Tango Notes: Paradas and Pasadas (Stepovers)

The parada (stop) is a figure unique to tango. The leader places a foot against a follower's foot and leads them to stop. There are a number of places this can be done, choices of feet, choices in sides of feet to use, etc.

A pasada (stepover) often follows a parada. The follower steps over the leader's foot that it making the parada, most often to come in front of the leader.

Leader Technique

Follower Technique


Tango 103 0 El Ocho con Pasadas 1:03
By 8th Style School of Tango. A short demo of repeating paradas and pasadas with front ochos.
Tango Lesson: Paradas and Pasadas from Forward Ocho 8:18
By Homer Ladas & Diane Yoon. Like all of Homer's videos, the first half is "didactic", which can be both useful, but sometimes a bit off putting. The dance demo starting at 5:45 is very nice and is wonderful in showing the range of adornos the follower has. At least check out the dance demo.
Tango Elements: walk to the parada 1:44
By Los Angeles Tango Academy. Nice little video showing a parada from simply walking. Followed by pasada (stepover).
Argentine Tango lesson - Ochos And Parada 5:29
By Ross Todorovic. Most of the video is about ochos, but at about 4:45 there is a parada+sandwich in a back ocho.
Tango axis ยป Pasadas and paradas - 10.05.2017 6:31
By Tanguito, Argentine Tango Academy. Intermediate level. Has some interestingly different paradas.
Paradas-Pasadas & Embellishments - Do's & Don'ts - Mini Practice ( #59) 9:41
By Vanessa Gauch. This is for pasada (stepover) perfectionists. These clear partnerless demos helpfully show both good bad examples.

Two common parada-pasadas

Watch the videos to understand these parada-pasada moves. The two most common at the beginner level are from a front ocho and from a back ocho.

From front ocho. When leading front ochos, the leader places an unweighted foot against some part of the foot the woman is pivoting on. Then lead a stepover (pasada). This can be done on either the open or closed side.

From back ocho with sandwich. Although a parada can be done on either side, this is a description of a parada on the closed side. After the follower has has stepped back on their right, the leader paradas the outside of the follower's left with the inside of the leader's right. Next the leader sandwiches the follower's left and steps back with the right to lead the follower to a stepover.

Potential combinations

Unless you know your partner can handle unusual combinations, use only simple parada-pasada combinations. There are many possibilities, eg the leader can use either the inside or outside of either the left or right foot against the inside or outside (or toe or heel) of the left or the right follower's foot. Many of these do not lead naturally to a simple pasada, but perhaps to a back pasada or barrida. And some are just awkward. But you might enjoy trying to figure out which work for you.