Tango Glossary

logo3Tango glossary

We thought you might find this glossary of the most common tango figures useful:

Adornos -“adornments”
Amagues – “threats, feints” a kick by one foot across in front of the other
Arrastre – (drag) synonym for Barrida
Baldoso – “tile”, “square”
Barrida – one partner sweeps the others foot, displacing it along the floor
Boleos – “throws” when an ocho is quickly reversed in the middle, the woman’s foot is
Cadencias – “cadence”
Caminadas – “walks”
Caricias – “caresses” usually by woman, who rubs her calf, or foot down her body
Cazas – “chases” when one foot steps forward and the other chases it to step beside it
Colgadas – spins around a common centre while leaning outward
Cruzada – cross
Cunitas – rocking steps, to side, forward, or back
Elevaditos – “little lifts”
Gancho – one dancer hooks their leg around their partner’s leg
Giro – a turn
Golpecitos – “little toe taps” done between steps
Golpes – “toe taps” which rebound high behind the woman
Media Luna – a half moon, the shape of a half giro
Molinete – (windmill, wheel) the follower walks in a cadena (chain, braid, grapevine)
Ocho – a figure-8 traced by the follower’s feet when moving forward or backward on both feet
Parada – the leader halts the motion of the other dancer with her legs apart and weight
Pasada – stepping over the man foot in an elegant way
Paso Básico – “basic step”
Resolución – any of several patterns that end a figure (an Argentine tango figure is the pattern of salida + caminada + resolución)
Sacada – the leader displaces his partner’s unweighted leg outward as they walk.
Salida – “exit”, also “beginning”
Saltitos – “little leaps”
Sandwich – leader places both feet on either side of the other dancer’s forward foot
Volcadas – extreme leans