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: Unusual variations around the cross

We reviewed the lead for the cross and explored a couple of options, some quite traditional like the difference betweent the cross in parallel system and the cross in crossed system, others more creative like the repeated cross or the cross from the right leg. Great twists to a great classic.

Summary video


Cross in parallel system


  • 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.


Cross in crossed system


  • You are going to change your weight after the side step rather than at the cross. When changing weight, you need to lift your partner slightly otherwise she’ll change her weight with you.
  • You still need to lead the cross halfway through the second step but you don’t need to collect your feet. You can keep your left leg at the back when leading the cross.
  • After the cross, you can walk forward directly without changing weight.


  • For followers, there is no change whether the cross is led in parallel or crossed system.


Repeat crosses


  • You can repeat the lead for the cross, which makes you go in a circle. Repeat the lead, by alternating walking / dissociating / walking / dissociating.


  • In the repeated cross, we are going in a circle so it’s normal if we are not going exactly backwards. If you find that your hip opens more than usual in this step, use the crossing action to bring them back to neutral and reset your posture at each cross.


Cross from the left leg


  • Start the move with a forward ocho. When stepping to the left, make sure you step slightly bigger than your partner. You’ll need this extra space to lead her to cross.
  • To lead the cross, you need to keep your torso dissociated towards your partner. If you start coming back to neutral, your partner will probably pivot in a forward ocho, which is not what you want. To free your partner’s leg and send it forward, you need to have a small circular motion from your torso outwards and then inwards. To make her cross, you are going to step backwards in a slight diagonal with your right leg.
  • The lead to cross and uncross is through taking your partner slightly off axis.
  • You can repeat the cross if you want.


  • After the first pivot, we should feel a gentle circular motion taking us slightly off axis. This should free your leg to go forward. When your partner then steps backwards, this is the lead for you to cross forward with the right leg.
  • There is very little hip movement during this move, unless your partner dissociates to make you pivot, so try and keep your hips perpendicular to your partner.
  • The tricky bit of this step is to exit the cross elegantly, so it’s time to check your small toe of your left leg not touching the floor.


See you soon on the dancefloor,

Nati y Bruno