Ballroom Dance > Tango: 4-step vs 5-step

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by pianoman, Apr 20, 2005.

  1. pianoman

    pianoman New Member

    What is the (substantive) difference between a 4-step and 5-step? As far as I'm concerned, the man has the same steps... do I need to lead differently or somehow transfer my weight?

    Or have I just completely missed the point? I think so... please help!
  2. ThreeStep

    ThreeStep New Member

    Timing and Action.

    (1 and 2 steps less)
  3. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    One often helpful idea, if you can't figure out how your part is different between two steps, is to learn the lady's part, figure out what is different there, and then learn to do your part in a way that suggests that difference.

    In the four step, the lady's step four is a closing action, and the turn occurs between the 3rd and 4th steps. You end with your feet mostly closed (but maybe not quite touching, depending who you ask).

    In the five step, the lady takes step four by sending her left leg past her right into an actual forward step, and pivots to promenade only after arriving. You end with your feet much further apart, really pointing (well, tango style) the free leg in promenade.

    The five step also takes an extra slow.

    Oh, just for fun study the fallaway fourstep and the reverse outside swivel, until you can do those without confusing them with a four step!
  4. madmaximus

    madmaximus Well-Known Member

    The Five step is for those who have problems mastering the Four step.

    Was the ascerbic reply by my mentors, when I posed the same question.

  5. Twilight_Elena

    Twilight_Elena Well-Known Member

    I only know of a slow-slow-quick-quick-slow tango basic. Would anyone care to elaborate?

    Twilight Elena
  6. pianoman

    pianoman New Member

    great, thanks for the help

    Is there such a thing as a 'tango basic'?

    The closest thing to a basic is 2 walks, link, promenade?
  7. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    I learnt the 5 step basic for American tango, but for international style tango I got the feeling that it wasn't so. Is this correct?
  8. Twilight_Elena

    Twilight_Elena Well-Known Member

    There's a tango syllabus! As far as I know, there's a Basic, Promenade A and B's, and so on. At there are descriptions of every ballroom dance with its syllabus and all. Check it out, it's an amazing site.

    Twilight Elena
  9. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth New Member

    Yep, that right. American style has a tango basic and international style does not. You can do the American style tango basic all the way around the floor. Its boring, but MIT rookies often win newcomver tango that way. By contrast you probably need to teach rookies at least three (probably four) figures in international style tango to make it around the floor. :)
  10. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    During my first six months or so, I only knew american tango. Sometimes in team classes we'd discuss what to work on and the request would be for international tango. But we'd always waste the whole class on the technique of those funny walks - nobody ever taught the basic, so I couldn't actually do the dance.


    (In fairness, I missed the first few months of the program, where a minimum international tango sequence probably was explained)
  11. skwiggy

    skwiggy Well-Known Member

    I have found the lack of a repeatable basic to be a problem with teaching absolute beginners any of the international standard dances. If they are starting to pick up any other style, they are shown a basic step that they can repeat over and over again until they learn more steps. But that just doesn't exist in standard. I once had someone interrupt my practice to ask for my help. He said, "can you just show me the basic step to international foxtrot real quick?". When I tried to explain that there wasn't one, and that I couldn't show him any international foxtrot "real quick", he thought I was being rude and unhelpful. In reality, I just didn't know how to give a beginner an introduction to any international standard dance, especially foxtrot, "real quick".

    I know this is off topic, but does anyone have any tips and tricks for introducing beginners to international standard in a way that is fun and easy, and gets them moving around the floor without frustrating them?

    I find that if they have some experience with smooth, it's not nearly as difficult. Or if I have a lot of time to work with them, then I can usually get them off to a good start. But what if they have no experience, and you have very limited time?
  12. skwiggy

    skwiggy Well-Known Member

    And then back on topic...

    In addition to the differences already mentioned between the 4-step and 5-step... there can be some rise with the 5-step. It is the only syllabus tango step (that I know of) in which you can rise. The 4-step is danced flat.
  13. spatten

    spatten Member

    A lot of beginners seem to enjoy an introduction to quickstep.....Quarter Turns, Chasse's and Locks are not that difficult to teach, footwork wise in a shorter session. Probably have to start at a slower tempo.

    Yup - in Slow Fox it is tough. I much prefer Feather/3Step ad infintum. Teaching much more to beginners is probably not helpful..

    I actaully think Standard Waltz is easier to teach to people who know absolutely no American. Give them probably 3 or 4 sessions - start out empahsizing alignments and they can probably start doing NT, Closed Chagne, RT, Closed Change around the floor. Corners would be tricky.

    In Tango how about 2 Walks, Link, Closed Promenade. That gets pretty close to a basic step. Should be able to repeat that and get them moving - if not in the correct alignment.
  14. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    I don't actually believe there are any tango steps with rise.

    Neither does this guy
  15. Another Elizabeth

    Another Elizabeth Active Member

    A reverse turn, check, and weave can be done ad infinitum. A number of years ago, an MIT rookie couple won the advanced international foxtrot at Harvard after one foxtrot class, in which only this step was taught. (This was before there was an intermediate level event.)

    (That win also led to this memorable quote by Warren: "Look at that - he wins one competition and he goes home with three ladies. What an advertisement for ballroom dancing!" :D )
  16. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Dances evolve. Ballroom tango has very little in common with the dance from which it spawned...why should HSH expect ballroom tango to remain static itself?

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