[Tango-L] Beginners and milongas

Keith keith at tangohk.com
Sun Feb 17 23:55:37 EST 2008

If step-counting is widespread, it must be a European and/or American phenomena 
because I've rarely come across it in BsAs. However, some teachers do use count 
numbers in the 8CB to identify certain positions, such as the 2 and the 5. Gavito for 
example always did this and would teach how to go directly from the 2 to the 5, for 

As with every other dance, when a teacher is counting he should always be counting 
the music. Obvious examples are the basic figures in Rumba and Cha Cha, which are 
counted ...2, 3,4,1 [over 3 steps] and 2,3,4&1 [over 5 steps] respectively. As the 
counts start on 2 and end on 1, they're obviously not counting steps. The count in 
Tango should be 1 to 8 because that's how the music is usually phrased. 1 to 4 also 
works sometimes. When I teach the Resolution, I tell the students that this should 
only be danced when it matches the 6,7,8 count in the musical phrase.

The count of 1 to 8 in Tango is important for beginners because it helps them to 
understand the music and teaches them some musicality from the very first lesson. 
I have many basic walking figures for beginners that utilise this count of 1-8 and 
beginners are encouraged to switch between them as they practice. But it's the 
music being counted, not the steps. 

For example, the Salida .... LF side, collect RF and pause, RF forward ... has 2 steps 
but would be counted 1,2,3 ...

Keith, HK

 On Mon Feb 18  8:44 , "Chris, UK"  sent:

 If any DIC teacher here 
>wouold like to explain their own reason for step-counting, I'd be 
>interested to hear it.

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