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.

Theme: Forward Ochos & Overturned Ochos

With beginners, we worked on the basic ocho, focusing on the technique to lead a nice ocho and to follow, using dissociation. We then used a bit of creativity to vary the amplitude of the pivots, hence creating new steps. For intermediates, we worked on a step we call the deep ocho, with an overturned pivot.

Summary video


Beginners & Improvers: Forward ocho


  • To enter into the forward ocho, you first need to stop on your left leg, which will put your partner on the correct leg to do the ochos.
  • When you dissociate for the ochos, make sure you only move your upper torso. The range of movement is not important, what is more important is the timing of the dissociation and the fact that your hips should stay still. Your side steps should be real side steps, your feet should not turn inwards or outwards.
  • For the dissociation, imagine you’re going around your partner, with the axis or the “hinge” of the dissociation being your partner’s supporting leg.
  • The lead should come from your torso, there is no need to push or pull your partner. Make sure your extended arm stays aligned with your torso, and don’t start extending and bending your left elbow as this might put your partner off balance.


  • For the ocho, try and use dissociation, which means, try and move your torso first, together with your partner, and then move your hips. Your hips should turn beyond your torso, so at the end of each pivot, you should be dissociated. At no point during the ochos, should you have your shoulders above your hips – unless it’s the last ocho and you are returning to neutral position.
  • Pivots are initiated from the heel, try and feel that you are kicking the heel of your supporting leg outwards to generate the pivot.
  • During the ochos, and especially during the pivots, you need to constantly push towards your partner with both hands, especially on the side of the extended arm. Try and avoid pulling your partner as you will lose your balance and make him loose his balance as well!
  • Do not change weight during the pivots. Collect your feet and keep the heels together during the whole pivot.


Intermediates: Deep ochos


  • To vary the amplitude of the pivots, you need to be precise with your dissociation: the more you dissociate, the more your partner should pivot. To lead a pivot wider than 180 degrees, you will need to use compression, e.g. slightly squeeze your partner with both arms, inwards and downwards. It’s a slight squeeze, don’t overdo it!
  • After the americana, you both need to walk forward with the inside leg, mirroring one another (this is called Espejo in Spanish).
  • Delay the moment where the free leg goes forward. You need to first lead the follower to start her step, and then take a step yourself. If not, you’ll hit her and might step on her toes!


  • To enable the deep ocho, you need to keep your shoulder blades down. If you lift your shoulders, you’ll find it very difficult to dissociate enough.
  • When stepping forward, you need to bend a bit the front leg, to create more space. Then, stay low for the pivot, to avoid bobbing up and down.

See you soon on the dancefloor,

Nati y Bruno