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2. 6-Count Basic
Fact Sheet
Official Name:6-Count Basic
Dance / Level:Beginning Bronze American Style Tango
Aliases:Progressive Side Steps, Running Steps, Argentine Runs

Like the 8-Count Basic, the 6-Count Basic is a repeatable pattern consisting of walks and side steps. The 6-Count version, however, does not end with a Tango Close. When repeated, the result is a more continuous movement. Therefore it is sometimes also referred to as Continuous Basic or Running Step.

The gradual curve as described in the 8-Count Basic also applies to the 6-Count version. If the curve is gradual and follows the natural curve of the line of dance around the room, the alignments are said to be "facing line of dance" for man, and "backing line of dance" for lady. More turn can be made, up to 1/2 to left overall, which will reorient the dancers, e.g. from facing line of dance to facing against line of dance.

This figure can be commenced with the dancers facing any alignment, as long as the goal is to move in the general direction of line of dance. For example, the couple can begin with the man facing diagonal wall, diagonal center or line of dance and continue along the same path. However, if they begin facing an alignment that works against line of dance (e.g. man facing diagonal wall against line of dance), a strong turn should be used to redirect the movement toward line of dance as quickly as possible.

The 6-Count is the first pattern of the American style Tango syllabus that does not fall in line with the natural 8-count/ 2-bar phrasing of Tango music. There are many ways to combine patterns to work around this. The most common is to repeat the pattern once, then follow with a normal Tango Close. The resulting combination is known as the 16-Count Basic.

2b. 16-Count Basic

The 16-Count Basic is an extended version of the Tango Basic pattern. It is composed of two 6-Count Basics followed by a Tango Close.

The 16-Count Basic introduces students to the 6+6+4 rhythm, common to American style Tango. When a six-count pattern is danced twice and followed by a normal Tango Close of 4 counts, the total number of counts is 16, the sum of 6+6+4.

The same rhythmical composition can be used to combine any two 6-count patterns, including the 6-Count Basic, Closed or Open Promenade, or steps 1-4 of Rock to Corte or Open Left Turn to Outside Swivel. This provides dancers with a substantial array of possible combinations, while maintaining a simple rhythm that stays consistent with American Tango's 8-count / 2-bar structure.


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