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

rhink2@netscape.net rhink2 at netscape.net
Wed Feb 13 13:36:10 EST 2008

Hello Subscribers,

I see that this thread has drifted into an international feud over who dances better tango,
as many threads on this list seem to do.? Let me attempt to get back on topic.

First, the 8CB is a school figure.? As is true for most so called "basic" steps for

any dance, the 8CB is designed to incorporate the elements upon which the

dance is built. The 8CB has a side steps, an outside-partner move, a cross, 

and a turning move. These are all used throughout any tango, 

though not in any particular order.? It never was intended to be danced as a

sequence over and over again at a milonga, only in class.

However, the elements of the 8CB are danced all the time at milongas.
The only step that really doesn't work on crowded dance floors is the leader's back

step.? The obvious reason is that by going counter to the line of dance and moreover

doing it blindly like would result in an unpleasant collision.? As a consequence,

the back step degenerates into a simple weight change from the leader's left to right.

Second to my knowledge, the 8CB is the only tango figure with assigned counts.
Knowing the counts is essential for any student of tango.? I don't know how many times
I've heard instructors, both Argentine and non-Argentine say, "Okay, everybody get 
into 'five'."? So, the 8CB serves as a set of landmarks from which other patterns are
built and learned.

Lastly, do tangueros really ever dance the 8CB outside of a class setting?? Probably not.
It has served its purpose if it has freed them to dance their own tango that their partners
can follow.



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