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: Backward ocho

In this class, we started to review the basic backward ochos and then moved on to see two more advanced combinations using the ocho.

Summary video


Beginners – Backward ochos


  • To lead the pivot, you need to dissociate against the direction of travel whilst not moving. Dissociating means to move your torso from the ribs up – not the hips and not the arms. The arms should stay still – imagine you have a cast! It feels quite robotic at the beginning and then you get used to it! 🙂
  • As soon as your partner has completed her pivot, step to the side whilst keeping your dissociation active. When stepping, try and slide your foot on the floor, as it is more elegant and more precise.
  • To exit the ochos, lift your partner gently with your back hand as you lead her last backward step and return your torso to neutral. You will need to change your weight before carrying on walking.


  • A nice pivot starts with a good step. When stepping backwards, make sure you push with your front leg, which will help you get to your axis more easily.
  • Pivots are done when in axis, with weight only on one leg, and slightly forward. To pivot, you need to dissociate first, and then kick your heel forward. Your toes should stay on the floor, it’s the heel that moves forward.
  • When pivoting, try and not pull or push the leader with the right hand. Use your core instead!


Intermediates – Small repeated backward ochos


  • Make sure you wait for your partner before leading the next pivot. Pivots are quite small so you should only dissociate a little bit.
  • At her second step, you can either collect or change weight. Changing weight makes it clearer for her that she needs to step forward.


  • Keep the basic technique for ochos: pivot, then step.
  • For the second step (the one forward) and third step, keep your knees together. You should feel you are in a corte position. First put your weight completely on your right leg and pivot with your knees together. Then, transfer your weight to your left leg and pivot again with your knees together. Pivots are quite small.
  • Make sure you step close to your partner and not further and further away from him.


Intermediates – Change of front


  • To lead the change of front, you need to keep your right arm quite firm to prevent your partner from overturning and doing another backward ocho. You also need to position your torso correctly so that she pivots just enough to change front. As soon as she completes her pivot, change your weight and step to the side as she steps forward.
  • To exit, you can lead a forward ocho. If you lead an ocho with a dip, that’s even nicer! You can also then catch her foot in an arrastre and end in a parada (have a look at the videos to see the alternative exits).


  • Resist the urge to change weight after the backward ocho, unless you feel this is what is being led (which you shouldn’t!). After the pivot, go forward with the right leg. You can use this time to do a very feminine adornment – a little circle on the floor.
  • One potential exit is for the leader to walk backwards, hence leading us to walk forward. Don’t resist the lead and walk forward! It’s his job to get his feet out of the way!


See you soon on the dancefloor,

Nati y Bruno