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6 Sassy Argentine Tango Dance Moves to Rock the Floor

Katharina Joite

Improvisation has always been a crucial factor in the evolution of Argentine tango. Every tanguera has their own style of dance technique which they combine with the established tango figures. Some moves are easily adaptable and some are quite complex. Here we shall discuss some of the interesting Argentine Tango moves which you can take a cue from and execute with your partner to rock the dance floor.

1. Castigada
Castigada comes from the word ‘castigar’ which means ‘to punish’. This is a step where usually the lady tanguera flexes her knees and whips the working foot backwards across the axis and then her male partner brings her back. Notably, these steps are not restricted to any gender and both of them can practice it the other way round. This is often performed as an embellishment (known as ‘Adorno’) in Ochos or Paradas.    

2. Milonguero Cross or Ochos Cortados
This is considered to be one of the most intriguing steps in an Ocho movement. Usually, the man leads the lady to take a leftward side and move around him. She takes reverse steps to complete the movement and again the man leads her back to the cross position. Like many steps, this step too requires proper synchronization between the dancing pair.     

3. Molinete
‘Molinete’ comes from the Spanish word “molino” which would be ‘mill’ or ‘windmill’ in translation. The Molinete is also known as the Giro. Just as the name suggests, the lady or the man swirls like a grapevine around her partner. The Molinete consists of a disassociative backward step, a side step and a disassociative forward step. One can also start with a forward step and turn the other way around. The Molinete can be danced in closed and open embrace.

4. Doble Frente
Doble Frente or ‘double front’ is another old style yet sassy tango move where the partners in action perform in the shadow position. The women has her back to the man so both tango dancers face the front. It is often performed by show dancers to face their audience. It is also called ‘tango al reves’- reversed tango.

5. Sacada
The dance step’s name comes from the Spanish verb ‘sacar’ which means ‘to take out/ to take away’. A Sacada often looks like a displacement of the foot and as if one leg moves the other away. This is however an illusion as the leader generally moves the follower out of the way and thus to say that one leg pushes the other away is not an accurate description of the move. The feet usually do not touch in this move. 

Of course, there are several other tango movements which deserve a mention here. We will discuss more tango steps in our future posts and keep you updated.