Most of what you need to know to revel any style at any level

Here are the main elements of good reveling.

The beauty and grace of the free leg come from the base leg

The main work of the revel is aligning the base leg and activating its muscles.

  • Alignment: Base leg’s rib cage over its foot. Hip bones never in front of rib cage.
  • Activation: Flex your hip to activate leg and core muscles.

Do not respond to the lead by stepping, but by projecting.

The revel’s free leg belongs to the mark. We give the free leg to the mark by extending it from the core with the psoas muscle in the direction indicated.

  • Hip flexion stabilizes your base so you can stay in the projection without moving your weight.
  • The muscles of the free leg and all of its joints must be totally relaxed, so as to move fluidly. (With the one exception that you are using the foot muscles to point the toe as beautifully as possible.)

The Psoas Muscle is one of the hip flexors but it is also part of the core muscles. It enables very soft movement of the leg to come directly from the core.

The transfer must be smooth and controlled

To maximize smoothness and control, keep your base leg’s muscles active as you extend your base leg’s joints to make the transfer. Make sure you extend all three joints, including your ankle!

  • Do not rush to “collect” your feet. During every step, there is a moment when the natural movement of the legs causes them to pass through the position referred to as “collect”. It should be a natural part of motion with a relaxed free leg. Collect is not a destination. Aiming your body at collect can actually disrupt smooth motion and establishment of the new base leg. Aiming to collect creates tension in the free leg that prevents soft projection. It also kills all your power so you are not ready to move dynamically.
  • You should be able to stop (parada) at any moment during the transfer. To do this, be sure you are controlling your extension with active muscles.

Spirals are made with the obliques

The oblique muscles are responsible for rotation around the spine. These are the muscles that need to work whenever you are doing an ocho or voleo-circular. When your direction includes a pivot or spiral, take the mark’s power and use it to activate your obliques. At the end of your pivot your base leg must be in relative to your projection. The newly free leg should move toward its new direction after the core and the base leg have arrived to the position ready for the new step. When you feel your movement is awkward or not pretty, it’s almost always because you have hurled the free leg ahead of the core and base leg.

It’s the revel’s responsibility to maintain the connection

  • We need to perceive the mark’s power, with both hands positioned to perceive power moving in any direction.
  • Use the entire surface of the hands, all the way to the finger pads, with the revel’s left hand in contact with the front of the mark’s arm as well as the back (in open embrace), or touching the muscles of the mark’s back as close to the spine as possible (in close embrace). No tension is held in the arm muscles and shoulder joints, as this creates unnecessary noise. The joints should be in a gentle and subtle extension of 1-2mm, pay especial attention to the elbow joints.
  • When the revel receives more power from the mark, she takes that power into her base, specifically she flexes knee and hip equally.
  • Spirals/pivots are made with the oblique muscles, which are responsible for rotation of the body.


  • Forget about stepping. It’s not your job. Focus completely on projecting and then getting your base when you find you are on a new foot.
  • Marks are not responsible for revel’s “axis”, only for not messing with it. We know where it is, they don’t. So it makes more sense for the revel to take care of her base, and the mark to keep embrace relaxed so as not to disrupt it.


I want you to know that you are not alone…

… neither in your dreams for tango nor in your frustrations.

My deepest desire is the same as all my students and friends … those who have yet to start dancing and those who dance a lot.

It’s partnership.

One thing I’ve learned on this quest, we need to:

Stop Waiting for Partners, and start Building them.

I’ve written a 10-step Action Plan.

Are you ready to find the Partners you want?




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