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One Figure 

A Step is a movement of the foot from here to there. A Figure is a specific sequence of steps forming a set that is complete, is often standardized, and is widely accepted and used as one component of a dance routine.

Tango Promenade Link

by Harold & Meredith Sears

A "link" is a figure that is designed to accomplish a change — to shift you from one dance position to another, from one foot to the other, from turning one way to turning the other. Probably most dance figures do that, but links have such a change as their primary purpose. (So, in viennese waltz, the purpose of a Closed Change is not so much to carry you a little farther down the hall but to free up the trail feet and allow you to do some natural turns after having danced a string of reverse turns. The Closed Change is an example of a link.)

The Promenade Link begins in promenade or semi-closed position facing line of dance. The man steps side and forward left (woman R), thru right with just a little left-face upper-body rotation (woman thru L turning left-face to closed position), tap left to the side of the right ending in closed position lead feet free facing diagonal line and wall (slow quick quick).

Notice that the Promenade Link consists of the first two steps of a Promenade, and the man folds the woman to closed position. We have "linked" from semi-closed to closed position. Sometimes, this figure is taught as a "forward, pickup, tap." These are terms that round dancers know well, but they are a little misleading in that they suggest much more rotation than we should have in a Promenade Link. The man uses just a little rotation to close the woman up, but if we begin in semi closed position facing line of dance, he should still be facing diagonal line and wall at the end of the figure, and the woman only folds to face the man in a tango closed position, well into his right arm. She should not step and then swivel 1/2 to face reverse (as in a true pickup).

The other basic tango link is the Progressive Link, which accomplishes just the reverse of the Promenade Link. It begins in closed position facing diagonal line and wall. The man steps forward left a bit wide toward her right elbow and with a little contra action, giving her his right side (woman back R). Then he closes right to left taking the right side away again (quick quick). This will place her in semi-closed position facing line. Her pelvis will roll right-face from the front of his right hip to a little behind his right hip. This figure has some of the feel of a contra check: a little contra check winding her left-face, and then a closing step to semi taking her right-face. Be careful not to straighten the right leg and so pop up. Tango stays down with back poise.

More tango figures here, or go to index.

This article was published in the Dixie Round Dance Council (DRDC) Newsletter, November, 2010; reprinted Round Notes, CRDA August/September 2014.

If you would like to read other articles on dance position, technique, styling, and specific dance rhythms, you may visit the article TOC.
If you are not a member of DRDC, do consider joining. The group sponsors quarterly weekends with great dancing and teaching, and the newsletter is one of the most informative available.

Past DRDC Educational Articles by
Jim & Barbara German, ca. 2000-2001
Chris & Terri Cantrell, 2001-2005
Harold & Meredith Sears, 2005-present

Some articles and dance helps by
Sandi & Dan Finch
Gert-Jan & Susie Rotscheid

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