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The Fundamentals of The Tango

The fundamentals of the tango are the directions one man can move - steps forward, steps backward and steps to the side. Since we have 2 legs to move with, there can be 6 steps we can move in total.

We can rearrange the fundamentals and make them become a sequence loop, a “Cuadradro” or a “Square”.
  1. Step sideward with the left foot
  2. Step forward with the right foot
  3. Step forward with the left foot
  4. Step sideward with the right foot
  5. Step backward with the left foot
  6. Step backward with the right foot

The “Cuadrado” is a basic sequence we can dance, although it is easy, but it makes our stay in the same place. The tango is a flowing dance. All people dance in anti-clockwise tracks of the dance floor in a milonga. We can break the Cuadrado loop and make it as a “Medio Cuadrado”, or a “Half Square”.



  1. Sidestep to the left
  2. Forward with the right foot at the woman’s right side
  3. Forward with the left foot
  4. Sidestep to the right
  5. Stand on both joined
  1. Sidestep to the right
  2. Backward with the left foot
  3. Backward with the right foot
  4. Sidestep to the right
  5. Stand on both joined

We use hollow arrows to indicate the woman’s steps, thus, we may understand the sequence more clearly when putting man and woman’s steps diagrams together. Note that during the 2nd step, the man walking at the woman's right side and the outside of both right legs will pass each other. You may also draw the sequence in a way like writing a score: