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Paso Doble


The time signature of the music used for this dance is 2/4. There are no percussive accents in Paso Doble, however a musical accent occurs on the 1st beat of each bar. The dance should be started on the 1st beat of a musical phrase.

The tempo of the dance is 60-62 bars per minute.

Phrasing/Method of Counting:

Most Paso Doble music is written in 2/4 time, therefore there are two beats for every bar of music.

The timing of a figure containing a multiple number of steps, each using one beat of music, is etc. Because some figures contain many steps, the use of this timing becomes unnecessarily complicated.

This difficulty can be overcome by counting each group of 4 or 8 steps separately, using the numerical count of 1234 or 12345678. The numerical count also offers considerable advantage when grouping figures or parts of figures to form routines that will maintain harmony with the musical phrasing.

It is desirable, and more pleasurable, for each figure or group of movements to commence at the beginning of a musical phrase. This is achieved by choosing the correct following figure to suit the phrasing required, and by the limited use of figures such as Sur Place, Basic Movements, and Chasses.

Posture and Poise:

Stand with feet together, the knees straight but not locked (Lady, knees very slightly flexed). With the weight forward over the balls of the feet, pull the abdomen up and in and tighten the buttocks to avoid an arched back. Lift the rib cage to elongate the spine; the chest should be held forward with a feeling of pride, and the shoulders are down and back with the shoulder blades held firmly. By pulling down the shoulder blades,  the neck lengthens and gives a good balanced line to the head. The Man has a straighter line in the back, the Lady in contrast a curve. There must be strength throughout the Man's posture, always dominating his partner.

This posture should be sustained throughout the dance. A sideways shape is required in some figures, which is developed from the waist. If the shape is to the right, then the left side is well stretched and vice versa.


Stand about 6 inches apart. Lady is held slightly on Man's right side. The Man's right hand is placed on the Lady's left shoulder blade and the Lady's left arm rests lightly on his right arm, following the curve of his arm to the shoulder. The Man's left hand is raised in a gentle curve to the level of the eyes. The Lady's right hand is placed in the Man's left hand with her fingers between his thumb and first finger. The hands are lightly clasped.




The Appel is an action frequently used as the first step of a figure to indicate a change in movement and it depicts the Matador's call to the bull.

Commence from Close Hold but with pelvis rotated to R (Lady L); stand with feet together, on toes, with weight on LF (Lady RF). The Appel consists of a strong lowering through the RF and leg accompanied by the appropriate lead for the figure to be danced. The footwork is B flat.

The track of the man's L arm is when moving from an Appel to Promenade Position is to lower arm to chest level and rotate L wrist to R (clockwise) to indicate turn and change of shape to Promenade Position, commenced during preceding beat of music.

The Appel can be syncopated to take only 1/2 beat of music during the first beat of a bar (counted as &). The following step will then have a beat value of 11/2 (counted as 1.2). You can use a syncopated Appel in the following figures: Separation, Sixteen, Twist Turn, Promenade, Promenade to Counter Promenade, La Passe, and Syncopated Separation.


Paso Doble Closed Syllabus


1. Sur Place

2. Basic Movement

3. Chasses to Right or Left

4. Drag

5. Deplacement (Attack)

6. Promenade Link (Promenade Close)

7. Promenade

8. Ecart (Fallaway Whisk)

9. Separation

10. Separation with Lady's Caping Walks


1. Fallaway Ending to Separation

2. Huit

3. Sixteen

4. Promenade and Counter Promenade

5. Grand Circle

6. Open Telemark


1. La Passe

2. Banderillas

3. Twist Turn

4. Fallaway Reverse Turn

5. Coup de Pique

6. Left Foot Variation

7. Spanish Lines

8. Flamenco Taps


1. Syncopated Separation

2. Traveling Spins from Promenade Position

3. Traveling Spins from Counter Promenade Position

4. Twists

5. Chasse Cape (including Outside Turn)


Click on any figure for detailed description!


Paso Doble Choreography Demonstrations

Silver Paso Doble:




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