This is like a tree: from the thick trunk come strong branches that give birth to smaller and smaller branches until ending in the leaves. The trunk would be made of our most important basic step, which is walking forward, together with the movements and the general concepts of posture, embrace and footstep. The strong branches would be the different basic steps; the small branches, the figures; and the leaves, the different possibilities within each dance pattern.

The dancers have the mental representation of the figure. They can remember a planeo, a sacada, etc. but if they fail to perform the initial movement correctly, they will not be able to achieve what is most important, the image inside their heads.

Even for experienced dancers, while trying to make “a bird’s flight”, it is necessary a global vision of the contents in order to be able to structure them, and there are insecurities or gaps while evaluating the possible variants.

The basic step is the entrance door, the key to enter into those figures, that mental representation, and that content.

The basic eight-count step is deeply rooted, and it is difficult to stop following it.

There is a great number of dancers who say that they started learning with this basic step and it was very difficult for them to get rid of its rigidity to increase the imagination. And there is a great number of teachers who use this system to teach, but they do not use it when they dance.

Looking for a universal basic step, we try to find that series of initial movements that allow us to enter directly into the figures. That can be an impossible task.

In other types of dance, like salsa, the basic step is clearly defined. It is a dance that occurs in on place and does not suffer environmental changes. And although styles differ in their performance, we cannot think of changes in its basic step.

As regards tango, we talk of an open dance, not only referring to the specific situation of the milonga, where we must find the place where to dance, but also, to the great variety of figures, which do not always have a similar beginning.

Dancers of the last three decades are a generation that has taken classes with different teachers, each with their own styles, figures and tricks.

After a long time, we have come across several figures, very different from one another, and that they might require more than one basic step in order to perform them.

The eight-count basic step, always introduced as the basic step suitable for starting any kind of figure, proved effective, but it might not be the useful tool for the great number of variants and figures that we can do. It would be much more interesting to try and find a driveway to figures (basic steps), that represent the initial movements of those figures that we will perform.

There can be five, six or seven basic forms from which classifying the figures that are being learned, and each of them should evolve from their respective basic step.

If there is a possibility of working several basic steps so that figures with evidently different access can be classified, it will always be easy to do them. We can say that there are families of figures that have the same beginning. When we realize about that, we are facing a basic step that can be used as a key to each of its variants.

At first, students learn the cruzada as a way for the follower dancer to position in front of the leader dancer, but it also becomes the first basic step to do the figures.

From there, we take the crossing forward, with all the figures it implies. It is not a variation of the previous step, but a completely different basic step that opens a different door to the families of figures.

There are other basic steps that it would be interesting to differentiate, like accessing through the closed side of the posture, or creating a situation like that left by the cruzada, but on the opposite direction.

It is convenient to define them as basic schemes for figures that have a similarity for entering, something that would simplify many headaches to leader dancers.