Tango Argentino > HELP no can do at close embrace

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by aaah, Feb 2, 2009.

  1. tangonuevo

    tangonuevo New Member

    No need for small movements unless that is what you want to do. I suggest that you look at the videos at


    and those that follow. Although Rick suggests you take a short step ("12 inches is plenty"), that is only part of the learning process. To see what I mean, I you might look at


    Those are some big steps!!

    I often (50% of the time?) dance close embrace, but I don't dance with the lean that some on this forum prefer. Rather I dance essentially toe-to-toe with my partner with each of us keeping weight forward so that we connect, but no weight on each other. I find that, with a sensitive follow, I can step as big as I want and never step on her. See also Rick's comments in this regard on his 29steplarge page.

    BTW, the videos of the masters shown in his chapter five are occasionally nothing short of amazing, and almost always instructive.
  2. aaah

    aaah Member

    I came to the same conclusion esp when she started laughing at some of my attempts to do some steps:tongue:

    spent $250 to learn close embrace on her and learned nada
  3. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    I got taught this robotically - without a partner,
    1. Leg moves forward but weight still on supporting leg
    2. Weight equal between feet ie the middle of a step.
    3. Weight on arriving leg but departing leg out behind
    4. collect -feet together and weight on new leg

    same for side and back steps.
  4. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    I think you did okay; and that you are correct that it has two meanings

    i am listening to El Huracan; such a great tune. see En tus Brazos on youtube to hear it.
    I think this has some nice syncos. but I couldnt find a Donato version download. if anyone can help pm me.
  5. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    You can take big steps in an apilado embrace because your partner's foot moves (for all nearly all intents and purposes) at the same time as your foot does, assuming you are "walking".
  6. SD

    SD New Member

    Close Embrace

    One teacher who showed up in my town to visit friends and teach tango workshops began her workshop with this announcement: "Since pretty much everyone dances close embrace at milongas, I begin my lessons with close embrace." There were a few brief exercises involving leaning toward or away from a partner, some walking alone to the music, and then we were thrown into the deep end, so to speak. We were told that we had to earn the privilege if using our arms to hold our partners, at first we just let our arms drape at our sides. Each pair of dancers was handed a sheet of paper to place between our chests. We proceeded to walk, pause, take side steps, etc. all without dropping the sheet of paper which was held between us only by friction.

    No one dropped out or gave up, and all were able to walk in close embrace comfortably after several hours of exercises. I still like to practice leading close embrace without using my arms sometimes.

  7. bafonso

    bafonso New Member

    Get a new teacher.
  8. ant

    ant Member

    Originally Posted by dchester [​IMG]

    Hi dc

    You can't by any chance give me a link or some idea of the name of the thread because I would like to read the post you are refering to. Many thanks, ant.
  9. ant

    ant Member

    Thanks for that.

    I am being taught this at the moment and it has been suggested to me that between 2 and 3 there would also be a forward movement, although smaller than in 1, of the front foot to assist the weight transfer.

    I was also wondering what your view is on the quality on how the leg, foot and body move.

    I have been taught that the leg movements come from the hip rather than the knee (which should be slightly flexed) and that when the leg moves the foot should be in light contact with the floor.

    As far as possible a foot should be moving all the time and as far as possible the feet should be moving at the same speed and there should be no upper body movement (no disociation other to aid a turn or more rarely possibally to aid interpretation of the music).
  10. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    The movements within a step are infinitley divisible but four opportunities is a starting place to get it working. The quality of the movement dpends on how you are responding. For instance the movements could be small and sharp or more fluid and flowing - the latter is harder to lead.

    I have been taught that the leg movements come from the hip rather than the knee (which should be slightly flexed) and that when the leg moves the foot should be in light contact with the floor. ).[/QUOTE]

    I think there has been discussion about this in another thread. I think the answer having watched lots of dancers is no not touching the floor except except when the foot arrives or in lapiz, but just above the floor

    I'm not sure what you are saying here; any movemnt you want to lead is initiated in your body; how you want to move your feet is up to you.
  11. ant

    ant Member

    Thanks for the information.

    I understand what you mean by the lead from the body. this is a whole body movement, which I agree with and will always be the case.

    What I was trying to ask related to movement of individual parts in the upper body. Other than disociation to effect some sort of turn, should the upper body remain as still as possible?
  12. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    I am personally of the opinion that people who use no upper body motion tend to look stiff and robotic...

    If you watch people walk, they have a natural torso rhythm (a very slight contra body motion of opposite feet and shoulders moving) that is so difficult to teach without it looking forced, but when it is just allowed to occur makes dancing feel like an entire body experience rather than robot movements.

    We discussed this recently with a ballroom trained person we know who is now taking some tango, and apparently, a completely still upper body is what is encouaged in ballroom.

    I will say that the tango masters I have studied with have all encouraged that gentle "rocking the lady" motion, but it is motion in harmony with the rest of the body's movement and not random upper body motion (which is disorienting to the follow and is another thing that muddies the lead).

    End of story- I think upper body motion can be good if it is the "right" ("rocking the lady") kind that is in harmony with the overall body movement.
  13. ant

    ant Member

    Thanks, I agree with what you say.
  14. Mario7

    Mario7 Member

    I woke up with this question this morning;
    Is all syncopated walking, done in parallel footing?
    If not all, is the majority of it done in parallel ? That is; more than 90%?
    I think that this would be an important factoid for an emergent leader.
    Thanks for considering this question.
  15. tangonuevo

    tangonuevo New Member

    No. I will frequently lead syncopations in cross feet. However, it is the case that I do find it much easier to lead, especially with a woman with whom I have not danced a number of times, in parallel feet. For me, this is driven by the fact that in parallel feet my upper body can provide a clearer and quicker lead since the natural contra-body that we both experience in walking is the same. In cross feet, that natural contrabody, and the lead indications that go with it, can become slightly problematic.

    Or perhaps that is just me.
  16. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    All, no. Most, yes (at least for me).
  17. bafonso

    bafonso New Member

    I don't think in Tango it means quick steps. Just depends who you are talking to and with whom you're dancing with. Some followers love syncopation nuances...
  18. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    In AT you are free to take extra steps while your partner does not. Your body, along with the music tells her when to step, not your feet.
    More skilled followers are able to take extra steps without interfering with the leaders steps, while also making sure that the leader can feel where her weight is when she's done with the "extra" step.
    Leading "extra" steps is harder in "crossed system" because most people are not very good at maintaining a solid connection when in that "off to the side" position. There, it's all about that "contrabody" thing.
  19. Mario7

    Mario7 Member

    For the purpose of this discussion; Syncopation, the way we are defining
    it, happens a lot in the Milonga (song). It appears to me that the Milonga
    is danced entirely (more than 90%) in Parallel footing. There's probably a
    good reason for this and I am guessing that it is because the rhythmic
    form of the song, and often express footwork, are much more easily
    done in Parallel footing. Any comments? thanks :cool:
  20. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Hmmm... When we last debated this subject (and bored everyone else to death), we seemed to be in agreement on what it meant in tango. In this context, I believe double steps are the same as quick steps.


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