Argentine Tango Encyclopedia

See giro for disambiguation.

There are three giros: double-giro (both partners walk), single-giro (Mark is in the center of the circle, Revel walks), and calesita (single-giro with Revel in center of the circle, Mark walks).

In a single-giro, the Revel walks around the Mark using the default method of lateral walking, molinete.

Single-giro is the time for the Mark to show off. The Revel moves around him, providing stability and momentum while he pivots on one foot, doing fancy adornos with his free leg.



  • To turn, contract the oblique muscle corresponding to your base leg. (You have two muscles on each side so you’re able to move in either direction).  (If your weight is on both feet contract the muscles of the back-most leg.)
    ! Do NOT yank your shoulders or whip your leg through the air to trick-trigger the oblique muscles, just contract them directly. Using these tricks just introduced instability. Trust the power of your muscles!
  • Remember that for the Revel this is a lateral walk. All you have to do is maintain abduction in the arm who precedes the Revel in the direction you want her to go. (This is the marking arm.)
    ! Make sure that you do not allow for any lateral shoulder-flexion. That means that as you pivot, your whole torso should move in sync with your legs. Do not introduce an arbitrary contra motion. This will hold the Revel in place rather than invite her around you!
  • Stabilize the trailing arm’s shoulder with strong external rotation and static shoulder flexion so that the Revel’s momentum can be transferred to assist in your turn.
  • To stop the Revel’s walk, just release your oblique muscles and leading arm’s abduction.
  • To reverse, contract the obliques on the other side of your body and switch which arm is abducting.

Marks should not attempt any adornos in giro until they are able to make a stable 360 degree pivot on two feet


  • Walk on default molinete pattern with steps of equal size and timing, unless the Mark accelerates you or changes the pattern.
    ! Do not cheat by doing a back cross instead of a complete back ocho. (Unless back cross is marked.)
    ! Do not automatically accelerate or shorten your side steps. (Unless marked.)
  • Be sure to create the first projection and second projection in every step to create spacetime for improvisation.
  • Make sure your back step lands on the perimeter of the circle, not outside.
    ! Lack of control in back steps can pull your Mark off balance. Be aware that your steps are not tangents to a circle, they are on the circle. If your side step is tangent to the circle, you will go outside the circle, and then have to make a huge pivot into your back step to get back onto the circle. If your side step is truly on the perimeter of your circle, you’ll have a much better chance of pivoting enough to place your back step where it belongs.
  • Make sure that your hips fully face the mark in side step.
    ! Don’t take shortcuts like turning toward your front step too soon.  If your side step is wonky and unpredictable, you abrogate the improvisational possibilities.
  • Your trailing arm transfers momentum from your steps to the Mark’s pivot. To facilitate this, contract your shoulder external rotators and triceps and, do not allow your vertical shoulder flexion to change.


Single-giros are extremely demanding for the revel. You need to practice a lot, and on your own, until you can pivot and project without falling into your step. Practice alone, moving around a spot on the floor. You should make it around the entire circle in four steps.


The Mark can improvise by modifying the Revel’s steps and by doing cool stuff with his free leg.

Modifications of her steps:

Improvisation with his free leg:


Variations of Each Element


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