The Tango Lexicon


Originality and inventiveness have always been at the heart of Argentine Tango. But creativity thrives on clear constraints.

Learning tango might seem sometimes like an endless expanse of new elements to master. Ochos, paradas, boleos, giros, sacadas, barridas, ganchos, colgadas, volcadas, piernazos, many more "things" are there to learn? You may feel you need to grasp the WHOLE picture before getting "creative."

Fortunately, the whole picture is simple, elegant and easy to work with. Tango has a deep structure that is often unnoticed. This internal DNA of tango figures holds ALL possibilities of moving with four legs. Actually, a tiny number of basic elements - 24, to be precise - can create an infinity of danceable moments.

The tango lexicon is a new system that gives an easy way to remember every possible distinct structural situation in tango - a name that both describes what it IS and what it can CONNECT to. It will help you remember and record tango combinations, talk about them and invent completely new things when you practice with it.

Once you understand it, you can unleash potentially explosive originality and creativity when you dance.


Mitra and David explored tango together from 2007 to 2018, practicing regularly, taking workshops together, and exchanging about the structure and technique of tango. The Tango Lexicon is one creative outcome of five years' collaborative process.


This system is for you if you want to unstuck yourself from memorized patterns and sequences. Once you understand the real elegance of the grammar underlying Tango, you'll experience a new way of dancing that challenges your habitual moves and is open to all the poetry this language of tango can compose.


  • Highly geeky Tango dancers who are not afraid of maths

  • Funny, happy, playful, creative Tango dancing communities who like crazy challenges

  • Dedicated Tango communities who are searching for inspiring new ways to practice between events

  • College- or university-based Tango clubs

  • Any group that needs a fresh approach to practice and creativity


Are you ready to decrypt the DNA of Tango - the genetic code that gives rise to all the possibilities of 2 bodies and 4 legs? Prepare to exercise your analytical brain! In these 4 workshops you will learn the lexicon and structure of tango figures which will enable you to remember new combinations better and invent original ideas as you dance or practice.


  • Grasp the deep structure of tango and its elegant nested symmetries

  • Learn how you can use chance operations to systematically generate creative new moves

  • Play games of Mental Tango with practice friends via text message

  • Join a community of analytical and creative Tango geeks

  • Strengthen your memory of Tango movement materials

  • Learn your habits and blind spots in Tango and get a way to break out of ruts

  • Take notes easily on new combinations you learn

  • Finally you'll know exactly how many sacadas there are

  • Euphoria, lightheadedness


“Expectations blown out of the water. ” — Marta, Austin

“I enjoyed the Bootcamp very much and have been able to retain and bring much of the information and concepts back to home - something I cannot say about many of the workshops I have attended in the past. The coding system you created is clever and useful for the creative dancer. It is taking some time for me to embed the terminology into my little grey cells, but that process is moving along...It was a great experience and an afternoon well spent. ” — Joseph, Austin

“Love the idea of finding the common denonimator of tango moves” — Charla, Austin

“It was truly inspiring and mind-blowing!! The concept of breaking down tango into the component parts this way is beautiful and fascinating and, frankly, both a fun and an effective way to explore! Much gratitude for bringing it!”— Shelley, Austin

“I loved it. Total game-changer. It got me inspired to up my practice with leading in particular.” - Magan, Los Angeles

“Wealth of information, many thumbs up about it. Tango lexicon is genius. I can see how it can help.” - Jay, Los Angeles

"A wonderfully productive, interesting bootcamp! I had a bit of skepticism when the first terms were introduced. "You're going to have us invent and learn new terms for tango moves as a way to make creative explorations easier?!?!" But of course it wasn't so much about the terms themselves as it was the way of thinking about tango in a well structured way that supports either a highly organized or a totally randomized - or both - way of creating and testing tango possibilities. And even though David said this was only about creating or analyzing figures, that exploration -- "What works well?" "Is this possible?" "What must we change to make that work?" -- all played nicely into partner connection, geometry, lead/follow/follow, what fits different sorts of music well, "so THIS is what makes that figure work!", and on and on. I enjoyed how you just assumed that everyone would both lead and follow in the work, and they did. I also appreciated the "stick partner". It was good to see people volunteering for it and making good use of it without waiting for an odd dancer out. Congratulations on developing this system of tango thinking and exploration. I think you've made a significant contribution to the art form." - David, Tango teacher/organizer, Austin

"I had an amazing experience! The lexicon has given me some ideas about how to share tango with other beginners in digestible chunks. The work was challenging, and the amount of time we had was perfect - it kept us moving forward and challenged, but still allowed us to process the material." - Emily, Los Angeles

"The lexicon workshop was fabulous." - Bharath, Los Angeles

“I got a real fundamental understanding of Tango...that knowledge freed me, gave me a kind of permission to pursue new combinations and not just the regular suspects. It was a great course, it was hard but I got a lot out of it, even more than I expected to. It was the kind of course I always wanted to take to help understand the fundamental structure of Tango with all its complexity, variation and beauty.” — Michael G., Los Angeles

“It expanded my tango horizons by giving the structure for improvisation and trying out/learning/conceptualizing old and new things.” — Katya K., Los Angeles

“I think this class attracted some serious serial learners, everyone was really committed to figuring this stuff out. I’m really happy with the results of the class. Overall I feel like I have more understanding of the available movements while dancing, and have new and different ways to explore movement.” — Ali G., Los Angeles

“It was a great experience overall. I appreciated the lexicon and tango terminology that was outlined in the course. It had given me a clearer understanding about the freedom of movement and symmetry in tango. It was pretty fierce and challenging at the same time.” — Autumn A., Los Angeles


The Tango Lexicon Bootcamp is an adventure into tango creativity that will reboot your community's way of thinking about tango combinations, leading/following, and practicing! All we need is 20 eager dancers and 1 host and we're there!  

We can impart the whole Tango Lexicon in 4 90-minute workshops offered on Friday and Saturday, giving you plenty of material to practice for months or years! Here's a sample schedule for your community.

1 The Five Parallel System Translations - Day 1, 90 mins

2 The Four Crossed System Translations - Day 1 or 2, 90 mins

3 The Six System Changers - Day 2, 90 mins

4 The Nine Sacadas - Day 2 or 3, 90 mins

Please contact Mitra if you would like to bring the Tango Lexicon Bootcamp to your community! (310) 854-2466.


The Tango Lexicon program is a perfect programming addition for a Tango Festival! Attract dancers who are interested in structure and creativity, to learn this exciting new way of exploring Tango.  

We offer up to 4 workshops on which can be tailored to your festival's needs and timeslots. We can quickly and easily provide sample titles and descriptions, bios, and a press kit to support your festival promotion.

Please contact Mitra if you'd like to include the Tango Lexicon in your upcoming Tango festival! 310-854-2466