Dance Skating – The Argentine Tango

The past few years I have been doing a video post series on the dances used in roller skating competition, partially to be informative, but mostly to share videos of great skating performances.  I have already covered most of the dances chosen for competition this year (you can see links to all of my skating posts on my main skating info page), so I will start filling in the missing dances, and also start covering some of the American-only dances and lower level dances as well.

This year the dances chosen for International competition are:

Junior World Class Team Dance:
Flirtation Waltz
Harris Tango

Junior World Class Solo Dance:
Dench Blues
Rocker Foxtrot

World Class Team Dance:
Argentine Tango
Starlight Waltz

World Class Solo Dance:
Viennese Waltz
Italian Foxtrot

Of these, the only one that hasn’t been competed since I started writing my blog is the Argentine Tango – which is actually a really fun dance to watch!  So let’s get to it with info and videos after the break.

The Argentine Tango is a dance that is based on the Argentine tango style of dance, as opposed to the ballroom tango style.  It is skated to 96 bpm tempo for both International and American style of skating.  The slower tango tempo allows the dance to feel more fluid and soft than the more rigid ballroom-style tango dances.  When skated well it also emphasizes the difference between quick and held tango movements.  The American version of this dances is skated as a boarder pattern (typically as a 2-pattern dance) that when done well has a lovely roll and flow across the floor.  The dances is characterized by the intricate and deep crosses skated at the start of the dance, as well as the rapid “ocho” crosses at the end of the dance (a sequence of crosses that are meant to look like the ocho step used in real Argentine Tango dancing). In American, the lady also does a forward outside counter turn that is unique to this dance in the American style, and a major judging point.  The International version is skated on a set pattern, with a twizzle step instead of the counter turn, and a variation to the timing of the ocho cross sequence.

Here are some examples of the International Style skated in team (as it will be competed this year):

Here is an example of the International Style being skated solo (using the ladies steps):

Here is a video of the American version of this dance – you can see how the pattern changes, and how there are added steps that enhance the flow and floor coverage of the dance:

This dance is also used in ice skating, though it hasn’t been skating for several years in competition (this one might actually be quite interesting to see inserted into the short dance format… though I am in no way in favor of the short dance over the traditional compulsories if I have to live with it then I might as well hope for something other than the Golden Waltz or Tango Romantica for Sochi…)

I have to say I am in LOVE with the way that Usova/Zhulin do this dance.  I think I could watch that video all day long and not get tired of it.  They are so clean, sharp, and precise.

In roller skating, currently this dance is skated in international competition in both solo and team dance.  It is also in the #12 Gold Medal International Dance test for solo and team.  The American version of the dance is competed in the domestic Senior Solo dance event, where the ladies steps are used.  It is in the #15 Gold Medal American Dance test for solo and team.

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