The dance starts with the embrace for a good reason. It is the foundation of the dance.
Remember that Salon Style Argentine Tango has an asynchronous embrace. That means that there is an open side and a closed side. Followers line up straight to the leader. The V of the embrace is created by the leaders.
Salon Tango is NOT an Open Embrace. On the contrary, it is VERY close but is allowed to open as necessary and then closed back. Follower’s, make sure you allow your left hand to slide down the leaders right arm. Leaders, make sure to give the follower room by not groping the follower with your right hand.
Heads should not fight the embrace. Rather, leaders look over the follower’s right shoulder. Followers keep their heads pointed to the leaders left shoulder. For the most part, heads stay in that position, regardless of the figure.
A good posture is essential to Tango success!
To find the right posture, start by standing very tall stretching through the core. Then, allow your body to move over the balls of your feet by softening your knees. Remember, the goal is to create Carpa “tent” when the embrace is closed. This does not mean bent over. Tango is danced below the waist. Above the waist you should be vertical.
Also, Tango is a circle. The circle starts with the leaders left hand and the followers right which meet equidistant between the partners. The circle then proceeds down the leaders left arm, around his back and ends with his right hand on the follower’s back. This circle is carried throughout the dance, pretty much, irrespective of the figure being attempted.
For the most part, knees should be kept soft. There is a tendency to start with knees soft, but then start dancing with straight legs. Your knees are your shock absorber and keep you from “bouncing” or feeling very rigid. Followers should take care to keep their knees soft when dancing the molinete which is about 75% of the time.
Remember to pivot . That can only be done if you’re on the balls of your feet. The rule of thumb is pivot, pivot and pivot some more. And pivot happens before the step happens, so work on your pivot.