How to dance the tango (in cat gifs) – Part Two

Posted on: February 6, 2015 in: Tango, Programmes>2016-17 Season>ÉMIGRÉ

In continuation of our last post and in advance of our next CLoSer concert and FREE tango taster, To and From Buenos Aires on 25 February, we are delighted to present Part Two of ‘How to dance the tango (in cat gifs)’. Having already learnt the basics in Part One, our animated feline friends will now lead us through the exact steps and movements needed to conquer this sensual, romantic, elegant dance.

As we mentioned before, the tango is all about the relationship of the man and woman and so the very first thing you need to do is to find a partner and embrace

find a friend

The embrace should be sensual, loose but firm, and very poised. In other words, both you and your partner’s postures should be impeccable.


Within the embrace, there should be a clear leader (this is normally the man).


Generally speaking during the dance, both parties mirror each other.


The tango steps is a simple combination of two slow walks and a “tango close”. The five steps are counted ‘slow, slow, quick quick, slow” or ‘walk, walk, tan – go close’, the latter cue helping dancers remember when to close their feet and stop temporarily.


The basic steps needed can be better explained on this diagram. Remember to count ‘slow (1), slow (2), quick (3) quick (4), slow (5)’ (sorry, we just couldn’t find a cat gift to explain this…)

Each step begins and ends with the knees bent – there should be no rise and fall, sway or body flight… just smooth, seamless movements.

stiff legs

As we mentioned in the last post, the walk is absolutely crucial to the tango. Each step should be a short, staccato-like movement.

staccato movements

Tango walks typically curve gradually to the left.

don't forget you have to move to the left

Remember to be considerate of others on the dance floor. The tango is danced anti-clockwise like a horse race. Dancers try to stay on the outside edge of the floor and away from the middle.

anti clockwise

Once you’ve mastered the basic steps, you can add all sorts of embellishments from shimmies, swivels and turns.


To find out more about dancing the tango, come along to next concert, To and From Buenos Aires (details below), which features a FREE tango taster. 

CLOSER: To and From Buenos Aires 
Wednesday 25 February 2015, 7:30pm
FREE tango taster from 6:45pm 
Village Underground, Shoreditch
Tickets £15 or £5 for students (pre-register at available from Spitalfields Music Box Office or via phone on 020 7377 1362.