Paso Doble, or Pasodoble, is a lively dance modeled after the drama of the Spanish bullfight. Paso doble actually means "two-step."
Paso Doble Characteristics
The Paso Doble is a theatrical Spanish dance. 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 is performed more as a competition dance than as a social dance.
Paso Doble History
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.
Paso Doble Action
One of the most dramatic of all the Latin dances, the Paso Doble is a progressive dance. In the Paso Doble, 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. All moves of the Paso Doble should be sharp and quick, with the chest and head held high to represent arogance and dignity.
Distinctive Paso Doble Steps
In Spanish, "Paso Doble" means "two step" and refers to the marching nature of the steps. 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. The following steps are distictive to the Paso Doble:
- Sur Place (on the spot)
- Open Promenade to Open Counter Promenade
- Spanish Line
- Promenade Close
- Flamenco Taps
Paso Doble Rhythm and Music
Paso Doble music has strong Flamenco influences. The bold, inspiring music has a simple 1-2-1-2 march rhythm, with very few rhythm changes. The tempo of Paso Doble music is usually a brisk 60 beats per minute. The Spanish Gypsy Dance has become the universal anthem of the Paso Doble.