Paso Doble

Pasodoble (literal meaning in Spanish: double-step) is a typical Spanish march-like musical style, as well as the corresponding dance style, danced by a couple. It is the type of music typically played in bullfights during the bullfighters’ entrance to the ring (paseo) or during the passes (faena) just before the kill. It corresponds to the Pasodoble dance (traditional and ballroom).
Paso Doble or Pasodoble is a lively style of dance to the duple meter march-like Pasodoble music. It actually originated in southern France, but is modeled after the sound, drama, and movement of the Spanish bullfight.
Famous bullfighters have been honored with Pasodoble tunes named after them. Others are inspired in patriotic motives or local characters.

Famous Pasodobles:

  • El Beso
  • El Gato Montés (“Wild Cat”) from the opera with the same name
  • El Relicario
  • España Cañí (“Gipsy Spain”)
  • Islas Canarias named after Canary Islands.
  • La Gracia de Dios
  • Manizales del Alma
  • Manolete, named after Manolete.
  • La Morena de mi Copla
  • Plaza de las Ventas
  • Paquito el Chocolatero. The tune has a dance of its own.
  • Smooth Criminal
  • Sombreros et Mantilles
  • Suspiros de España
  • Que Viva España
  • Valencia


Paso Doble, like Samba, is a progressive International Latin dance. The Paso Doble is the Latin dance most resembling the International Standard style, in that forward steps are taken with the heel lead, the frame is wider and more strictly kept up, and there is significantly different and less hip movement.
A significant number of Paso Doble songs are variants of España Cañi. The song has breaks in fixed positions in the song (two breaks at syllabus levels, three breaks and a longer song at Open levels). Traditionally Paso Doble routines are choreographed to match these breaks, as well as the musical phrases. Accordingly, most other ballroom Paso Doble tunes are written with similar breaks (those without are simply avoided in most competitions).
Because of its inherently choreographed tradition, ballroom Paso Doble for the most part is danced only competitively, almost never socially, or at least not without sticking to some sort of previously learned routine. This said, in Spain, France, Vietnam, Colombia and some parts of Germany to the west of the river Rhine, it is danced socially as a lead (not choreographed) dance.

Music Examples:

1. España Cañi by Orquesta Torres Avila
2. España Ole by Orquesta Tarde De Torros
3. Spanish Gipsy Dance by Rquestra Del Tendido