The Cross is one of the most difficult, yet most crucial moves to learn in Argentine Tango. It consists of four clear weight changes:
- Step out to the left. As you step to the left, make sure to step slightly further than the follow; this allows you to walk on the outside of the follow more easily
- Step on the outside of the follow with the right foot
- Take a slightly larger step with the left foot
- Bright the free foot to close and transfer your weight onto your right. Don’t forget to pause and allow the follow time to collect.
- Step towards the right as indicated by the lead
- Step backwards normally on the left
- When you feel the larger step (onto your right foot), you know this is a cross
- Drag your left foot in front of your right and transfer your weight
While the four steps might seem simple, they can cause endless frustration. Here are some tips!
- Make sure that you don’t allow your frame to collapse; allowing this space to shrink will make your lead harder to follow.
- While walking on the outside, it’s also important to keep your chest twisted towards the follow while your feet walk forward in a straight line; this is called “contra-body” position.
- On the third step, make sure you’re taking a larger step to give the follow room to cross; it helps if you lean more into this step with your chest, which will clearly indicate the move to the follow
- As you take the third step, you should also try to move back in front of the follow
- When the lead steps out to the side, make sure you don’t collapse your frame
- While the lead walks on the outside, it’s important to you keep your chest twisted slightly towards the lead, even though you’ll be walking backwards normally. This is called “contra-body” position.
- As you take each step, make sure to drag your toes on the ground. This will prevent you from stepping on your own feet
- As you transfer your weight onto your left foot in the cross, make sure that all the weight is off your back foot (the right one); this will allow you to continue the next move, no matter which direction the lead takes you
Leads: the simplest way to exit this move is to continue walking forward with your left foot. The follow’s right foot will be free, making this an easy transition.