close contact *ahem* in close embrace

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by Peaches, Feb 27, 2006.

  1. hepcat

    hepcat New Member

    I think too tight of a hold is a typical beginner issue that a lot of both leads and follows deal with while trying to understand the concept of frame in any connection (not just a close one). I know that even now, I can sometimes tense up or squeeze if I'm thinking about a new move or am nervous. However, I would always notice cues such as squirming or pinching. ;) Although I'm not sure I would pick up right away on leaning back against my arm. That probably would make me tense up more subconsciously until my shoulder fatigues, then that would've tripped the thought that I was squeezing too much and I'd try to loosen up. I think the reason I would miss that is because I'm thinking of something else. Ironically, I think what would cause me to loosen up without the need to consciously think about it, is if the follow leaned more into me. Personally, I appreciate it when a follow tells me I'm tensing up/squeezing.

    There's a follow I know who has excellent frame, but if I ever try a move she's not very familiar with, she'll tighten up like a rock. It's because she doesn't know what's going to happen and that's just how she reacts. I recognize that it's a defense mechanism so you don't get hurt, but even if all I'm doing is a simple move that she hasn't gotten used to yet (which doesn't involve any sort of risky position or contortion), she grips my hand like a vice.

    Although it's possible that he simply thinks or has been told (and possibly misinterpretted) that that's how it's supposed to be done. Ideally, you'd be able to discuss it with him, but I know in our tango scene, that can be a risky thing to do, especially when it's the guys who need talking to. I've been told that there's a lack of "nice" leads here. I've witnessed it too. Some of them are like moody little stubborn children. They all think they're perfect and most are far from it. I'm not a very good tango dancer and have somewhat dropped out of the scene, but all the follows were extremely nice to me and openly claimed that they try to encourage nice leads to improve their choices on the dance floor.

    -Hepcat
  2. hepcat

    hepcat New Member

    :shock: Hmmm... It doesn't sound like a typical beginner mistake anymore if that's the case. That's a whole new category unto itself of beginner mistakes. It almost sounds as if he's trying to do the high school sweetheart sort of thing. I've seen beginners hunch over or lean over at the shoulders/head, but forcing the follow into that position is a new one on me.

    I've had a couple follows assume that position of their own volition and I've deemed it rather pleasant when the height's just right. Perhaps he was trying to reproduce something that he'd experienced like that before?

    -Hepcat
  3. Ampster

    Ampster Active Member

    Hmmm, sounds like lack of experience. I think the guy just didn't know the difference between American, and Argentinean Tango. You were doing the American Style, whilst he was trying to AT it. They are, after all, diametricaly opposed in form and practice with the only thing they have in common is the name, T-A-N-G-O, otherwise, they are two very different dance forms.
  4. hepcat

    hepcat New Member

    Yeah, I missed that, although still, I don't think he should have been forcing her shoulders forward.
  5. Ampster

    Ampster Active Member

    I agree. In either case, that's just bad dance etiquitte. The lead has to adjust and sense the follow.
  6. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Update from last night

    My friend came with me, as did her husband. She was unbelievably nervous--she called me twice during the day to ask about different things. She was very scared at the prospect of dancing with someone other than her husband. I pressed her on it and found out that she was scared of messing up and messing the other person up as well. I did my best to reassure her.

    When the milonga started (post-intro-lesson), every time I went past them on the floor they were arguing. Knowing my friends, it was cute. They really only danced with each other during the night. I worked a bit with him--You have got to walk straight forward. Do not try to walk around me. Trust me. You will not step on me if you walk straight--and it helped a lot. Working with her on letting him lead was much harder.

    But they had fun, or so they said. They want to come again, but it's hard since they have a little baby. But they want to start coming with me to ballroom dance classes/socials. And, oddly enough, it's HIM that's really excited about it.
  7. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    All told, that sounds like a reasonably good evening. Good deal. :D
  8. newbie

    newbie Active Member

    This chest contact is one reason why I prefer the open style, with only hand contact. And even my left hand remains flat open, I don't like the contact of the lady's palm, I don't squeeze her hand in mine. So, it's only her left hand on my arm, and my right hand in her back.
  9. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    very strange. do you like touching her at all?

    well there's no reason to squeeze anything; that I agrree with.

    Well I just consider that ungentlemanly: there are times when I have felt wearing a white cotton glove on my right hand might have been appropriate against a bare back but not holding her hand is just rude.
  10. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    I play around, and sometime only have contact on one side...It is understood as such.

    As for closed contact I get touched on my lower body when I do ballroom, upper body when doing AT. I guess I get full body contact, overall. ;-) I guess there are some advantages to being a generalist. :)
  11. I agree with bordertangoman.

    Hand holding its a very important part of the posture and dance. It beneffits both the dance and the looks.
  12. DancePoet

    DancePoet New Member

    Seems like she has a lot of fears she will need to find a resolution, too, or else at some point this will make for a bad experience for both of them. Hope it works out ok.
  13. newbie

    newbie Active Member

    It has occurred only once to me to dance with a lady wearing a bare back dress, I hated it and told her afterwards to put something on if she wanted to dance again with me (I would have told her before but as she was facing me when we were both sitting I didn't notice her bare back). Usually my right hand keeps sliding in the lady's back (horizontally...) to keep her within my arms. But here, with skin/skin contact (my palm/her back) I found it impossible to slide. I had to make without the front or back ochos.

    As for my left hand I offer it to the lady but it remains open, not pressing her fingers, somehow like a wooden hand.
  14. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member


    Far worse than a bare back are some fabrics that seem to be determined to catch your fingernails and others which may be nice to look at but pretty horrible to touch. Give me a bare back any day. As to sliding the hand difficulties have sometimes arisen when my fingers have gone into a loop of material.
  15. hepcat

    hepcat New Member

    Are you sure you're clipping your finger nails correctly, or do you bite? My nails never get caught on any fabric unless I've clipped them in such a way that leaves a catch. However there are some fabrics that will catch my fingers if my hands are dried out.

    -Hepcat
  16. ssjss

    ssjss New Member

    Silk killls me. I always had a problem slidding with it. More so after the Milonga has progressed for awhile. I'll take the bare back also. As far as the hand, I've danced with the followers right hand on my cheek and my left right behind her right shoulder. It was different and very nice for the moment.
  17. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    OK, guys (men/leaders). Now you've got this girl confused. (Easily done, I assure you.)

    So...backless is bad? OK? Preferable to some alternatives? And sliding is bad? or good? I'm having a hard time figuring out where you all come down on this issue.

    And what's the deal with the white glove? Is that to not feel sweat?

    And what's the verdict on sleeveless things?

    I've read so many different opinions, it leave this girl wondering what on earth to wear! There are the comfy & cool things that become questionable b/c of sleevlessness. And there are the silk things, which seem to be a no-no. And then some people say that sweat isn't a big deal.

    Normally I say the heck with it--at this rate nekkid seems like the only workable solution--but then we're back to the problem of backless-ness.
  18. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    OK with me, if the woman is OK with my hand being on her bare back.

    Well, this is the AT group, so things may be different here. I'd prefer that a woman not have on a really slippery top; it makes it harder to lead when I can't keep my hand in place. But I'm speaking from a ballroom perspective.

    Dunno. It's only natural; passionate people are going to perspire when they are hot 'n bothered. :D I certainly am, so I'm not going to complain about my partner. As long as a reasonable level of general hygeine is maintained.

    Totally hot! :raisebro:

    Wear the sleeveless and I'll follow you anywhere. Seriously, figure that anywhere you go to dance, more likely than not the room is going to be warm. It might be better to lay off of the silk just for that reason; you don't want it to get messed up. And it's better to wear tops that aren't layered in the back, or have things dangling in the back. Just think about where the leader needs to put his hand, and what it might get caught in, and choose appropriately. Beyond that, it's up to you. I will say that it's a good idea to choose something that will stay up by itself without needing a lot of maintenance, but that depends on what kind of impression you want to make. ;)

    I think I could deal with it. :cool:
  19. Indiana_Jay

    Indiana_Jay Active Member

    Normally, I'd say, "great idea," but I have enough trouble as it is concentrating on my leads (ask Fascination... she'll tell you I'm one of those guys who has trouble talking and dancing at the same time)!

    -IJ
  20. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    You said it dearie. I think we have reached an acceptable conclusion. :p:D

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