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The Argentine Media Luna

In Buenos Aires there is a type of pastry that will blow your mind which is freshly made, hot, and right out of the oven (especially at La Viruta at 5 am – they buy theirs from a local panaderia, con Café con Leche). Truthfully they’re almost like heaven. They’re also insidious, fiendish really, as you can’t have just one! Nooooo. You must have a whole bag of them! No matter how strong your willpower is, trust that you will have several of them, several times a week, and go to your local panaderia (bakery) and you’ll pick them out yourself, and then go to pay for them with a gleeful smile, knowing what’s in the bag! You won’t be able to make it all the way to the front step of your apartment without having one, maybe 3! These pieces of delight are called ‘Medialunas’ and they’re like Crack Cocaine because of their addictive quality! They’re lightly sweet, incredibly fluffy, and soft to the touch…sort of like a croissant but better, muuuuuuch better and oh so delicioso!

Frequently for the Tango dancer they’ll hear this word and think of the pastry. There is however a piece of Tango vocabulary that has nothing to do with the pasty that causes a bit of confusion, and that’s the Argentine Media Luna, and obviously they’re not the same things. One is a pastry and the other…well, the other is one of the 8 types of common turns that we find in Argentine Tango. The 8 Types ? 1.) The Follower’s Molinete (open embrace, and close embrace) & the Lead’s Giro. 2.) The Milonguero Turn. 3.) The Rock Step. 4.) The Ocho Cortado. 5.) Calesitas. 6.) Walking Turns. 7.) Single Axis & Colgada Turns. There’s one more that doesn’t get used a whole lot and is the subject of Today’s Tango Topic: The Argentine Media Luna.

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Have you seen The Eight Tango Turns Series ? We showcase 8 types of turns: 1.) The Follower’s Molinete. 2.) The Milonguero Turn. 3.) The Rock Step. 4.) The Ocho Cortado. 5.) The Walking Turn. 6.) The Calesita. 7.) The Colgada Turn. 8.) The Media Luna.

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What is an Argentine Media Luna ? The words, “Media” & “Luna” when translated from their Spanish to English cognates, translate as “Half” & “Moon” or in this case, “Half Turn”. It is exactly what it sounds like but with a Tango twist. In many ways it resembles the Follower’s Molinete. And if you don’t know any better, you could swear that they’re exactly the same. On paper, meaning technically, they consist of the same basic moves, with one major difference: In the case of the Follower’s Molinete, there’s Applied Disassociation on the Back and Forward steps. In the case of the Argentine Media Luna, there is no Disassociation or Applied Disassociation from the Follower!

The Media Luna is used primarily as one way of turning the couple. Not necessarily the Follower, but the couple, down the line of dance. It is frequently used as a stepping stone or entry point to executing something else, as there are many options out of the Media Luna. However in it’s base form it can and should be used to as a navigational element. It’s also, because of its lack of use, a nice surprise to the Follower and a bit of a change up from the same Follower’s Molinete to the Open Side of the Embrace OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER again! So quite rightfully, this is a great turn to add to your repertoire from a Leading perspective AS WELL AS from a Following perspective.

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There’s a lot more to this ArticleThere’s the extensive Lead’s Perspective, the deeper Follower’s Technique Perspective, and sometimes we throw in a complete Dancing Perspective part, all of which are only visible to Tango Topics Freemium Registered Users, Gold Subscribers, Diamond Level Users, and Milonga Madness Users. To become a Freemium user, Registration is absolutely 100% FREE, click the button below, and you get access to this article, and over 400 videos, hundreds of articles on a wide range of Tango Topics. So what are you waiting for, go register, then login to your Tango Topics Library page and then select the “ARTICLES” button and you’ll see this article with all that good stuff in there. Easy. No ? 🙂

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The Reality of WHY You Need This: There are many moves, steps, patterns, and figures to Argentine Tango that are really cool. What you may not realize is that most of that stuff is ‘fluff’, they’re nice to have, they’re nice to know, but honestly, you’re not going to use them that often! Mind you this is one side of the argument. This ain’t that! This piece is one of the more venerable selections of Argentine Tango that you will use frequently like Walking, Milonguero Ochos/Milonguero Turns, The Follower’s Molinete/Traveling Ochos, or The Argentine Cross. Tango Topics take this stuff very seriously, and we say that because we use this stuff ALL – THE – TIME! Our case is that you need this stuff because > This is all about foundation, or one of the Seven Foundation Steps that we use all the time to create the dance that we know as Argentine Tango. That’s why! 🙂 That said, you do actually need to watch this stuff. You can learn what you need from this video and then apply it. No lie. No gimmick. As always YMMV and to remember that the video itself is only a stepping stone! You will need some private lessons to go along with it to get the ‘feel’ of things. That is the reality of WHY you need this stuff. So subscribing for a few months to TangoTopics to get what we’re on about wouldn’t kill you. Further, it would probably help to hear another person saying what your current tango teacher has been saying all along. Think of this stuff as one more reminder that you absolutely need to hear.


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About The Video. This video comes in at 15m:16s in length in 11 Sections. Both lead and follower technique is combined and integrated in the video.

Section 1 – Introduction – 00:00:25
Section 2 – The Vocabulary – 00:01:43
Section 3 – The Turning Component – 00:00:45
Section 4 – The 2nd Media Luna – 00:01:13
Section 5 – Without The Lead Back Step – 00:00:37
Section 6 – With The ‘Embrace’ – 00:01:15
Section 7 – The Close Embrace Version – 00:01:14
Section 8 – Media Luna Examples – 00:02:55
Section 9 – The Dark Side Media Luna – 00:02:18
Section 10 – The Shorter Side Step – 00:00:37 (edited version above in the sample)
Section 11 – The Dark Side Solution/Wrap Up – 00:01:03

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The Missing Information. Dearest Reader. TangoTopics is glad that you want to read this Topic, so that you can dig a little deeper into your foundation, into the music, into the codigos of the dance. However, you’re missing three important parts to this Article: The Follower’s Perspective, The Lead’s Perspective, and The Dancing Perspective. Which can change your thinking by informing of some important pieces of information that you may not necessarily be aware of. Watching a 5 minute video will not help you to change. Change is a concerted effort and requires a little thinking on your part: Becoming a Freeium User! As the name implies, it’s FREE. Register. You get to see everything above, and a whole lot more! 😉 Have a nice day.

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Why should you subscribe instead ?  Several reasons.  1.) Probably the biggest reason is to save a boatload of money. Buying these things outright isn’t cheap. Besides when you buy you only have access to the one video. Subscribing, on the other hand, gives you access to everything else so you can see the foundational material that goes with this stuff. 2.) Even if you’re a Free User, you’ll get access to free tips that aren’t available to anyone just reading the post like this one. 3.) Sometimes there are slightly different versions of the videos, that add a bit more content for the free user vs. an unregistered user. 4.) Because the Dancing Perspectives (Lead, Follow, and Dancing) are hidden to the open user. And that’s where all the information is at, unless you actually subscribe. Until you do, those very important textual descriptions of what’s going on for both Lead and Follow you want to read. 5.) And the real reason you should subscribe ? If you’re used to YouTube videos where you’ll see a performance, those Youtube videos don’t explain or walk you through how these ideas work! That is why! What you’re seeing is a presentation, a performance. Not how things work! And what you really need to see is how things work, and more importantly why they work! This website shows you that and more! 

Remember that what you’re seeing is a couple that is performing for the 15th row for a room full of people, they’re not social dancing. Whereas this website is all about ‘Social Dancing’  or how to make things function on a social dance floor. Social Dance floor ? Your local milonga! They’re showing flashy moves as a presentation! But not stopping and talking about how this works, why you’d want to put that piece of vocabulary there, or how to make things fit. This website is all about those things and more!

You could watch those videos and thereby spend your time, trying to infer, and figure out how things may work in that particular situation. Bend your body this way or that, twist and force this position or that. Place your foot here or there and figure it out. This is known as Tango Twister.  Which can be a lot of fun, but more than likely it won’t help you, because you’re missing something: The explanation from an experienced teacher showing you how to properly excute this stuff from a Leading Perspective as well as from a Following Perspective!

The goal of YouTube videos is to get you to study with those teachers in person. The goal of Tango Topics videos allows you to work at your own pace, in the comfort of your own space, so that you can play them over and over again to improve your understanding of the vocabulary or technique being described to therefore better your dancing experience. The goal of classes and workshops is to get you to come back over and over and over again, thereby spending more money with that teacher. This website and the videos under it are here to act as a resource for you to help you to improve your dance. Pay once and you’re done.

Eventually, one way or another you’re going to pay for this lesson, either here and now, or with them. TANSTAAFL! The difference between that lesson and this ? Is that you get to play this lesson over and over and over again. Further still, there are supporting materials (other videos) that help to explain the language and the underlying technique of how and why things work, so you can easily reference those things in the corresponding articles that go with the material, and or any language in the Tango Topics Dictionary. 


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