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Arrogance & Passionate

Paso Doble is Spanish for ‘two step’ and the steps in question are the male dancer’s bold, march-like movements, modeled on the proud, strutting of a matador striding into a bullring.

The lady’s role is subsidiary, though colourfull and exciting one :she poses as his cape. Despite its Hispanic flavor, and the Flamenco nfluences that some performers bring to it, the dance actually evolved in France, in the years between the two world wars. Its inherent drama and passion, and the opportunities it provides for posing and display, have made it a particular favourite in Latin dance competitions. It is, however rather less common in purely social circles.

The moment the Paso Doble is mentioned to dance enthusiasts, it immediately sparks a general impression of Spain: blue sky, white houses, Gypsy and Flemenco dancing, and, unavoidably, bull fighting. Spain is actually the meeting point between Africa and Europe where Flemenco dancing and bull fighting form an integral part of the culture.

PasoDoble Characteristcs

“Paso” in Spanish means “Step”, whereas the word “Doble” means “Double”. So Paso Doble in English means “Two-Step”.

Dancers take strong steps forward with the heels, and incorporate artistic hand movements. The forward steps, or walks, should be strong and proud. The man should also incorporate apel, a move in which he strongly stamps his foot, much like a matador strikes the ground in order to capture the attention of the bull.

The dance consists of several dramatic poses that are coordianted with highlights in the music. The body is held upright with the feet always directly underneath the body.

Traditionally, the man is characterized as the matador (bullfighter) and the lady as his cape in the drama of a Spanish bullfight. The dancers may choose to enact the role of the torero, picador, banderillero, bull, or Spanish dancer, and may change roles throughout the dance. Based on Flamenco dancing, the Paso Doble is both arrogant and passionate.

The Paso Doble originated in southern France and began gaining popularity in the United States in the 1930s. Because the dance developed in France, the steps of the Spanish Paso Doble actually have French names.

The leader of this dance plays the part of the matador. The follower generally plays the part of the matador's cape, but can also represent the shadow of the matador, as well as the bull or a flamenco dancer in some figures. Its origin dates back to a French military march with the name “Paso Redoble.” This was a fast paced march, which is why this is a fast-paced Latin American dance modeled after the Spanish bull fight. Bull fighting was well-known around this time.

  • Timing: 4/4
  • Tempo: 104 beats per minute
  • Accent: On the 4th beat of each bar
  • Competition: 1,5 - 2 minutes
  • Rise and Fall: Nil
  • Basic Rhythm: 1a2* (also, 1a2a3a4 and SQQ)
  • Counting in Beats and Bars: 2 3 4 & 1, 2 3 4 & 1

Gypsy music uses guitars and castanets as its instruments. Significant changes in tempo, decorative melody and refined rhythm are some characteristics of such music. A song called Espana Cani (Spanish Gypsy Dance) was born in 1932, which is now a signature Paso Doble piece.

The music of Paso Doble is actually the tune played for the grand entrance of the matador into the bull-fighting ring. It is written in such a way as to arouse excitement of bull fighting.

1 Surplas Promenades Fallaway Reverse
2 Basic Movement Grand Circle Syncopated Seperation
3 Appel Open Telemark Banderillas
4 Chasses to Right & Left Ecart Twists
5 Promenade Link LaPasse Coup De Pique
6 Deplacement Twist Turn Left Foot Variation
7 Seperation Fregolina
8 Fallaway Ending Chasse Cape
9 Huit Travelling Sping from PP
10 Sixteen Travelling Sping from CPP
11 Drag Spanish Lines
12 Sepration with Lady's Caping Walk Flamenco Taps
13 Promenades