Tango Spanish

Survival Tango Spanish (I)-Useful keywords and phrases for tango class


Very often we would take a private class with Argentine tango masters for more personal advice, instructions, and correction on our tango technique. While many Argentine tango teachers who travel internationally would have a practical level of English, still it would be useful to know some tango keywords and phrases in Spanish for better communication. And who doesn’t love to hear people speaking in their native tongue on a foreign land? You may well impress your masters and make them remember you better.


Of course, these keywords and phrase can be used in group class too…


Saludos (Saying hello)


Hola (Hello)

Me llamo…..(My name is…)

¿Cómo estás? (How are you?)

¿Todo bien? (Everything’s good?) (It is actually more common for Argentines to use “¿Todo bien? than “¿Cómo estás)

Mucho gusto (Nice to meet you)

Un placer (A pleasure)


Los pasos y la técnica (Steps and technique)


Apertura (Sidestep)

Adelante (Forward)

Atrás (Back)

Aguja (Needle)

Barrida (Sweep)

Bicicleta (Bicycle)

Castigada (Cross)

Caminar (To walk)

Calesita (Carousel)

Empujar (to push)

Enrosque (Screw)

Girar (to turn)

Ocho adelante (Front ocho)

Ocho atrás (Back ocho)

Ocho cortado (Cut ocho)

Parada (Stop)

Boleo (An embellishment caused by the whip action of the follower’s leg)

Dibujo/Lápiz (Drawing/Pencil: drawing circles or other small movements on the floor)

Molinete/Giro (A full 360-degree turn around the leader, usually done by follower in a 4-step sequence of front, side, back, side)

Sacada (Displacing the partner’s leg or foot using one’s own leg or foot)

the floor with one’s toe)

Chico/a (Small)

Grande (Big)

Hacer pasos más grandes (Make bigger steps)


At the end, don’t forget to kiss on the cheeks of your maestros, give them a big hug and say Muchas gracias!” (Thanks very much!)


Want more tango Spanish? Book a class with our Argentine teacher Marcela now!

Check out our next blog post for more survival tango Spanish expression:

Survival Tango Spanish (2)- Essential Spanish phrases and “códigos” (rules) at milongas at Buenos Aires