The Basic Eight ("Eight count basic", 8-step basic", ...) is the most commonly taught beginner figure. See the videos below for an explanation of the 8 steps.
Why the Basic Eight is taught
Although this entire figure isn't used much in actual dancing by intermediate and advanced dancers, it's important because:
- Each of the numbered steps is common vocabulary in describing where to start other moves.
- The Cross (Cruz, Cruzada) at 5 occurs in many places in tango. It takes a lot of practice by both the leader and follower for this to work smoothly and automatically.
- The side step at 2 is the most common way for most tango dancers to start. It is often referred to as the "salida".
- Steps 6, 7, and 8 commonly occur as the "tango resolution".
There are several easy variations on the Basic Eight. Eg
- Pivoting counterclockwise, eg at 1, 2 or 6, is common.
- Starting with 2 instead of 1 is common because it's not a good idea to back up on a crowded dance floor.
- Vary rhythm, eg faster from 3 to 5.
- Leader switches to cross-foot at 2.
- Leader may cross right behind left at 5.
- How to Do the Tango 8-Step Basic 3:36
- Diego Blanco & Ana Padrón show the standard form of the Basic Eight.
- Argentine Tango 8 Step Basic with Instructions 2:53
- By Rusty Cline & Joanne Canalli. Shows not only the the Basic Eight, but also finishes by teaching the six step baldosa.
- Basic Argentine Tango 5:13
- By James & Joanna. This gives clear instruction on the Basic Eight but then makes a big transition to the more advanced molinete.
- Argentine Tango: Cruzada in Cross System 0:34
- By utsocialdance. Shows changing at position 2 in the Basic Eight to use the cross system to get to Cruzada.