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Preliminary Dance Patterns - 3652 Canasta Tango


  • Tango 4/4


  • 26 measures of 4 beats
  • 104 beats per minute


  • Set

Suggested Introductory Steps:

RFO (2), LFO (2), RFI (4) for both partners, woman starting on man's left.

This dance is skated in reverse Kilian hold, that is with the woman on the man's left. It is a very simple dance with a threefold purpose: first, to introduce the tango rhythm to those at the preliminary dance level; second, to give the skater experience in the large eight-count half circles, giving him more speed and confidence in his edges; third, to provide variety for the less experienced dancers.

If the fundamental rules of skating and dancing are observed, there should be no particular difficulty with this dance. The first chasse (steps 3 and 4) is done with both feet side by side on count 4; be sure to transfer the weight to the right foot though - do not skate on both feet at the same time. The other chasse is slightly different, it is called a slide chasse. As the weight is transferred to the new skating foot, the free foot slides off the ice in front of the skater, returning close beside the skating foot just in time for a smooth transition to the next edge. Judicious use of knee action on these edges can do a great deal to help the tango expression. Here, too, is a good place for the beginner to practice extending the free leg as straight as possible, and pointing the toe down, not up. The skater should watch that steps 9-13 are skated on a good edge so that step 14 RFO can be aimed somewhat toward the center of the rink, and so placed accurately as shown on the diagram.

This step (14) may be started, optionally, with a cross roll in which the right foot crosses in front of the left foot at the end of step 13 and the push onto the RFO is made from outside of the left foot. (For a further description of a ‘cross stroke’ and its differentiation from a ‘crossed step’, see Explanation of Terms.) An effort should be made to keep the feet fairly close together at the start of the transition, but it is of utmost importance that a toe push be avoided.

Neat footwork, tango expression and good carriage should be maintained throughout the dance.


  • James B. Francis

First Performed

  • The University Skating Club, Toronto, 1951


Hold Step No. Step
(Same for both)
Number of Beats of Music
Reverse Kilian  1  LFO  1
  RFI-Pr  1
  LFO  1
  RFI-Ch  1
  LFO- SwR  4
  RFO  2
  LFI-SlCh  2
  RFO- SwR  4
  LFO  2
  10  RFI-SlCh  2
  11  LFO  1
  12  RFI-Pr  1
  13  LFO  2
  14 RFO- SwR* 4

* Optionally CR-RFO


Set Pattern Dance

Both partners skate the same steps.




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