Trondheim Tangoklubb

paint the music with your feet


Abrazo cerrado (closed embrace)The dancers’ chests are closer to each other than their hips, and often there is contact at about the level of the chest (the contact point differing, depending on the height of the leader and the closeness of the embrace). In close embrace, the leader and the follower’s chests are in contact and they are dancing with their heads touching or very near each other.
Abrazo abierto (open embrace)In open embrace, there can be as much space as desired between the partners, but there should always be complete contact along the embracing arms to give optimum communication. Argentine tango dancers do not hold their upper bodies arched away from each other; each partner is over their own axis. Whether open or closed, a tango embrace is not rigid, but relaxed, like a hug.
AmericanaWalking by facing the same direction and stepping forward. This resembles a walk in the park by sweethearts (except they may hold their hands together whereas in tango the embrace is preserved). This walk can be initiated by salida Americana.
ApilePosition in which both partners are leaning forward, may vary in degree of the tilt or shape. Many fluid and elegant tango figures can be danced in volcada position.
Barrida (arrastre)One partner sweeps the others foot by displacing it along the floor.
Boleo/voleoSharp movement of the leg often interrupted or suspended. The follower lifts her foot from the floor and it flies to the side and wraps around her standing leg in front of her knee; boleos can be high (alto) or low (bajo). This move is alternatively named boleo and voleo in Spanish.
CadenciaWeight change in place. Used, for example, in Position 8 of the basic step (salida). It is used as subtle lead during breaks or to adjust the follow position.
Caminata (gange)Walk
ColgadaOff-axis move in which follower leans back while being supported by leader’s arms. Simple colgadas can be executed during woman’s step over leader foot. For variants see colgada shapes: hip-under colgada describes colgada with followers hips under her rib cage; plank or straight colgada is when her back tilt is without pronounced bend.
Cruce (kryss)Crossed left foot in front of the right foot. See also Position 5 (salida).
EnrosqueLeader or follower is pivoting and twists his or her legs in corkscrew action. Often initiated with needle (aguja) position of a foot.
EntradaSee sacada.
GanchoOne dancer hooks her or his leg around their partner’s leg.
GiroGiro is a turning step of the follower around the leader’s axis (called the molinete or windmill). A common name for this figure is the «grapevine», alternating front and back steps connected by a side step. It is composed of several steps which complete a circle. One of the most common variants is composed of 4 steps (forward step, open step, back step, open step). Sequence of giro steps can follow square or be executed in circular motion (vals). Variants may include just 3 steps around the leader.
LapizLeader is pivoting with his leg extended and foot and toes pointing towards floor.
LustradaRubbing shoe or foot up and down partner’s pants or leg.
MilongaTo meanings:
1) is an event where Argentine tango is danced. The venue dedicated to milongas may also be called «milonga». People who frequently go to milongas may be called milonguerost.
2) Milonga dance incorporates the same basic elements as Argentine tango but permits a greater relaxation of legs and body. Movement is normally faster, and pauses are less common. It is usually a kind of rhythmic walking without complicated figures, with a more humorous and rustic style in contrast with the serious and dramatic Tango.
OchoA figure «eight» traced on the floor by the follower’s feet.
Ocho cortadoSudden change of direction leading the follower to cross during her forward walk.
ParadaThe leader halts the motion of the follower’s turning by placing his foot close to her foot.
PasadaStepping over the leaders foot in an elegant way. Depending on the follower’s preferences she can do variations such as lustrada; she can raise her leg high or keep it low
PivotSwing around azis
PlaneoPivoting on one leg with the other leg stretched out.
RebotesChange of direction, bounce. For example, after salida americana partners step forward and change direction to step back. Rock-step.
SacadaLeader’s leg replaces partner’s unweighted leg position. Entrada doesn’t influence movement of the follower’s leg. This movement is called entrada or sacada in Spanish depending on instructor
  • Uno – Back step, part of salida (not used in social dancing)
  • Dos – Side step, open step, part of salida or beginning of the salida
  • Tres – Salida simple (basico cuadrado) or crossed (basico cruzado); beginning of the basic step walk.
  • Cuatro – Basic step walk.
  • Cinco – Cross
  • Seis  – Walk, part of resolution.
  • Siete – Side step to right, open step, part of resolution.
  • Ocho – Weight change, part of resolution. See also cadence.
Sistema paralelo (parallelt system)The leader steps with his left leg forward, the follower steps with her right leg back; the leader steps with his right leg forward and the follower with her left leg back
Sistema cruzado (crossed) (krysset system)The leader steps with his right leg forward, the follower steps with her right leg back; the leader steps with his left leg forward and the follower with her left leg back
VolcadaOff-axis move in which the follower leans forward and does forward or back cross or decorative figures with her legs. Volcadas can be done in open and closed embrace. In case of closed embrace she is supported by the leader’s torso. In open embrace the leader’s arm provides support for the suspension. See also apile.