Tango Creole

(London, 1924)

General Description

This is a prize-winning English sequence tango composed by H. Clarke in 1924.

In addition to being fun to dance, it's notable for illustrating the continuity between earlier and later forms of tango.

For example, the shape of Part I is seen in an earlier sequence by Vernon and Irene Castle (1914), and is similar to Arthur Murray's later American tango basic (1938). Part II evokes the structure of a Nicanor Lima media luna (c. 1916), and later appears in Victor Silvester's Donella Tango (1950). The roots of Part III can also be found in Lima, as it begins with a repeated Sentada No. 1, but in the later style of collecting the feet, as seen in Argentine tango today. Finally, Part IV combines elements (promenade, pivot, and point) from the similar sequence tangos like H. A. Clifton's Royal Empress Tango (1922) and Arthur Wantling's Lola Tango (1923).

The Position

Closed position throughout.

The Dance

Part I - Walk and Box (4 bars): Starting Lead's left, back the Follow two slow steps along LOD (1, 2), then dance half of a box: forward, side, close (3, 4, and). Repeat with the right foot (5, 6, 7, 8, and).

Part II - Parallel Crosses (4 bars): Step side to center (1), then Lead crosses right foot in front of left as the Follow crosses left foot behind (2), then replace left foot (3), step right foot side toward the wall (4), and close (and). Repeat with the right foot (5, 6, 7, 8-and).

Part III - Slow Walk and Turn (4 bars): Back the Follow one step along LOD, then collect right foot to side of left without weight (1, 2). Repeat this with the right foot, collecting left foot to it (3, 4). Repeat once more with the left foot (5, 6), then finish with a quarter-turning box on the right foot to bring the Follow into the outside lane (7, 8-and).

Part IV - Promenade and Point (4 bars): Promenade two steps along LOD (1, 2), then pivot halfway around to the left to bring the Follow into the outside lane (3), and point the free foot along LOD without weight (4). With this foot, promenade two steps over the elbows along LOD (5, 6), then do a slight pivot to the right to bring the Follow back to backing along LOD (7), point free foot to the side (8), and collect it without weight (and).

Repeat from the beginning.

The Music

No music is specified, so any square, early 20th century tango will work nicely.


Reconstructed in collaboration with Richard Powers.

© 2018 Nick Enge

For more dance descriptions, see our three books on dancing:
The Book of Mixers: 100 Easy-Teach Dances for Getting Acquainted (2022) by Richard Powers and Nick & Melissa Enge,
Cross-Step Waltz: A Dancer's Guide (2019) by Richard Powers and Nick & Melissa Enge, and
Waltzing: A Manual for Dancing and Living (2013) by Richard Powers and Nick Enge.

For full-length teaching videos, visit: University of Dance.

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