Ochos, how you can make them better..!

Ocho Practice Powerhouse

Ochos are definitely not a stroll in park, they can surely get very challenging.

They can  make us feel stuck, tensed, nervous, frustrated and can cause us discomfort or even pain. But most importantly they are  fundamental in Tango and therefore they can spoil our dance completely we can’t make them work.

I would like therefore to start you off with 3 videos, one complimenting, supporting, adding to the other.
Put those 3 videos together to make a great, short practice on ochos, They will help you capture all essential elements, such as upper and lower body coordination, timing, posture, balance, frame, flow, smoothness, biomechanics, size and speed.

So what do you say: READY to start transforming your ochos?

HERE we go…!

Short and sweet Ocho Practice routines

From ochos to giros

Though here we are focusing more on the giro all the tips can be applied to your regular ochos as well.

If you want to read some extra tips on this one visit: Giro Technique; 3 Videos to spin around with

Keep going for more on Ochos…

In the past, we had talked about how the false dichotomy of Heel or Toes First when you are doing forward ochos, can become a barrier in your progress.
We saw how practicing both, is the option that will give you more options on the dancefloor. And how instead of practicing more ochos it is actually better if you practice better ochos. Because better is better than more.

Ochos– Realigning from toe to HEAD

If you focus on the skill of alignment and the skill of balancing muscles, bones and energy in your body, you WILL be more balanced AND get some core conditioning in the mean time.

As Bill Boomer has said: “Conditioning is something that happens to you while you build, refine and imprint a skill”

Learning from ganhos and enrosques

Though they are not primary in the Tango vocabulary–meaning you can be a beautiful dancer without doing ganchos or enrosques–if you use them in your practice you can great insight on timing, alignment, coordination, managing the axis, and yielding/ releasing the weight into the floor without collapsing.

THESE are vital elements that can be revisited under the light of enrosques and ganchos…
See how in the videos below:


Bent Knees Vs Straight Kness And Feet Together Vs Feet Apart
2 of the most famous false dichotomies on Ochos

Which of your teachers is right? The one telling you your feet should ve TOGETHER during the pivot or the one  telling you, your feet should be APART? The saying: “ALWAYS, bend your knees” or the one asking you “to lift, to rise over your toes, stretch the knee and pivot”.

Why do you really have to choose?
Why don’t you just do try both?
And in fact for me, if you want to make your ochos BETTER, you HAVE TO practice BOTH!

Being able to pivot with your feet together will help you make faster, more accurate pivots, even in an open embrace.
On the other hand, your sacadas will be amazing if you manage to, at least start, a pivot without bringing your heels together.
While doing a gyro, in a tight close embrace, you won’t get the feeling of running out of space, if you can pivot without bending your knees. But also, a fast gyro in an open embrace, can become so much easier if you just bend your knees a little bit.

See? And those are just a few basic examples, of how your choices affect the options you have on the dancefloor… and I haven’t even gotten to the embellishments..!

More and Better Ochos

In the video below, you will see all the basic types of forward ochos, along with the different embellishments that might derive from them.


Make your practice, a medium for you to become more aware of your movement, more knowledgeable on how your body and mind communicate to create movement. Get the opportunity to, not only expand your choices on the dancefloor, but also to reach a new level on knowing.

Back Ochos– 3 Different ways to do them

I am reaching 10 years in Tango. WoW! That is a bit of a shock!

Within those 10 years, I have followed different schools, different techniques and styles.
Every time I immersed myself to a different style, I heard those same words:
“This is the real, the true Tango!” or “No, this is not the way you do your ochos…THIS is the way to do your ochos”
And so on and so forth…

For years I was getting frustrated trying to figure out which is the right way to do my ochos. Every time I felt I had to start over, redefine my technique and change the way I dance completely.

Until, I realized that many of these options were correct.
There is not ONE TRUE Tango.
Tango is ONE but our options during our dance, are many more!

There is NOT 1 way to do back ochos…Explore your options!

This is the mentality I try to share with my students and with all of you who read and follow this blog.
Instead  of getting frustrated, going from teacher to teacher and not getting the results you want. Here we try to reveal the common base between the different styles and techniques.
BauTanz is about creating options and possibilities. Breaking down the boundaries, bringing the science and art back into the dance. Hoping to inspire you to keep looking for new ways of movement, new ways of expression. Keeping your dance fresh and your practice fun and interesting.

So with no further a do..!

Here you have it guys a video on the 3 different ways to do your back ochos:

  • Starting & Directing the movement from the standing leg
  • Initiating & Directing the movement from the free leg
  • Starting & Directing the  movement from the upper body

Try these out, and I will be back with more. Leave a comment below with your thoughts and questions. And if you want more detailed tips on technique, styling, embellishing and much more, join the growing community of Bautanz– Constructing Dance, by joining our newsletter.


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