Tango: Circles and Drawings Embellishment

Published on by CMe



Tango: Circles and Drawings Embellishment


El Tango es la directa expresión de lo que comúnmente los poetas han tratado de definir en palabras como: la creencia de que la lucha puede ser un festejo



This is another very common and useful embellishment. You can draw circles on the floor with your free foot when ever the leader pauses. This is a stationary embellishment and can take one beat or many beats, depending on how long the leader stops, and can be combined with other embellishments.


When the leader pauses you on one foot (often times it will be the right foot), make sure your standing leg is straight and that you've settled your weight down through your hip. The hip over the free leg should be dropped very slightly towards the floor. Do not pull your weight up http://www.candlelightmilonga.com/uploads/2/8/0/7/2807680/805566.jpgand keep this hip lifted. However, do keep your chest lifted and your center strong with your bellybutton towards your spine. This all will help with balance as you stay on one foot. Keep your weight slightly forward on the ball of your standing foot so that the leader can pivot you if he chooses and so you maintain connection.


Draw a circle on the floor with your metatarsal - the inside edge of the ball of your free foot. It is common for the circle to go counter-clockwise if you are drawing with your left foot and clock-wise if you are drawing with your right foot. But you could make the circle in either direction. Make sure you put energy down through the entire leg and foot and into the floor. Do not let the foot be limp as you draw. If there were no music, you would be able to hear the noise of the foot against the ground (unlike when you are walking, when your feet should skim the floor http://www.negrachatangoclub.com/images/pabloW.jpgsilently). Keep the knee facing forward; do not let the leg turn out like a ronde de jambe in ballet.


Make sure you are ready to step again even if you haven't completed the circle you are drawing. Often the leader with soften his knees and sink slightly (or a lot) before moving out of a pause. Soften your standing leg as well and prepare to step with him. You do not always have to collect your feet together again before stepping. You can step from the middle of the circle if necessary.


You can do the circle during a pause while you are on your axis, or when the leader takes you into a lean, or as he takes you into a calesita and pivots you around on your axis. You can also draw circles on the floor in front of you before you step across the leaders foot during a parada or forward ocho.


Circles are good for slow dramatic music, when the leader with likely pause more often. Try to make the circles flow with the melody of the music. If the leader adds short pauses while dancing to more rhythmic music make the circles sharper and to the beat of the music.




  • Make the circles medium sized; the upper leg remains fairly still, the circle happens from the knee down.

  • Make the circles large; this time the whole leg moves all the way from the hip socket. The leg is straight as it reaches out to the side, and then knee flexes as it passes underneath you past the standing leg.

  • Make the circles tiny; again these circles happen just from the knee down.

  • Combine circles of different sizes; make one large and then two tiny, etc.

Emphasis and Tempo:

  • Experiment with how you accent the movement, trying to put the emphasis on a strong beat or something you hear in the music.

  • As you draw on the floor, make your foot travel along the floor at the same speed all the way though the circle.

  • Now start the circle with a burst of energy and then slow it down to finish.

  • Start the circle slowly and then finish with energy and emphasis.

  • Usually the small circles look good fast and the large circles are better slow.

  • Combine circles of different sizes and speeds.


  • Try the circles with each foot counter-clockwise and then clockwise.


  • Using the whole straight leg from the hip socket make just a half circle arc, one way and then sweeping back the other.

  • Flex your foot and draw the circles or arcs with the heel of your shoe. -Make other shapes besides circles; make a figure 8, or write your name in cursive. Write the leaders name if he pleases you...

Exercises for Home

  • Practice walking backwards - take one step back, pause and hold your balance, circle the free leg. Take another step, pause and circle the other leg. Repeat.

Exercises for the Bus Stop or Grocery Line

  • Stand on one leg and make circles with the other repeatedly. Try all the above variations. Practice until the circles always come out perfectly circular (instead of triangular or rectangular!) with either foot in both directions, especially when done really small and fast. See how fast you can make the circles.

  • Stand on one leg and cross the thigh of the free leg in front of the standing leg. Make small fast circles from the knee down with the toe of the free foot on the other side of the standing leg. (This can be done before stepping though during a parada or forward ocho.)














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