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.

Season: The embrace - Theme: Steps in Americana II

This class is the second of a series providing in-depth insights about the dynamics of the embrace. We focused on the americana, this embrace where both partners face the same direction. It is a lovely step which adds a bit of fresh air to your dancing. We first saw how to directly enter into the Americana, some playful steps in espejo before using the Americana with a change of weight and a change of lane (for intermediates).

Summary video


Beginners & Improvers: Direct entry into the Americana


  • Your first step with the left leg needs to be quite a big step – think that you need to gain some grounds on your partner in order to later make her pivot into the Americana.
  • After your large step, you should be aligned with your partner and end up side to side. From this position, dissociate sharply to your right, keeping your frame solid, to lead her to pivot.
  • When leading your partner into the Americana, you need to dissociate strongly to the right. Avoid pushing with your left arm and instead use the movement of your torso. When leading the 180-degree pivot, slide your right arm along your partner’s back to create a more comfortable embrace.
  • When leading the exit, lead your partner to take a bigger step than yours by re-centring your embrace and giving her a little nudge from the back (gently!). Ideally, at the end of the step, your partner should be facing you and should not be on your side.


  • As a follower, it’s important you can tell how much your partner wants you to pivot. This information should come from how much he is dissociating.
  • In the Americana posture, the leader should relax his embrace and slide his right hand on your back. It is the signal for you to do the same in order to build a comfortable embrace.
  • At the exit, don’t forget to slide out of his arm to come back to facing him and regain a normal embrace.


Beginners & Improvers: Little steps in “espejo”, mirroring one another


  • From the Americana, your steps are forward, side, back and repeat. Steps are quite small and if possible on double tiempo.
  • You need to use your dissociation to lead your partner to pivot at the same time as you pivot yourself.
  • Remember, in pivots, your hips should turn beyond your hips in order to keep your torso facing your partner.
  • Musically, this step works very well at the end of musical phrases, on 7 & 8.


  • From the Americana, your steps are forward, side, back and repeat. Steps are quite small


Intermediates: Americana with change of weight and change of lane and follower’s adornments


  • To lead your partner to change weight, you need to gently tilt her outwards, e.g. to your right. This should make her transfer her weight from her left to her right leg.
  • To lead your partner to change lane and go around you, use your dissociation and open your torso to the left. Keep your axis in between your two feet as you send her to the side; if you are too much forward, she might feel she doesn’t have space and it might be difficult to lead her the side step.
  • You can manage how much pivot you ask of your partner depending on how far back you place your right foot.


  • When stepping to the side, as your partner is not coming with you, you’ll need to use your dissociation to make sure you keep the connection with him. You can draw a lapiz on the floor with your foot flexed as an adornment.
  • Make sure you step neither too far, neither too close to him or you might pull him off axis.
  • For the adornments, if you want to do the pique, you need to point your right foot as soon as possible and keep it pointed for the whole adornment. The move is from the knee, not from the ankle, so keep your foot pointed. If you want to cross at the second step, make sure you squeeze your thighs together to create as nice shape. Your left foot can be completely pointed at the cross; it is not led so you won’t need to transfer your weight on to the front leg.


See you soon on the dancefloor,

Nati y Bruno