Tango: Straight leg?

I was told by my tango instructor that when doing tango walk (and I'm talking about AT here not AmT) should reach the step with straight knee. So that's what I've been doing, I have to say that it does look very nice and when I went out dancing I often got compliments about having very nice leg extension. :oops: :oops:

However, sometimes I see people dancing with slightly flexed knees when reaching for the step, they look nice too, for example, in the movie Tango, the scene where this couple dancing in a milonga, her knees were slightly flexed the whole time, and it looks equally nice.

I'm just wondering if these are different styles? The straight knee looks especially nice when taking large step. Those dance with flexed knees seems to be taking a smaller step. Anybody knows the answer? :oops:


Well-Known Member
I used to dance with bent knees, but I was made ter walk the plank by some mutinuss scum who call’d themselves my crew. I swam to shore but a shark did bite my left leg orff above the knee, so I have a nice wooden leg that once belonged to a piano; a nice bit of carving it is too, so now I dances with one leg straight and t’other bent.

Cap’n Jim Quirque

Of the Kingfisher


Well-Known Member
I think so. I have danced with a flexed knee. I feel that it gives me the ability to move and respond quickly that I lose with the straight leg. I'll ask my tango freinds and instructor, and observe too. I just haven't done tango for over a week now and so haven't had the opportunity to do so. Another reason why I like the flexed knee is because that's what I also do in salsa and swing!


Well-Known Member

I'm not sure what you mean. I don't see anyone with straight knees, or I didn't tonight at the milonga. I always see some knee flexion, but the degree of flexing varies. I guess I'm not good enough to understand. :?
Well, I don't know, I guess it depends on the music too. I have observed that when doing milonga style most people dance with flexed knees, partly because of the livelier music and smaller steps. This past weekend in a milonga I saw most people danced with flexed knees, I tried different versions though, but of course I don't know how I look. But they played some really slow music and when I danced to slow music I usually dance the "straight version". :)
BTM, you're a hoot!

Bargeot, though they teach you to dance with a straight leg (as opposed to knee, is that what you mean?), there's no way you're going to get through a single dance without some instances of bending now and then. That's just the way us humans and our legs are built.

Keep in mind too that not everyone has the same flexibility.

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