The Argentine Cross
The Argentine Cross. Probably the single most overused and highly misunderstood piece of Tango vocabulary ever danced. In a given song, you’ll end up either leading or following a Cross a dozen or so times, at minimum! From a leading perspective we believe that we’re leading a cross, when in actuality it’s more like we’re expecting it more than anything else. From a Following perspective we’ve been led to this venerable piece of vocabulary 10 thousand times and then some, and what’s so weird about that figure is that we can’t even recount just one of them. It’s so engrained in us, so ubiquitous, used so often that we will cross our feet by default without understanding why, or even when it happens, or (and here’s the kicker) that we crossed at all!
The Argentine Cross as it is taught is the most venerable piece of tango vocabulary, yet it is poorly understood, overused, yet danced so often you’d think that half the dance was the Follower crossing their feet for no good reason! And that’s because well there is no reason for it. A good portion of the time the Follower crosses their feet because they don’t know what else to do! It seemed like the logical thing to do at the time, further still is that the lead isn’t Mr. Clear either. Beyond that a good portion of the time you have Rushed Crosses, Forced Crosses, and Placed Crosses.
What is The Argentine Cross ? In it’s simplest form, the ‘Cross’, as it is known, is a distinct and unique piece of Tango vocabulary that doesn’t exist in any other social dance in this form. While there are ‘crosses‘ in other social dances, there isn’t another cross like this anywhere else. What makes it unqiue ? For one, in this version of the cross, the Follower is a willing participant, and actually an expectant one. Why ? Because it’s used so often nearly everywhere that you really do have to wonder sometimes if that’s all we ever do in Tango. Two steps and then we cross. You could quite literally spend entire song or tanda doing nothing but Argentine Crosses. Mind you, doing so will not achieve the desired results of pleasure that you’re looking for out of your partner. More like they’ll be insanely bored and pissed off at the same time. So, not so much with the ‘Cross’ for an entire song. Still another reason why this is unique is because, in every other social dance, the Cross is ‘placed‘. Meaning that the Follower is put into position by either crossing the Follower’s legs deliberately which ends in crossed feet, or moving their feet to a crossed position deliberately. In this cross, while the Follower can be placed, or forced, or pushed, which by the way we do not want to do, in this instance, they’re quite decidedly led in a very specific way to put them and their body into a position where they have only one option, to cross their feet, hence the reason where it get’s it’s name from. Further still in every other social dance, their version of a Cross is where the Follower simply crosses their feet. In Argentine Tango, the Follower is walked into a position to thereby cross their feet. This is known as “walking them to the cross”.
Difficulty Rating: (2 / 5)
The Fundamental Stepping Stones! An aspect that is wholly overlooked is the engine of the cross. Meaning what drives it, what makes it possible. Believe it or not, it’s not two steps, and then stepping outside partner. No. It’s far more than that because it’s not about steps, or a pattern, or a figure as you may have been told. The Real Engine of the Cross is Opposition!
About The Video. This video comes in at 21m:13s in length in 6 Sections. This video contains has combined Follower and Lead Technique.
Section 1 – Lead & Follower Technique – 00:11:28
Section 2 – Open Embrace – 00:01:28
Section 3 – Close Embrace – 00:00:54
Section 4 – 5 Errors of The Cross – 00:03:24
Section 5 – Getting In Front – 00:01:51
Section 6 – Examples – 00:01:39
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Watch It On Youtube ? Why should you pay for this video, or subscribe to this website when stuff like this is available on Youtube ? Because what you’ll find on Youtube doesn’t explain and walk you through the how The Crossing Sacada Turn works! That’s why!
So, please, go right ahead, go watch all the presentation videos on youtube all you want. Because that’s what they are ‘Presentation’ videos. The couple’s that you’re used to seeing are performing for the 15th row for a room full of people, they’re not social dancing. Whereas this website is all about ‘Social Dancing’. So please, go spend your time, trying to infer, and figure out how things may work in that 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. 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! (ahem) ME! The goal of youtube videos is to entice you to go study with those teachers in person. The goal of these videos is allow 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 be done with it.
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.
In an hour long class, with the blind leading the blind through rotation of partners (uuuggggh!), you may glean a piece of the information you need and not get the whole thing, and you’ll miss important pieces that you’ll end up having to take a private lesson for to get the finer points. This way, you can watch over and over again, and get all the supplementary materials, and if you want you can still go take the class, only you’ll be better prepared to do so!
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