Argentine Tango Encyclopedia

Lateral is a direction relative to the Mark’s body. It means to his left or his right.

It doesn’t matter which foot he’s on, which foot the Revel is on, or in which ways their bodies are oriented (facing each other, perpendicular), shoulder-to-shoulder, or even backwards.

It doesn’t matter if he wants her to take a front, back, or side step. What matters for his intention is where her step will go relative to his body. There are only four choices: away from him, toward him, or lateral left and right.

To communicate intention for a lateral direction the Mark:

  1. Stabilizes the abduction of the leading arm (the one in the direction he intends). Do not abduct both arms (this pulls the Revel in two opposite directions.)
  2. Contracts his obliques to rotate his torso very slightly in that direction.
  3. Trust the Revel’s points of connection. The Mark’s muscle power will transmit directly to her hand (or chest) in contact with the leading side of his body, creating a pull against her points of connection on that side. She then projects in that direction.

If her step requires realignment of her orientation less than 90 degrees, she can use the strength of her arc to do this, and he shouldn’t try to help.

If her step requires realignment of her orientation more than 90 degrees, all he needs to do to assist is increase the power of the obliques contraction. He may (optionally) indicate to her whether he prefers a front pivot or a back pivot. This preference can be indicated with 1mm of information front (toward him) or back (away from him) just prior to the obliques contraction.

Variations of Each Element


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