[Tango-L] On breaking the basic step

Stephen.P.Brown@dal.frb.org Stephen.P.Brown at dal.frb.org
Wed Feb 13 17:41:55 EST 2008

Keith (HK) wrote:
>In BsAs, lots of walking would  always precede the 8CB.
>And that's what I keep on saying is the difference between learnig
>Tango in Bs As and elsewhere. It's all about the WALKING.

One might suspect that Mash's beginning instruction commenced with the 8CB 
rather than lots of walking or any other small movements.  Because he 
spent long hours practicing what he was taught, he engrained the pattern 
into himself, but his instruction seems to have sent him the wrong 

In the United States, there often isn't a broader context, and the idea of 
dancing tango also has to be sold.  Selling tango puts the instructors 
under pressure to give people the sense that they are dancing during their 
first lesson and can go to a milonga in the near future.  Because many 
other dances are taught as basic patterns and variations in the United 
States, the 8CB does provide some semblance of familarity.  I think a good 
instructor can achieve the same level of success by starting with rhythmic 
walking and other small elements.

Given that the 8CB is used as a point of reference in much teaching, it is 
important for students to some grasp of it, but not so much that they feel 
locked into it.

By the way, one exercise to try to break the basic pattern is to bring it 
back to the conscious level by practicing doing it in reverse without a 
>From the man's perspective
8) Left Side
7) Right Pass through Close to Back
6) Left Close
5) Right Back
4) Left Back
3) Right Pass Through Close and Side
2) Left Pass through Close to Back
1) Right Forward

Another is to take any two steps of the pattern and do them foward than in 
reverse (again without a partner).

With best regards,
Steve (de Tejas) 

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