April 2018

The Tango Walk

The following guidance was provided by Alex Moore in 1947:

Walking movements in the Tango are not taken with the man facing the Line of Dance (LOD). In practically all forward movements the man should stand rather obliquely, with his right hip and shoulder in advance of the left. In backward movements the reverse will apply.

The positioning of the body at the commencement of the dance will affect the Walk in the following ways:

1. Each step taken forward with the left Foot will give the effect of moving across the body (called "Contrary Body Movement Position" CBMP) and the legs will be locked together above the knees. The left toe will tend to turn out.

2. As a step is taken on the Right Foot the legs will unlock. The right toe will end to turn inwards.

3. This action will result in the Walk taking the line of a wide curve to the man's Left.

Although the balance and distribution of weight are similar to those in other dances, there are important characteristics in the Tango that should be noted.

1. Knees: The knees are kept slightly relaxed throughout the dance.

2. Placing of Feet: All Walking steps in the Tango are picked up from the floor slightly and placed into position. This is in direct opposition to the sliding movement of other dances. Care must be taken not to exaggerate this action. It is preferable to keep the ball of the foot of the moving leg skimming over the floor until it nearly reaches the supporting foot, then lifting it slightly from the floor and placing it sharply in position. The curving of the Walks to the left will result in the weight being taken on the left edge of both feet in all forward movements and right edge in backward movements.

3. Sharpness; The crisp action of the Walk is obtained by delaying the movement of the foot that is not supporting the weight of the body.

Tips from Alex Moore

The internet is awash with videos and websites with lots of information on Ballroom & Latin American Dancing. However, for my teaching, I still use a book published in 1947 by Alex Moore as a useful guide.

The tips below are taken from Alex's book and are still valid to this day:

Closing the Feet in Tango

The feet are closed frequently in the Tango, and much more character can be given to this action by attention to the following details.

1. The feet are usually closed after a step to the side. The closing foot should be delayed, and then closed quite sharply.

2. As soon as the closing foot is in position, the other foot should commence to move by raising the heel from the floor resulting in the knee becoming more relaxed.

3. In side movements, as in forward movements, the knees are kept slightly relaxed, and they should tend to veer towards each other.

I shall be adding more useful tips from Alex so pop back again soon.

Robins Swing Sequence Script

This dance was arranged by Graham and Avril Watkins in 2017.

Commence in Normal Hold. Man facing Diagonal to Wall (Lady backing Diagonal to Wall). Lady dances normal opposite unless stated otherwise.

The script summary below is an aide memoire (not a full description) for those that have attended our class to learn the dance.

Script Summary

Bar 1 - LF Fwd Walk and Point (S,S)
Bar 2 - 4 to 6 Reverse Turn (S,Q,Q) to Face Diagonal to Centre
Bars 3-4 - Zig Zag (Grapevine) to Open Hold (Man Left Hand, Lady Right Hand) (S,S,S,S)

Bar 5 - Lock Step Along LOD (Q,Q,S)
Bar 6 - Lock Step Along LOD (Q,Q,S)
Bar 7 - New York Action (Check & Recover) (S,S)
Bar 8 - Chasse Left (Lady Right) Man Passing Behind Lady (Q,Q,S) (Take Right Hand to Left Hand Hold)

Bar 9 - Fwd Step Down LOD Turning Inwards & Step to Side (S,S) (Taking Left Hand to Right Hand Hold)
Bar 10 - Keep Turning and Step Back Down LOD and Point LF Back Without Weight (Lady RF) (S,S)
Bar 11 - LF Fwd (Lady RF) Walk Against LOD and Swing RF Fwd (Lady LF) (S,S)
Bar 12 - RF Back (Lady LF) Down LOD, LF Closes to RF, RF Fwd Against LOD (Q,Q,S)

Bar 13 - LF Fwd (Lady RF) Against LOD Turning Outwards and Replace Weight Fwd Down LOD (S,S)
Bar 14 - Keep Turning Inwards to Chasse Along LOD (Double Hand Hold) (Q,Q,S)
Bar 15 - RF Fwd (Lady LF) Down LOD and Turn Outwards, Replace Weight to LF Against LOD (Lady Right) (S,S)
Bar 16 - Keep Turning and Step to Side on RF (Lady LF) Against LOD & Close LF to RF Without Weight (Regain Closed Hold) Facing Diagonal to Wall (S,S)

Best-Ballroom Dance Blog

Welcome to our new Best-Ballroom Blog page!