The Tango Embrace is at the heart of the dance and… at the heart of lots of controversy.
Ask most folks and they will say there is close embrace and open embrace. That is not really true. There is “CLOSED”, “CLOSE” and “OPEN”.
The “CLOSED” embrace is what most people call close embrace or Milonguero Style. (BTW, there is no such thing as Milonguero Style. A Milonguero is someone who lives in Buenos Aires and dances Tango. The term was coined by Susanna Miller mostly as a marketing ploy). I won’t discuss this much as it is not the style that is taught by Bridge City Tango or that you see much on YouTube or the stage.
The “CLOSE” embrace is Salon Style and what we believe in at BCT. In fact, it is very close, but is allowed to open or breathe to allow for intricate, and beautiful figures .
Here are the details. 1) The woman stands straight to the man 2) the man approaches the woman at a slight angle so that there is a closed side and a side that is slightly open. This creates a V shape and is the reason for many of the intricacies of Tango figures. 3) The woman’s head DOES NOT go to her right side. Instead, she positions it so she can see over the man’s left shoulder.
This is important as many of the figures occur to the woman’s right and if her head is glued to her left, she cannot open and perform her part of the dance without abruptly moving her head. Moving your head a lot is never a good idea as the head weighs the most of any part of your body and moving it a lot and abruptly causes one to lose balance. Further, quietness of the top part of your body is the hallmark of a good dancer.
The “OPEN” embrace is used by those who dance Nuevo style. It is very open and very loose and does not use most of the technique require in Salon. It is not a style that is taught at BCT.
I could go on for much longer about the embrace, but let’s leave that for other posts.