Steps: spanish tango (european tango)
Quadrille dance (square, 4 couples)
Music notes in pdf format
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We here dance European (Spanish, English) tango (with basic steps: slow slow quick quick over 1½ bars).
We dance for the pleasure so you are free to select a relaxed informal hold etc.
Start: 4 couples in a quadrille (= square). We use Danish numbering system: head couples C1+C2, side couples C3+C4. C1 have their backs towards the music, and have C1 face C2 as their opposite and have C3 to their right. The corner Lady (L) is to the left side of Gent (G).
After an introduction with a big circle, the dance consists of 3 parts: couple dance, chain, and variation figures:
intr big circle clockwise, walking steps
1a C1 and C2: couple dance with own partner, then with opposite so G1 and G2 change place; then C3 and C4: the same
1b C1 and C2: the same so G1 and G2 return home again; then C3 and C4: the same
2 chain: full round, walking steps
3 variation figures, using buzz steps (swing steps)
Variation figure part: one hand mill for the 4 Ladies, next time for the 4 Gents, then 2 hand mill for L, then for G, then circle with waist clasp for all (= basket), and the last time couple dance tango out into the ballroom (which continues in Coda music line).
Couple dance in 1a and 1b: basic steps and rock turn.
1-6 Circle, holding hands, clockwise walking steps.
8-10 C1 and C2: G and L turn to face each other: couple dance with own partner on the spot: rock turn (½ right turn): followed by back corte ¼ left turn. L now stands in her own place facing quadrille centre; G faces L.
11-12½ G1 and G2 leave their L with ½ left turn backward basic step to own place.
12½ -13 (= 1½ bars) G1 and G2 walk to meet opposite L with 1 basic tango step:
14-19 G1+L2 and G2+L1 dance on the spot: 2 rock turns (½ right turn): followed by back corte ¼ left turn so G1 and G2 change place.
8-19 G3 and G4: the same, so G3 and G4 also change place.
20-22 G1+L2 and G2+L1: the same as 8-10.
23-31 The same as 11-19, so G1 and G2 return home after dancing with own partner.
20-31 G3 and G4: the same, so G3 and G4 also return home.
32-39 Chain 1 round, walking steps (or tango basic steps).
40-45 Variation figure with buzz steps (= swing steps): 1: one-hand mill for L, 2: for G, 3: two-hand mill for L, 4: for G, 5: circle waist clasp.
6: last figure is couple dance with own partner (basic tango or free choice) out into the ballroom, including coda-line of music (1-7).
(Remember: Danish numbering system: L2 is opposite Lady to G1).
Tango-steps and tango-figures: see dance 11 Tangoing turnover
Buzz steps (swing steps) and quadrille dance is
explained with animation figures on my website of 1999 with folk dances from
Alternative basic tango steps
I have chosen: 1 basic tango step: slow slow quick quick = 1½ bars. 1 quick = ½ slow (see music notes).
Gent: left foot walk forward, right foot walk forward, lf foot walk forward quick, rf to the right side quick.
This is the way Ian & Ruth Walker dance on their instruction video.
But on their (Danish) instruction video "Flyt sofaen og dans med" Søs og Mickey Fredie-Pedersen dance tango basic steps as:
1 basic step: slow quick quick slow = 1½ bars. 1 quick = ½ slow.
Gent: right foot walk forward slow, left foot walk forward quick, rf to the right side quick, lf closes to rf slow.
The melody in the 6 intro bars (bar 1-6) gives the usual tango rhythm.
In bar 8-31 the melody has one note for each step: like in bar 11-13: slow slow, quick quick slow, slow quick quick: 2 tango steps in 3 bars of music.
European tango is danced in 3/4 to 2/4 music. (We don’t have this difference in music and dance in argentine tango see e.g. dance 14 Argentine air).
Played as: tango: 2 + 2 beats pr bar, as shown in the melody in intro (bar 1-6).
These tango figures can be seen nicely explained (in English) by:
Ian & Ruth Walker, Social Ballroom Dancing Collection, for beginners, The Tango, Instep Videos, 1989 (Lyngby Library).
Tango dance is said to have been discussed in women’s rights circles as being especially male-chauvinistic in its expression.
Gent leads and Lady follows, but in our dances here everything is predetermined by the dance description, so Lady and Gent are equal. And our hold is relaxed and free without strict detailed dance school rules, as long as we agree with our partner and the other dancers.