Torso angle

Angel HI

Well-Known Member
.......after 1 year I still need to learn things about walking!
IMHO, these are the best points thus far. They all speak to proper body alignment (what dancers call CPA). The importance of them... stand up straight and tall, and slightly forward over the arches of the feet.
Get a plumb -- a long rope with a weight on one end. Make it hang from your sternum area -- just hold the free end of the rope there, and make the weight go to the floor. The weight should fall right in front of your feet.
That is as far as the angle itself is concerned. How exactly you create that angle is another story. :)
Stand up straight and tall
  1. "Plank" forward until your weight is all on the balls of your feet. Soft knees. Stay tall. your own height: not your partners - so if you are tall, never stoop. If you stand with good erect posture, your chest projects naturally, and there's no need to do anything else to make upper chest contact with most partners.
There are a lot of preferences masquerading as rules. If your way works for you (and your partners), I'd consider finding something else to improve.
The absolute essential thing to 'walking' once you have all of this standing ad posture advice comfortably set in your body is to focus in the middle of the step and not from foot to foot. This is why the 'walk' is so elusive to many... because it is not a walk like most persons think. The Argentines will dispute this, and say that you always have the weight over one foot or the other; never both. But, in the same breath, they will say, "When you move, take the weight with you so that it is neither leaning back on the standing foot nor lunging/landing prematurely on the stepping foot". You must understand the cultural and linguistic differences between the languages, and, quite frankly, the differences between teaching/learning styles of 2 different countries. Understand what they mean as they say it, not what they mean as you interpret it into your norm of understanding.

The exercise is simple. Take a step forward; place the weight on both feet. Take another step, slowing and balancing as the feet/legs come together, then continue to the next step. Stop. You are focusing on middle to middle rather than foot to foot. This is the Argentine Walk. Master this after mastering the great posture concepts given by every and referenced above, and you will excel more quickly and easily. I promise.


Staff member
One thing I have trouble with though is that when it comes to doing the actual embrace, the woman is standing so close that her chest actually touches my chest... almost as if she were still doing the drill you mentioned. I have no idea why they do that. I guess maybe it feels good, but when I'm in the middle of a physical activity and need to get stuff done, it's a bit impractical to say the least.
The point of that exercise, is to get used to moving together like that. Once you get proficient at walking, then you should also include ochos and giros in that drill. Then all that is left is to maintain that same posture when you put your arms in the appropriate tango position.

Maybe I'm unimaginative, but I can only find two ways of backing off a bit:

(1) Step backwards, i.e. move against the line of dance
(2) Pull away the upper body and end up leaning back

Any suggestions very much welcomed.
If you are changing the embrace, just use the embrace (your upper body, including your arms) to facilitate the change. Basically, it just involves decreasing/eliminating the lean that you have towards each other.

FWIW, if your clear preference (at least for now) is open embrace, just set the embrace at open at the beginning of the song/tanda.

If you desire to get better at close embrace, then you could try some of the suggestions offered, but you don't have to apologize, if open is your preference. Just be aware that a lot of people prefer close embrace, and may prefer to dance with others. Similarly the people who prefer open, will come your way. I just don't know your community, so I can't say what the ratio of close to open preference is there. BTW, a lot of people where I dance are happy with either.

The key is to know who you are, and do what you do well.
(BTW, who you are will likely evolve over time)

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