Professional Tango Instruction

Tango Tips & Insights

Determining Your Level in the Argentine Tango

It is difficult to write an exact guideline to determine each student’s level of tango expertise. The following is a broad guideline of minimum criteria.



Those who have zero or less than one year of experience in the Argentine tango are considered beginners. This includes advanced or professional dancers in other forms of dance who have not yet studied Argentine tango.

The beginning level is where students gain the most amount of information. it is imperative that during this time, students begin to learn the basic patterns in the fundamental tango dancing techniques.



Intermediate level students have mastered the following:

  • Understanding and technique of the embrace (open or close) and can maintain the embrace correctly and comfortably while dancing
  • Hear and dance on the beat of traditional Argentine tango as well as vals and milonga
  • Maintain the line of dance ( leaders) and collect their feet appropriately
  • Leaders wait for the follower to complete her step before leading another
  • Followers wait for the lead and know how and when to collect their feet
  • Understands the concept of parallel and crossed systems, how to lead and follow and switch back and forth between these systems
  • The ability to find their axis, get balanced and get into and maintain the correct posture
  • Correctly and consistently executes the following steps solo and with a partner in time to the music while maintaining their own axis and balance and in the line of dance:

marking time
walking forward/backward
side steps
rebound & change direction ( amague)
back ocho
forward ocho
ocho cortado
-Understands the concept of disassociating the torso or the hips while maintaining connection to partner
-How to execute pivots correctly and with right timing



In addition to mastering the criteria above for intermediate level tango, an advanced tango student has the ability to lead or follow from the chest only. At the advanced level, one has:

  • Mastered fundamental techniques and applies them to any movement or sequence of movements.
  • The ability to interpret the musicality of tango, vals and milonga -dancing to both the melody as well as to the beat
  • The ability to dance and play with syncopation
  • The ability to lead/follow Planeos and Sacadas
  • The ability to correctly and consistently execute the following steps solo and with a partner in time to the music while maintaining their own axis and balance and in the line of dance:

Molinetes and contra molinetes
Lapiz and Ahujas
Complex sequences within 8 or more beats