  • Leaders: At the corte, step a bit beyond your partner’s foot so that you have some space to sweep her foot forward. Try and keep your torso towards your partner as you sweep her foot forward.
  • Followers: Try and keep your knees together in the corte, with the front leg straight and the back leg bent. Also, make sure your weight is completely on your back leg otherwise your partner won’t be able to sweep your foot.


Intermediates & up: Barrida from forward ocho

Top tips

  • Leaders: To catch the follower’s foot, make sure you slow her down by gently grounding her with the embrace. The foot of your supporting leg should be in the same direction as her foot or else you might lose your balance.
  • Followers: In all sweeps with transfer of axis like this one, you need to bend your leg and then extend it without ever leaving the leader’s foot.


Intermediates & up: Lift and barrida to the side

Top tips

  • Leaders: To lead the barrida to the side, you need the energy and momentum from the lift.
  • Followers: Sideways barridas are a bit rare but as always in tango, you need to keep an open mind. Once your partner has established a contact with your foot, this is an interaction, which can either be a sandwich (if he closes the step), a pasada (if he lifts you to go over his foot) or like in this step, an arrastre.



Top tips

  • Together: Practice the move of the sweep on your own, starting with a straight leg. Then bend the leg and tilt the knee towards yourself and last extend it.