Argentine Tango School

Argentine Tango dance lesson by Marcelo Solis assisted by Mimi

How to dance Argentine Tango: salida cruzada

How to dance Argentine Tango: salida cruzada

It starts like a salida básica.

After movement “Two”, the leader changes weight to his right foot, leaving the left foot free of weight. You can embellish with your left foot; for example, a circle.

The follower can also take her opportunity to make an embellishment with her left foot.

Movement “Three” is with the left, and movement “Four” is with the right for the leader.

For the follower, the Salida cruzada is same as Salida básica.

After position “Five” (follower cross), it continues as a Salida básica.

The Salida cruzada utilizes the “crossed system”. This is when the leader and the follower move both their left foot or their right foot simultaneously, instead of the leader’s right foot simultaneous with the follower’s left, and vice versa.

The crossed system is unique to Argentine Tango and was one of the innovations its first dancers brought into the partner’s dance.

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Argentine Tango class by Marcelo Solis assisted by Mimi on salida basica

How to dance Argentine Tango: salida básica

How to dance Argentine Tango: salida básica

The leader walks to join the follower and offers his left hand.
The follower takes it with her right hand and embraces the leader placing her left hand on the leader’s back, and the leader completes the embrace with his right arm.
Change weight.
For the leader:
One: step backward with your right.
Two: step to the side with your left and place your feet together.
Three: forward with your right, stepping outside your partner.
Four: left forward.
Five: feet together.
Six: forward with your left.
Seven: side step with your right.
Eight: feet together.
 
For the follower:
One: step forward with your left.
Two: step to the side with your right, and place your feet close together.
Three: backward with your left.
Four: right backward.
Five: cross your left foot in front of your right foot.
Six: backward with your right.
Seven: side step with your left.
Eight: feet together.
 
Again:
For the leader:
One: step backward with your right.
Two: step to the side with your left and place your feet together.
Three: forward with your right, stepping outside your partner.
Four: left forward.
Five: feet together.
Six, seven, and eight can be count as “tan-go-close”
 
For the follower:
One: step forward with your left.
Two: step to the side with your right, and place your feet close together.
Three: backward with your left.
Four: right backward.
Five: cross your left foot in front of your right foot.
Tan-Go-Close.
 
Maintain a close embrace during the whole sequence.
Arms maintain their shape while remaining elastic.
Walk smoothly and precisely.
Argentine Tango is an improvisational dance. However, elements like this one are useful in your learning process.

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Argentine Tango exercise follower's basic cross by Mimi

How to dance Argentine Tango exercise 2: follower’s basic cross

How to dance Argentine Tango exercise 2: follower’s basic cross

Let’s practice the basic cross, in which your left leg crosses in front of your right leg when walking backward.
 
Although leaders and followers can make crosses in Argentine Tango, we focus here on the follower’s cross.
 
This position appears for the first time in the close embrace partner’s dances in the Argentine Tango’s choreography.
I like to imagine the first milongueros making this move never seen before, with an air of innovation and defiance.

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Marcelo Solis teaching how to walk in Argentine Tango class.

How to dance Argentine Tango exercise 1: change of weight and walking

How to dance Argentine Tango exercise 1: change of weight and walking

Shift your weight from one foot to the other, making sure to align your body’s axis, that is, the vertical line that organizes your body so that you have a good balance on that foot.
 
Walk trying to gradually put your foot on the floor while moving your axis between both feet, until letting your axis be completely aligned on one foot, and thus begin the same process again.
 
My intention is to be sure about where I put my foot before I commit my full body weight on that foot, moving carefully and, at the same time, free enough to accept risks and safe enough to choose certain risky situations to be able to play with my movements, making my dance in this way pleasant and interesting at the same time, like a happy, deep, and witty chat with my dance partner.
 
We can add a “tap” between steps so that we have to develop our sensitivity in relation to the alignment of our axis on each foot alternately.
 
We can also do a “tap” between each weight change.
Walking slower helps us better control the gradual shift of our weight from one foot to the other.

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Marcelo Solis dancing Argentine Tango with Mimi in the San Francisco Bay Area

To dance well in Argentine Tango

To dance well in Argentine Tango

Marcelo Solis dancing Argentine Tango with Mimi in the San Francisco Bay Area

To dance well, that is to say: to DANCE, we will have to organize our lives in that direction; I will not be able to dance well if my life develops away from that goal.
Indeed, if what I long for is, for example, to make money, then my life will be oriented in that direction, in the direction of abstractions (money is an abstraction), very far from my actual body.
 

Put any project on this scale and consider how far the primary goal of that project will be from performing a good dance.

No one is forced to dance well. Truths, life projects, and desires cannot be the same for everyone.
 
I am inclined to think this way: when I reach the end of my life, what would I like to see in the wake left by that life?
 
Imagine all the possible lives we could lead. Let’s try to think and feel them, weigh them, smell them, look at their colors, and measure the scope of their luminous skyscrapers of triumphs and black abysses of awful flavors.

Perhaps we all live in different worlds, with the things and people we surround ourselves with. A life could thus develop in the direction of a choice of one’s own world in which to inhabit.
 
I think that perhaps a good way of living would develop in the direction of becoming more and more capable of directing and selecting what goes into the process of our existence.
 
In particular, as far as I am concerned, I prefer what increases the power of my physiology, makes my body more versatile, adaptable, and happy, my mind more lucid, and my spirit lighter and dancing.
 
Here is the foundational question that is answered with living itself: How to live?
That would be dancing!
Should I ask myself “what for” and/or “for whom”?
 
We could also perhaps answer ourselves: “there are immediate, urgent things to resolve; we live at a precise moment in history which conditions us, that is, it enslaves us and forces us to do things that we would not do otherwise. Let us, then, postpone our plan, our life, until we have resolved the present and responded to all the obligations implicit in its calls”.
 
In particular, my truth concerning this is that we will eternally be bound by the present. We were born like this: OBLIGATED.
 
My opinion on this is the following: it is a matter of perspective; It depends a lot on where we look at life from and where we place ourselves –physically and spiritually– to look at it.
 
Let’s listen to the tango “Me quedé mirandola” by Anibal Troilo with Alberto Marino on vocals. (I ask you… Is there another version of this song that we can dance to?)
 
Sometimes people leave the dance; that is, they abandon the dancing project because they run into a barrier they don’t dare to cross. Although they always give themselves other excuses.
 
I have abandoned many of my previous lives to lighten up enough to be able to continue dancing.
 
And do not think that you will not find doubts about yourselves and the value of dancing!
 
There are many possible worlds, many parallel realities that cannot be accessed in any “objective” way, such as the achievements of science and technology.
 
Don’t you think you should dare?
 
But this is a matter of taste.
 
When I see someone who dances, who DANCES, I see someone free. His body is no longer “ergastulum“, as the Catholic Church used to say in the Middle Ages, meaning “prison of the spirit”, a spirit that must wait until death to be released.

When I see someone DANCING, I see his soul already free in life, no longer waiting, postponing, procrastinating life to perhaps one day meet that fundamental question not only unanswered but never asked.

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