A Description Of Tango Dancing
The Tango is originally from Argentina and continues to evolve. Among those influences, the technical International (English) style Tango, the dramatic Paso Doble, and even the original Argentine style continue to contribute to its evolution. But American Style Tango is still best known as both the simplest and the showiest of all Tangos.
Footwork: In Tango, the feet pick up and place onto the floor, rather than gliding along in constant contact with the floor. The foot action is highly articulated, often being compared to the sneaking or stalking action of a cat. Forward walks are placed with the heel first, then flat. Backward walks are taken with a toe first, with the heel lowering as the body moves over it. At the same time, the toe of the forward foot should release from the floor as the body moves away. Side steps and chasses normally use a whole foot or ball-flat action.
Contra Body Movement: Forward walks normally curve gradually to the left, therefore the left foot forward walk is taken with CBM, while the right foot forward walk is taken with a right side leading. Backward walks also normally curve gradually to the left, therefore the right foot backward walk is taken with CBM, while the left foot backward walk is taken with a left side leading.
Tango uses a modified dance hold, more compact than the normal closed position ballroom hold. The man and lady stand slightly farther offset, causing the man's right arm to be positioned farther around the lady's back so that the fingers of his right hand lay across her spine. Instead of placing her left arm on top of his, she will hook her forearm underneath his elbow and upper arm. Her wrist will be positioned directly underneath his arm (possibly, but not necessarily in contact) with palm facing inward, her fingers just reaching his torso. The lady's right hand and man's left hand are joined in an upper-hand clasp at approximately the lady's eye level. The man's left and lady's right elbow may be held slightly higher than normal, with a more acute angle at the elbow.