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Different teachers have different ideas regarding when and how the follower should cross. Also there are different opinions on how to lead the cross.
In the 8-count basic method, taught in a series of TV shows in Argentina, the follower crosses on count 5 of the basic.
Some teachers advise us that the leader must lead the cross by turning the right should back on 3, holding that shoulder position on count 4 and then turning the shoulder to the left on count 5.
Daniel Trenner, who is credited with bringing Argentine tango to the United States, asserts that it is a convention in Argentine tango for the follower to cross when...
...the leader dances to the follower's right side and pauses.
With this method no lead from the upper body of the leader is needed.
Daniel Trenner interviewed and video taped scores of Argentine tango masters, so one would think his words have a lot of weight.
Some suggest that the leader should put upward pressure on the follower's back to lead the cross.
Some teachers point out that when the leader moves to the followers right side and pauses, the action of the follower crossing helps to bring the two dancers inline with each other.
Some teachers say that the follower should *always* put all her weight on her left foot during the cross -- crossing left over right. But El Pulpo says very firmly that this is a mistake. The follower should cross left over right but not put all her weight on her left foot because this limits what can be done next. Check out this romantic, hypnotic video of El Pulpo and Luiza danci...
I suggest that beginners put all weight on their left foot at the cross so they have an easier time with the traditional next step which is usually with the right foot. However, as dancers become more advanced they can experiment with keeping weight equally balanced between left and right at the cross.