Argentine Tango Embrace

In social dance, dancers often switch between Open Embrace and Closed Embrace, depending on the figures. Revers Embrace is used in performances.

Open Embrace

  • Man' R arm is under Lady's shoulder blade, not too high.

  • Lady's left upper arm connects on top of Man's R arm. Lady's LH is on behind Man's shoulder. Lady's left fingers in relaxed closed position., can articulate a bit.

  • Lady waits till Man's put up his LH (Man's arm is a little more than 90 degrees out.). Man rotate his LH with palm facing her face. Lady puts her hand a little higher and then moves down to close her RH with Man's LH.

    • The hands should not be above her chin, which will tilt her weight and cover her face.

    • Lady's RH, wrist and arm in a flat line, not twisted/broken at wrist. Man does not put his little finger onto Lady's wrist.

  • Hands in middle of the two bodies, about shoulder level.

  • There is open space between Man and lady.

Closed Embrace

  • Lady feels very up and rib cage lifted. Left side is connected with Man's R side, lifted, not pushing. Shoulder pulled back (open shoulder blade), do not put a lot of weight on Man.

  • Man feels his chest goes under a bit and then lift up.

  • Lady's forehead may be touching Man's face, but do not put a lot of pressure. But do not "look for connection" with the head.

  • Depending on how partner fits together, Man's R arm may wrap about behind Lady's back, R hand is under Lady's R shoulder blade.

  • Lady and Man is in a slightly V shape.

  • Do not:

    • Do not close/collapse ribs

    • Do not put shoulder in front.

    • Do not collapse onto partner, which makes Lady heavy to Man.

    • Do not push Lady's hand down.

  • "Milonguero style" (which is close-embrace tango dancing) is not "hanging on" each other.

  • Lady always feels lifted, not collapsed. shoulder back, open.

    • Do not put weight on your right hand, pushing down Man's LH. Do not dig your nails into Man's LH.

    • Do not put her hand in front of Man's arm, or on top of shoulder, or behind his neck.

    • Do not dig fingers into leader.

  • 3 Lady's head positions (looking slightly downward, but do not break the neck to make face go down). Do not flipping head back and forth, to left and to right.

    • Straight forward: 12 o'clock. Make sure Lady does not close her R shoulder. R shoulder still down and back.

    • Slightly to R.

    • A little more to R: 3 o'clock.

Changing between Closed Embrace and Open Embrace:

  • Keep the left arm shape, Lady slides the L arm up and down Man's R arm to change between Open and Closed Embrace.

  • To change from Closed to Open Embrace:

    • Man rotates to his left first (move torso/body, do not just move L arm, keep arm/hand in middle of two bodies). This sends Lady's L shoulder blade back.

    • Then, Man moves his R shoulder blade back. Lady let go of her L arm, allowing L arm to slide.

  • To change from Open Embrace to Closed Embrace:

    • Man moves his RH around Lady's back. Lady closes her left side to Man. Lady's R side stays.

Reverse Embrace

  • Mostly used in choreography and stage performance.

  • Shadow position, where Lady's is right side in front of Man.

  • Lady's LH connects to Man's LH. Man's center/chest is on Lady's shoulder blade. Lady pulls back L shoulder blade, giving Man connection.

  • Man's R arm is under Lady's R arm, Man's RH is under Lady's chest. Lady's RH rest on top of Man's RH.

  • Lady elongates the neck.