The Cross

The Cross is one of the most difficult, yet most crucial moves to learn in Argentine Tango. It consists of four clear weight changes:

Lead:

  1. 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
  2. Step on the outside of the follow with the right foot
  3. Take a slightly larger step with the left foot
  4. 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.

Follow:

  1. Step towards the right as indicated by the lead
  2. Step backwards normally on the left
  3. When you feel the larger step (onto your right foot), you know this is a cross
  4. 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!

Leads

  • 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

Follows

  • 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.

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