Ocho Cortadas, Pivots and the Americano

A fantastic combination shown here for D’Arienzo – short steps.




Original Notes

Ocho Cortada to cross then pivot and lead forward to another Ocho but now turn her hips in the Cortada and out Americano. Lead is left behind and knees together just before she comes across from the Americano.

Then Giro with touch my left on her foot, then point right then pivot and left with right foot behind and on toes – then back.

Exit is back right – sneak – back right gain.
Learning Notes

The musicality is wonderful.

Give plenty of time on that Americano and across.



Maximiliano & Juliana

Location : Sussex, UK


1940s Combination – Salida del 40

This is a famous combination.

It has a missing step and a feeling of suspension – so strong links to either of these.

Original Notes
We lead a side and both pivot
Feeling of suspension
She takes a very short step  – almost a fall – and lead has a missing step
Then to cross Lead the project and planeo. This should be with the torso not the arms.

Learning Notes

Timing – don’t rush the cross and project!

Lessons for the intermediate Tango dancer – inspired by penguins

We all begin with hope – walking the lonely road of trying to progress and learn – along with thousands of other students around the world we progress through the standard class structures – walk, walk and walk again

walking in line

.. sometimes we can feel hopelessly lost and abandoned as the reality of how difficult this all is hits home.


But sure enough if we persist we begin to learn the basics –


and as we become more experienced off axis moves like Colgadas become increasingly interesting.

Two King Penguins

However with them comes danger – the lead must always be clear, especially if the floor is a bit fast.

But we hold the course! And with time, and with sufficient practise – even the giro with the dreaded enrosque can become a joy.

giros and enrosques

attitude and presence

Once we have sufficient structure and are at one with each other and above all else with the music, we can work on what we actually look like. Here presence, clean lines  and attitude make such a difference.

The danger is that we might be too preoccupied by the external view that we loose touch with the inner, quiet nature of true tango – and instead look for those kodak moments that tango certainly tempts us all with


After we have learned so much we can focus on the importance of actually dancing, the realities of standing out in a busy Milonga and trying to master the all important cabaceo become an important part of our lives.

milonga nad cabaceo

But above all else Tango is a journey. Sure small obstacles can stand in our way – but by helping and inspiring each other we can in the end progress past every crisis – and celebrate the sheer joy that tango can eventually offer us.

Dancing with two followers

In one of the most interesting, enjoyable, creative and ultimately exhausting tango lessons I have experienced I had a wonderful experience trying to lead two great followers.


 Why was this important?

  • My lead is not clear enough – so  was given this exercise as now one follower only feels what I lead as it is transmitted through the others body – and hesitation or confusion from me is magnified and she is immediately confused.
  • I have too much fear – in this unfamiliar situation of 6 feet and 3 torsos there is no room for hesitation
  • For the followers – what a great challenge – they have to be so careful of their axis as with any errors they will disturb the other dancer. They had to focus for every second.

This was once again such an enjoyable and creative lesson that continues to make me realise what a very long journey learning tango is – and how satisfying it is as we are set new and even more interesting challenges with such wonderful friends and dancers to share them.