I spend my first class teaching posture, steps, music time awareness, and especially, losing the fear of walking with someone in front of you.

After a brief explanation about posture (not the most important topic at first), I explain which foot will be used as the leader walks forwards.

Posture: The couple is standing facing each other, with their shoulder lines parallel. The leader has his left arm open in a 90° angle and his hand at the same height of follower's right shoulder. The follower takes the leader's hand having the same open angle with her arm. The embrace is closed taking the leader's right arm to the middle of the follower's back, with the arm touching the leader's arm, and the hand at the same height of follower's shoulder. The line of the hips is parallel, legs are put together from heels and the tips of the feet are slightly open.

The leader goes forwards with the left foot and the follower goes backwards with the right foot.

Schematically, in four step blocks, beginners learn to start and stop.

Students indicate the start of the walk losing balance forwards, a moment before their left leg takes the first step. The follower should grasp the leader's intention, noting the body coming towards the follower, and go backwards immediately on the right foot.

To close, when the leader is stepping with the left foot, should lead with the right arm in the middle of follower's back, so that, slowing down the movement, they can close in the next beat (the leader with the right foot and the follower with the left).

This is practiced along with the music and around the dance floor. Students are explained the constant feature of music in Tango and the circuit they should follow counterclockwise on the outer edge of the dance floor, so that dancing couples do not bump into each other.

Later, that scheme of four times is broken to let students start and close whenever they wish, taking into account that the leader should start with the left foot and close with the right foot, and the follower, naturally, the other way around. Then, students incorporate the concept of improvised dancing for the first time. They can do whatever steps they want to, but with the principle of starting and closing with a definite foot.

Afterwards, the left side start is practiced. Students, as soon as they have practiced walking forwards, will be able to verify that in the dancing line there are constant situations where they are standing waiting for the couple that is in front of them to start walking so the rest of them can do the same.

The leader leads the follower to the left so that they open up at a standard distance (a little more than shoulder width). For comfort and embrace asymmetry, the leader opens up more than the follower.

They take a parallel step towards the dancing line. In the third step, the leader blocks the follower's way with the left foot to align feets, and thus be able to walk forwards until closing.

Students are allowed to practice both beginning possibilities on the dancing line.

La cruzada

This movement, in which the follower positions the left leg in front of the right, is done when the leader walks by the follower side after having opened to the left.

It is the follower's action to position themselves in front of the leader. So, after the leader opens to the left and walks by follower's side, the leader decides what to do with the third step: whether leader blocks the follower's way to look for the front, or continues walking by follower's side so that it can look for leader's front making the cruzada.

That is why there is no special mark apart from body position. The dissociation naturally produced by the leader when walks by follower side is what indicates the next decision of the cruzada.

At the moment of the cruzada, the follower is still on the side. In the next forward step they will face each other.

Once this is learned, the right side start is taught, because it is possible that the couple finds itself in a situation where they cannot walk forward nor to the left.

In this case, the leader opens up to the same distance as the follower, so that they can then walk forward until closing. The number of steps will be odd since the leader should close with the right foot, as it does whenever the leader walks forwards. At this point, they have three possibilities to start walking when they are on the dancing line, and they should put this in practice immediately.
Once this has been seen, the backward start is taught, as a completion of different possibilities of starting, according to the four main fronts in tango: forward, left, right and backwards.

The backward start is taught as a last resource when there is no possibility to start with the rest of the fronts. And although this can be taught schematically (starting with the right step of the leader backwards, opening to the left side, following in a parallel way and so on) content must be immediately adapted to possible real situations. Given the case that dancers are standing against the dancing line, they should rotate from the first step until spinning 180°, and when they are in a parallel position, they should be facing the dancing line.

We have seen the starts in priority order when dancing. To a certain extent, when we start, we use the basic step per excellence, which is walking forwards. If we cannot walk forwards or want to enter to a basic step, we will use the left side start. If we cannot do it, we will look for room in the dance floor walking out and to the right. And when we are against the dancing line or in a corner and with no possibility of using another start, we will use this last resource to regain the front and the dancing line.