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: Classic and unusual ocho cortado

The cortado is a big classic on the dancefloor. In fact, it is such a classic that there's actually a little story behind the step: apparently, one day, a milonguero in a crowded milonga in Buenos Aires started to lead a giro and suddenly realised that he had no space behind him, so he quickly reversed the lead and led his partner into a cross instead. And that's how the cortado was born! In our class, we started with the classic cortado before adding more pivot and a back cross! Time to make your classics shine again!

Summary video


Beginners & Improvers: Basic ocho cortado

  • As you do the rebound forward, you need to slightly reposition your right foot to the right as you dissociate slightly to create some space to your side. This is to help the follower walk forward on your outside lane. If not, the follower might walk forward in your lane and not to your side.
  • To lead the cross, you need to create a void in front of you by transferring your weight slightly back.
  • In terms of rhythm, you need to view the cortado as 2 rebounds, one forward and one sideways. The rhythm is: quick / quick / slow / quick / quick / slow.


  • For the pivot, make sure you pass by neutral and pivot with your feet together.
  • At the side step, you should be facing the leader completely.
  • For the cross, first pivot your torso, then the foot of your supporting leg, and last your free leg, to cross forward. At the cross, you should be back facing your partner, not at a 90 degree angle with him.
  • As you cross, immediately transfer your weight to the front leg but wait for the lead to exit the cross.


Improvers: Ocho cortado with adornment


  • To suggest the adornment, it helps if you ground your partner as she steps to the side and if you exaggerate your dissociation to make her pivot more than a normal cortado.


  • For this adornment, instead of taking a side step, you’ll need to take a forward step and then pivot 180 degree. Before the pivot, have your knees pointing to the left, and during the pivot, have both knees point to the right. as much as possible, the foot of the free leg should stay on the spot during the pivot. This is what creates this smooth, feminine adornment.


Intermediates: Ocho cortado with pivot


  • For the pivot, keep the same footwork, but when repositioning your right foot, you now need to bring it much more inwards. This is what will create the pivot.
  • The ryhtm is still the same as the normal cortado.


  • This will feel like a normal ocho cortado, with more pivot. Make sure you collect your feet as you pivot. The step in itself is the same as a normal ocho cortado, just with more pivot.


Intermediates: Ocho cortado with back cross


  • To get into the back cross, you need to ground your partner, to slow her down and over-dissociate to make sure she turns 180 degrees rather than just 90 degrees. This is the same lead as for the adornment earlier on in the class. To lead the back cross, you need to shift your axis slightly to the right, into your partner’s space, This should be enough to make her cross backwards.
  • Close the cortado with a normal front cross.


  • For the back cross, you should feel a displacement to the right, and this is what makes your free left leg back cross behind the right leg. To create space for the back leg, make sure you bend the front leg.

See you soon on the dancefloor,

Nati y Bruno