How To Dance the Paso Doble

Want to dance with power and Spanish flair? Follow these steps to learn the Paso Doble.

Instructions

  • Step 1: Practice turning. Do eight steps in place, then, do them while turning around each other to the right, using eight counts to make a full turn. Then step to the left.
  • TIP: Maintain distance between you and your partner while you turn.
  • Step 2: Put the elements together. Stay in character, maintain eye contact, and have fun.
  • FACT: In competitive ballroom dancing, the most important element of the Paso Doble is the expansive, three-dimensional shape the dancers make, which represents a bull.
  • TIP: To add style to the chasse, turn your head and bend your body slightly toward the direction you are coming from.
  • Step 3: Practice the chasse, a gliding step. Hold your partner. Instead of doing the steps in place, do them traveling toward the man's right: Step, close, step, close, step, close, step, close.
  • Step 4: Develop your stance. Stand tall with your shoulders back, arms resting at your sides, and chest held high. The male dancer's chin should be lowered slightly, while the female dancer's chin is slightly lifted on a long neck.
  • Step 5: Practice the basic steps alone. Play the music and practice stepping in place, alternating feet, to the beat. Count "one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight." Press your feet down into the floor with each step.
  • Step 6: Join your partner in a close, firm hold. Practice the basic steps together, beginning with opposite feet so you mirror each other.
  • TIP: The man’s right hand goes on the woman’s left shoulder blade; her left hand goes over his right shoulder. Their other arms are extended and bent at the elbow, with hands clasped and palms pressing together.
  • Step 7: Understand the roles in the dance. The male dancer assumes the role of a bullfighter. The female dancer represents the bullfighter's cape, the bull, or a flamenco dancer.

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