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2- Tango Terminology (PART 2 OF 4) F - J

Updated: Oct 19, 2023

This list is part of an ongoing effort to educate and assist the friends and enthusiasts of Tango in their pursuit of the lovely dance called Tango.

Source: Steve Brown


Fanfarron — A rhythmic tapping or stomping of the foot in time with the music for dramatic and emotional effect. Boisterous behavior. See Golpecitos.

Firulete — An adornment; a decoration; an embellishment: Complicated or syncopated movements which the dancer uses to demonstrate their skill and to interpret the music. See Adorno and Lapiz.

Freno — To stop and hold; brake.


Gancho — Hook: Occurs when a dancer hooks a leg sharply around and in contact with their partners leg by flexing the knee and releasing. May be performed to the inside or outside of either leg and by either partner.

Garcha — A rather rude lunfardo term to be used only among friends; noun, 1. penis, pija masculino; 2. worthless or of bad quality, trucho comprar; 3. bad luck: ¡Qué garcha! This sucks! cagada malo garchar; verb, 'to screw' coger sexo. In tango, it may refer to a blind step against line of dance causing a collision for your partner, a garcha! May also be used as a pejorative, as in "Politicians are all garchas!" Akin to "screw-off" or "screw-up" in English slang (yes, this has been cleaned up a little:-).

Giro — Turn: A turning step or figure.

Golpecitos — Little toe taps: Rhythmic tapping done with a flat foot on the ball or underside of the toe as an adorno. See Fanfarron and Zapatazo.

Golpes — Toe taps: With a tilted foot tap the floor with the toe and allow the lower leg to rebound keeping the knees together. See Picados and Punteo.

Grelas — A lunfardo term for woman. See Mina.

Guapo — Handsome: A respectable and desirable man. A compadre.


Habanera — A side together side together stepping action entered with a side chassé, commonly used by the man as he leads backward ochos for the lady in crossed feet. An Afro-Cuban dance from the mid-19th century which contributed to tango.

Hamaca — Another term for Cunita.


Inclinada — Tilt, tilting. See Carpa, Puente.

Izquierda — Left (the opposite of right).


Junta — (from juntar - to join or bring together as in, one’s feet or knees) close: In Tango it is essential that the ankles and knees should come together or pass closely by each other between each step to create an elegant appearance, preserve balance, and to communicate clearly the completion of the step to one’s partner. This applies equally to the man and the lady.


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