Feb 202014

The tango lexicon is the most basic vocabulary of movements available to a dancer.

A few of the movements are in fact sequences, which are simultaneously so distinct and so common that they function as single concepts.

All of these movements existed and were used during the Golden Age of Tango (blogpost on this topic).

The entries below have varying numbers of iterations, variations, and pseudonyms. The KnowledgeBase encyclopedia of movements includes a larger number of entries which systematize the iterations, isolate common variations, and disambiguate the psuedonyms. The KnowledgeBase should contain an entry on every possible term of tango movement and technique. (If something is missing, please let us know.)

This lexicon is categorical. It is intended to help a dancer evaluate the scope of your familiarity. Once you are familiar with the entire lexicon, you are ready to master the iterations of each movement.

Steps / Walking
  1. Front step
  2. Back step
  3. Side step
  4. Change of foot
  5. Molinete lineal
  6. Ocho
  7. Sacada
Walking on a circle
  1. Double-giro
  2. Single-giro
  3. Calesita
Modified steps
  1. Crosses
  2. Parada
  3. Barrida (variations: Sandwichito, Pulpeades…)
Power transfer
  1. Rebote
  2. Alteración
  3. Voleo Circular
  4. Voleo Lineal
  5. Gancho (includes wrap, double-gancho, piernazo)
  6. Rebote cadera
  7. Patada
Off-balance / leaning / flying steps
  1. Volcada
  2. Colgada
Beyond the embrace
  1. Soltada
  2. Adorno
  3. Salta & Sostenida (Jump, Sustain)

Stop memorizing sequences*
and start improvising from the elements of Tango
*or being annoyed with yourself for not being able to remember them.

Take our Lexicon Self-Test,
then use our Impro Workbook
to structure your development. 

Enter your email and we'll send the Self-Test and Workbook directly to you. 

If you are a Revel/Follower and want to know what you can do to encourage and facilitate more improvisation, read our post on how to be a Divine Space/Time Machine

 20 February 2014