Glossary

I do nearby affirm… not all tango terms are made up by Argentines!


This glossary is not an end all to tango terms.

As one of my Argentine instructors put it (supply your own Argentine accent): “You know Argentines, we just make up words for tango on the spot! Then because they sound exotic, they stick.”… and so does every one else.

Many have tried to quantify and organize the Argentine vernacular and as of this writing they are still trying and publishing books. I am not trying to reinvent the wheel or set a standard for what should or should not be used in describing tango, I am merely letting you know what I mean as I describe what I do in tango. In order to help you move better sometimes it helps to use our language, I am letting you know what I mean.

If anything, I think all instructors – including myself – use too many words. All we are trying to do in the end is describe how the body is working as it goes through the beautiful movements in the dance… but seriously… words defy the feeling when a movement is properly executed or -heaven forbid- how it feels when it is poorly executed.