It’s nice to have a break from tango and do the Chacarera. It’s often played at milongas.
Don’t be intimidated, this dance is NOT about being perfect. It’s about being happy and flirty.
How to participate
The chacarera is about flirting. The most important part of the dance is your eyes. The purpose is to keep eye contact with your partner as much as possible. Don’t be distracted from this by worrying about the steps.
The second most important part of the dance is that you feel very beautiful and proud of yourself. Except during the zapateo y zarandeo, you are holding your arms out and your chest up, to bravely show your beautiful heart to your partner.
Within the architecture, the point is to show your creativity and sensuality, so add your own movement and power to the pasos. Use your hips, your shoulders, your head, extra flexion in your steps…
* How to do the Zapateo? Watch this good video for a basic introduction.
How to walk
Each step is one long step followed by two short steps. We’ll call that group of three steps a paso. In the figures below, each shape takes 4 pasos to complete. Start each shape on the left foot.
Avance y Retroceso (advance and return):
First, the partners take two pasos directly toward each other, and then two backwards to the starting place. (4 pasos) =
Second, the partners make a circle in front of each other, ending at the starting place. (4 pasos)
Vuelta Entera (complete return):
Third the partners exchange places (4 pasos) and then return to the starting place (4 pasos)
Zapateo y Zarandeo (stomping and showing off)
The man stays in place, elaborately stomping his feet. The woman holds the edges of her skirt, makes a diamond shape in 4 pasos and then repeats for a total of 8 pasos.
Vuelta Entera (complete return)
Zapateo y Zarandeo (stomping and showing off, again)
Media Vuelta (half return)
The partners exchange places (4 pasos)
The partners approach each other making small circles and stop facing each other as the coronation of their attention to each other.
I haven’t studied folkloric and don’t know much about it, except the basics for social dancing. I was taught by Sebastián Arrúa, whose father was a famous folkloric dancer and Seba danced professionally from a young age before he became more interested in tango.
There are many chacareras. This is the most common. If you are following Fabio Robles, or other master folkdancers, they may use a different architecutre.
In some songs, the Vuelta Entera is only 3 pasos in each direction.