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One very important characteristic of
Argentine tango is the walk outside of the
legs of the follower. The inside walk belongs
originally to the American Tango. It is seen in
Argentine Tango, but it does not belong to it
Another difference is that the leader may
freely step with his left foot when the follower
steps with her left foot. In English, this is
sometimes referred to as a "crossed" (e.g.
"walking in the crossed system") or "uneven"
walk in contrast to the normal walk which is
called "parallel" or "even."
In ballroom tango, "crossed system" is
considered incorrect unless the leader and
follower are facing the same direction.
Furthermore, the flexibility of the embrace
allows the leader to change his weight from
one foot to another while the follower's weight
remains unchanged. This is another major
difference with ballroom tango, where a
weight change by one partner usually leads
to a weight change by the other.
The nomenclature originated with the
Naveira/Salas "Investigation Group." Early
on, they used 'even/uneven' to describe the
arrangement of legs in the walk (or turn). By
the mid-1990s, they began using
'parallel/crossed' and later 'normal/crossed'.
In dance the changing of feet is named
contrapaso, or "contra-step". This change
can be made off or on the normal beat.
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