[Tango-L] Breaking the 'paso basico.'

Trini y Sean (PATangoS) patangos at yahoo.com
Tue Feb 12 14:31:10 EST 2008

Before I taught close-embrace, I taught tango using the 8CB
and produced successful leaders.  So I’d say it’s the bad
or inexperienced teachers that give the 8CB a bad name. 
But I also have to agree with Keith that one basically has
to make a decision to overcome a habit and practice it over
and over and over again.  But what is nice about habits is
that if you form them into longer dance phrases, it makes
it easier for a woman to be relaxed and to dance.  If a
woman is constantly hit with surprises, then it becomes
work for her.

My solution to avoid going to resolucion as a habit was to
not invite my follower into the cross.  If you think about
it, there’s really no other reason to go to resolucion in
and of itself.  However, I like using the cross because it
gives the follower a natural breathing point, otherwise,
you’re liable to be running her all over the place.  

So I suggest learning to use the cross as the ending of a
step sequence in lieu of resolucion.  When you bring her to
the cross, relax down into the floor, which puts a “period”
onto your phrasing.  I do this by exhaling and settling
down into my right hip (as if waiting at a bus stop).  This
also gives me a powerful step out of the cross.  Matching
it to the phrasing of the music will also help you with
this.  For example, if you start your side step (step #2)
on beat 5, you can get to the cross on beat 8.  For beats
1-4, just walk forward beginning with your left foot.  Do
this over and over. Once this makes sense, then start
working on getting rid of that side step.  One thing at a
time.  The more you practice getting into another step
right after the cross, the easier this becomes.

And here’s a fun solution.  Take your follower to the
cross, but then take her out of it before she shifts her
weight onto her left foot, sorta’ like a fake crossing. 
You lead the cross the same way but be more sensitive to
when she’s about the change weight completely.  Then, with
a light lift up and pivot you can uncross her and send her
for a back step.  Since resolucion will not feel like a
natural way to end this, you’ll be forced to continue
dancing.  This might help you disassociate the cross from

So how can the 8CB be taught successfully?  I focused on
using steps 3-8 and used the other steps as accessories. 
Since as a follower I was sick of the side step as an entry
to just about every sequence under the sun, I taught the
men to step outside partner with their right foot without
using a side step.  Also, when teaching steps 1-2 and
resolution, I made them turn the thing so that they weren’t
against the line of dance.  I also added rock steps.  But I
switched teaching methods completely when I began teaching

Hope this helps.

Trini de Pittsburgh

PATangoS - Pittsburgh Argentine Tango Society
  Our Mission: To make Argentine Tango Pittsburgh’s most popular social dance!

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