Giro timing - again

I am aware that there have been (nearly) endless discussion of the SSQQ vs SSSS timing of the follow's footwork in the giro, and I am aware of all the rationalizations as to why one timing is "better" than the other, or perhaps that the timing should always lead, etc.

I don't want to rehash this.

But, do any of you have an even slightly authoritative historical reference as to when/why SSQQ became the nearly universal (IME) default timing? Not looking for "common sense" answers, just history. Same for the cross, which is (IME) generally executed as a default double time step irrespective of lead.




Well-Known Member
It´s simply a didactical question, otg. The ssqq pattern (as well as the 8cb ) stems from Mingo Pugliese´s teacher training manuals back in the 80s. As the first generation of tango teachers were trained by Pugliese (or Dinzels, or Todaro) they all handed down that stuff to the second generation. Because argentine people seem to be quite conservative, it took some time till Naveira invented some new didactics for the 3rd generation. As far as I found out Petroleo was the first to teach ssqq and 8cb.

sixela around? (true primal rock of AT)
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Well-Known Member
Mhh -- I remember Todaro teaching is SSSS giros as well, but they were with both the man and women moving around an axis in the middle.

I think that SSQQ with QQ on the back and side step became "universal" for functional reasons (because in dynamic turns where the man stays more or less on the spot, it's a lot easier than e.g. a true slow back step that continues in the giro an requires a lot of dissociation).

These reasons (or lack thereof -- it's not because something is harder that it should not be done, you can change your aesthetic ideals so that the current 'default" with another timing can be deemed acceptable too, etc.) have been hashed and rehashed in other threads...

Crosses as "in double time by default" are, on the other hand, definitely a more recent phenomenon. The first time that _I_ saw them become more common in Europe after Pepito Avellaneda came over to Europe often (and 'infected' Erik Jorissen and El Corte in Nijmegen with all that emphasis on playing with the music).
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Well-Known Member
The most authoritative I can suggest is a workshop by Gustavo in BsAs where he said that among the four steps of the turn, the backward one was by far the one with the biggest torsion, and that it would not be fair to the lady to keep her there for a whole tempo.


Staff member
Isn't this a false dichotomy? You can use either timing, depending what you feel fits best with the music.
Yes, you can use either timing, or others, like QQQQ.

However, that has nothing to do with the question in the OP, which was about the history of how SSQQ came to be the default.

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