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American Style Tango
Release to Side-by-Side
19. Release to Side-by-Side
Fact Sheet
Official Name:Release to Side-by-Side
Dance / Level:Full Bronze American Style Tango
Aliases:Side-by-Side Release, Promenade Release, Flare Promenade

A staple of American style Tango is the side-by-side movement. The Side-by-Side Fan, Changes of Places, and Underarm Turns to Right and Left are just a few examples of figures beginning in side-by-side position. A simple method to achieve this position is the basic Release from either closed or promenade position.

The Release follows the two "slow" counts of either the basic Tango Walks or Promenade with Left Swivel. On the second step, the man drops the hands to waist level, adding tone to the arms to create a "push" connection.

The third step of the Release is left foot forward for man, right foot back for lady. The man checks his weight on this step and begins to extend his arms, leading the lady to begin to move apart. On step 4 man releases the right hand from the lady's back, and they each turn 1/4 to face the wall, stepping sideways in opposite directions -- man turning 1/4 to right and moving against line of dance, lady turning 1/4 to left and moving down line of dance. The timing of steps 3-4 is "quick, quick".

Step 5 is not a weight change but an action of the free foot, and depends in part upon the distance between man and lady at the end of step 4: If the step was large enough that the free foot is fully extended sideways, then step 5 can simply be held in place for the count of "slow". If the step was smaller and the free foot is not fully extended, it can be lifted slightly off the floor and replaced to a full extension for the count of "slow".

Brush Tap

In either instance described in step 5, the free foot can be lifted off the floor and retracted toward the supporting leg just above the ankle for the count "&", then replaced to a full extension to the side for the count "slow". This is known as a Brush Tap.

Promenade Release

The Promenade Release is a popular variation of the Release to Side-by-Side begun from promenade position. It is easy to lead because the lady's rotation to side-by-side carries over smoothly from her swivel on the second step. The Promenade Swivel is ended with man facing and lady backing diagonal wall, at which point they continue to turn 1/8 to left, taking step 3 down the line of dance as they do with the basic release.

Alternative Alignments

As basic Tango Walks can begin on any alignment and curve to the left, the release can be taken on almost any alignment, so long as it doesn't interrupt the flow of traffic. In many syllabi, the release is taken across the line of dance, so that man and lady end facing line of dance.

Since promenade can move down line of dance as well as toward diagonal wall or diagonal center, the promenade entry can finish with man and lady facing diagonal wall or diagonal wall against line of dance. In addition, the Promenade Swivel has the option of turning an extra 1/8 to left (see Promenade with Left Swivel for technical details), and when danced this way toward diagonal center, this variation could end with man and lady facing line of dance as well.

Alternative Precedes

Although the Tango Walks and Promenade with Left Swivel are the most common entry, the Release to Side-by-Side can be taken in place of any forward Tango Close, or after any figure that ends in closed position with man's left foot free to move forward. Such figures include 16-Count Basic, Progressive Rocks, Corte, and Open Left Box. For a full list of preceding figures, refer to the "Preceded By" tab above.


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