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  • Writer's pictureDavid Phillips

System change experience—Double-step

Updated: Oct 12, 2023

Previously, we described a way to change between systems, PS and CS, using a body spiral. Here, we work with a linear change made by taking two steps to our partner’s one. Whatever system we are currently in, if one partner takes an extra step, that switches the system.

Initially, we can practice this without a partner. Stepping to a tango song, we will occasionally decide to step-together-step in double-time (QQ, quick-quick). (It feels good when we can fit that QQ to the music we hear.) For versatile, creative dancing, practice this on both sides of the embrace (HS and AS) until switching with either leg feels equally comfortable.

Adding a partner makes it more interesting and challenging when, in CS, we use an offset position to avoid leg collisions. We can into that offset position by taking a slightly outside step (“to the side of”) with the leg that starts the double step.

Also, we typically take a shorter step than what we intend for our partner because we don’t want the energy of our double-step to also signal our partner to continue their step into some sort of unintentional double step.

We often use the double-step to put us in a position to add a pivot to our partner’s step. We want to “surround” or “frame” our partner’s new HL.

Challenge: Again, practice to both sides of the embrace. Also, practice your continuation “step-together STEP” to both sides of your partner’s HL! Stepping to the inside requires an over-turned pivot to give your new LL room to step into. Often used in a circular figure.

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