This is part 2 of our series of blogs about building an elegant, comfortable tango frame – the Holy Grail in becoming great to dance with and even greater to watch.

Have a look at part 1 or come back for part 3 (on February 2) of our blog about the tango frame.


The close embrace

The close embrace is the embrace in effect in Buenos Aires traditional milongas, the one where both partners touch at chest level. This embrace usually provides the strongest connection and amplifies the feeling of dancing as one. It is the embrace of tango salón and tango milonguero.

This embrace involves the leader’s right hand being on the follower’s left shoulder blade. The follower’s left hand should be on the leader’s right shoulder blade.

The trick in the close embrace is for both partners to find a comfortable and natural position. Gentlemen should try and remain ‘square’, with their shoulders above their hips – the temptation is often to extend the right shoulder too much, but having the shoulder forward hinders both balance and connection.

Both partners should simply establish contact wherever their chests touch and not force contact at a specific point – so gentlemen, if you are very tall, don’t try and bend down, just stay tall and proud. Also, if you happen to be cheek to cheek, this is very nice and some dancers enjoy the style and sensation of this embrace. However, if you naturally have no contact with your partner’s cheeks, do not force it as it will make you look like a turtle, with your neck sticking out forward!

Come back on the 2nd for the last part of this article.

See you soon on the dancefloor!


Nathalie and Emma
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