Tango Matiz | Study

Figures of Tango

Figures of Tango

Last Edit: February 14, 2018

Every few months I find myself coming back to the same question: what should a tango dancer know at every level of their dance? Or said another way, what should a beginner, intermediate, advanced, and professional dancer know and be comfortable with in their dance?

Now, I know that at every level the goal of any social dancer should be to strive for musicality & comfort within the embrace, but that being said, we can still organize figures into appropriate figure categories.

Let’s think of the below as an evolving cheat-sheet for organizing figures based on difficulty:

Level I: Beginner

  • Weight change
  • Walking (forward, backward, & sideways)
  • Salidas
  • Cunita
    • Same direction
    • Change of direction
    • Cursada
  • Molinete / Giro
  • Ocho (forward & backward)
  • The Cross
  • Pasada, Parada, & Sandwich
  • Ocho Cortado
  • Basic changes in direction
    • Cortes

Level II: Intermediate

  • Leader’s Sacadas
  • Follower’s Ganchos
  • Locked Cross
  • Barrida
  • Follower Boleo
  • Overturned ochos
  • Changes in Orientation Sequences
  • Calecita
  • Lapiz
  • Cadenas

Level III: Advanced

  • Volcada
  • Colgada
  • Back Sacadas (leaders & followers)
  • Follower’s Sacadas
  • Leader’s Ganchos
  • Leader’s Boleos
  • Soltadas
  • Enganches (leg wraps)
  • Piernazo
  • Pulpeadas
  • Enrosques + Aguja

Level IV: Professional / Performance

  • Lifts
  • Drags
  • Spins

As our tango knowledge and experience evolves, this list may be revised or added to. Till then.

—TM