Dancer's Journey

This is a brief guide to help dancers understanding where they are in their Tango journey. This guide will provide ideas on what should be next area of development. Said that, Tango is a "multi layers" activity where technique, steps, confidence, musicality mix together. So this guide should only be used on as a broad guideline.

One last comment about the steps that a dancer should be able to do. Tango is NOT about the steps. After so many years of dancing, the best Tanda I had were not associated with nice or advanced steps. The only reason for which I mention some of the step that a dancer should have at different level is only because after attending classes and workshop it is normal that dancer "vocabulary" increases and gets richer. 


Beginning Argentine Tango Dancer:

Anyone who has had less than 12 months exposure to dancing Argentine Tango. 

Knowledge of basic step. 

Dance comfortably in only open OR close embrace

Not being able to switch easily from open to close embrace. 

Not being able to always dance on the beat (this apply to Tango, Vals and Milonga)

Not being able to focus, at the same time, on Music and Partner

Not be always able to follow the line of dance

Steps: side step, basic walking in parallel and cross system, ocho forward and backward, crusada. 


Intermediate Argentine Tango Dancer:

Has been REGULARLY dancing Argentine Tango for at least one year

Can dance comfortably dance in open and close embrace

Full awareness of the other dancers and choosing step and adornments accordingly.

Able to dance on the beat for Traditional Tango, Vals and Milonga


always stay on your own axis, without hanging on the partner

Being  able to execute simple adornments according to the music

Collect and wait for leader next input

Executing ocho with good dissociation of upper and lower body

Walking fully extending the leg (especially in the walk backwards)


Able to switch between open and close embrace 

Able to switch between parallel and crossed  system

Good balance and stability, offering support to the follower if needed

Clear lead from the core and not using hands/arms

Can stay on the line of dance at all times and has good navigation skills.

 Step: all the steps mentioned in the beginner section plus ocho cortado, molinete, change of direction, single axe rotation. 


Advanced Argentine Tango Dancers

Has been regularly dancing Argentine Tango for at least 5 years

Has mastered all the items mentioned in the previous session on intermediate steps.

Dance following the music phrasing and respecting music pause

Being able to distinguish and dance to music melody or underlaying rhythm


Choose step according to the music

Different walking styles according to the music

Mastered the lead of most advanced steps

Listen to follower, especially when they execute adornment that require the leader to wait


Being able to properly execute simple and complex adornments  according to the music 

Mastered execution of more complex steps

Elegant foot work

Steps: colgada, volcada, gancho, boleo.