Tango Argentino > Comfortable Close Embrace?

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by Malena, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. Imbrace

    Imbrace Member

    Hi Lilly,

    I don't know if you've found the video or are OK with sharing it. I am teaching a couple of friends some exercises and would be grateful if you could post it here or send it to me :)
  2. Temza

    Temza Member

  3. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    Oh, good grief! He makes some very good conceptual points, but when he starts instructing how to rotate ones hands before taking the embrace, that is just ridiculously pedantic.

    I just can't imagine that every good tango dancer rotates their hands just so. Sorry, I'm calling BS on that one.
  4. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    Actually, I do something very similar (AndaBien, you can cross me off your list ;) ), and his advice to "open up" is one of the better parts of the video, I think (obviously, 'the hand' is not the point. The point is that it will automatically make you put your shoulders and upper arms a certain way).

    What I object to a little is that he doesn't separate what is necessary for _his_ embrace and what is vital in _any_ embrace. I have a completely different idea about how I hold my right arm (as I don't use my hand at all to apply pressure, it doesn't need to stay on my right side of the spine of the lady).
  5. Imbrace

    Imbrace Member

    Makes sense to me.
  6. Temza

    Temza Member

    Obviously Sebastian teaches what he knows and like. There are dozens of variations and you can't blame him that he did not mention them. You can take or leave his advice, or take parts of it.
    I also disagree on the position of the man's right arm, but this doesn't make the rest of his advice useless. Pick and choose.
    Also useful to have a picture rather than just words.
  7. Imbrace

    Imbrace Member

    I would not blame, but distinguishing between required and optional elements are certainly important.
  8. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    I don't blame him; I'm just a bit disappointed, because without it some of the advice may be misconstrued (it may even attract hostile reaction), especially by someone who still thinks there's the One Right Way. But it's inevitable; if I did the same video my usual inclination to exhaust all the finer points and explore all the alternatives would make the video five times longer and bore everyone to death.

    For some things he actually gives a complete rationale (so you _know_ whether it applies or not to the embrace you favour), for others he just asserts them.

    But I like the video.
  9. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Sebastian: Make the embrace a piece of art!

    I had the opportunity to hear him "lecture" on this topics 4 years ago. He really got obsessed about every detail! Never had such intensive but nevertheless entertaining lessons. And please remember, he is Juan Carlos Copes´ student: he already celebrates dancing when he is still sitting at the side of the dance floor. No, for him the dance already begins at home when you decide to go to a milonga. Sebastián performs every moment of tango as big theatre between man and woman.

    He lectured almost one hour simply on the question how to look at a woman when you stand in front of her, right before the moment you actually start with the embrace: He traced the way of his eyes along and across a woman´s body, where to stop, where to intensify, where, when and how to inhale..... Simply unforgettable!

    The sequel of the lesson is not shown. It continues with the question how and when to change from close embrace (the shown one) to deep embrace, the usual normal tango hold (abrazo profundo, in his words).
  10. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    Oh, oh - you've used a new term: deep embrace. I didn't find that in Wikipedia. Do you have pre-authorized permission from the definitions committee?
  11. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    So do I; but often I can be dancing literally before the embrace begins; so it becomes like the docking sequence in 2001 A Space Odyssey..the woman and I have to synchronise our movements, especially if its a vals


    blue danube
  12. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    And what are you trying to say with this? [​IMG]
  13. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    I thought about starting a new thread, but then I decided put it here.

    I had a strange experience at a milonga last night. One thing I usually try to do at a milonga, is to dance with someone I've never danced with before. I found someone that I had never seen before, and asked her to dance. I'm a close embrace dancer, and thus we embraced in what was for me, a typical close embrace. I'd say that around 10 seconds into the dance, she changed the embrace to a very open one. OK, I'm thinking, she doesn't like my embrace. After mulling over my disappointment for 20 seconds or so, I got over it and decided to just try to make the best of it.

    After the first song, she asked if she could give me some feedback, and I said sure, (even though what I was thinking was, "I'd really like to just end this right now"). She said stuff about how to position my hands, and such. Our styles/preferences were clearly different, and I knew that, but I'd never "Thank You"ed a women before, and for whatever reason, I didn't want to end my streak. So I decided to, grin and bare it, as they say.

    After the second song (where she tried repositioning my left hand a couple times, pulling it out more), she then told be about how I just need to invite her (basically, my lead was too strong for her). OK, that's her preference, and plus I don't normally do open embrace, so maybe I'm leading stronger than I think I am.

    During the third song, I'm barely touching her, and it basically became like I was dancing by myself, and she would follow along at her own pace if she felt like it. As I was thoroughly bored, I was thinking about stuff like, what do I need her for to do this, and I'm glad I didn't encounter too many followers like this early on, or I never would have stayed with tango.

    After this song, (as we waited for the final song of the tanda), she then said, "Now see, that was very nice, I hope you enjoyed that as well". While I was trying to keep from laughing, I replied, "No, I just think our styles are incompatible". Possibly, she might have been taken aback by my reply, but she then said, "It's not about styles, the man should never have to support the woman's balance". (None of these quotes are exact, but that was the general theme).

    As the 4th song started, I replied, "It's not about balance, it's about enjoying the embrace". To which she replied, "I don't think any woman would enjoy that". I said to her, "Thank You", and left her there as I went back to my table.

    I know that I still have a lot to learn, and I can accept that my style is not for everyone. However, I'm still enjoying the journey, and had some great tandas last night, (even if I also had a bad tanda, and ended my streak of never "Thank You"ing anyone, last night).

    Oh well, life goes on.

  14. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    Sorry about your nightmare. You were a lot more patient, kind and generous than I would have been.
  15. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    I can't tell you how many times something very similar to this has happened to me. This mostly because I don't have a regular partner, although I do have women I enjoy dancing with, and who seem to enjoy dancing with me. And that involves dancing what ever style they enyoy, and/or we find compatible. And I'm almost always willing to try the wallflower newbie at a practica (but NOT after a great tanda near the end of my stay)

    I DREAD that seemingly innocent question about "giving feedback." At least I know enough to parry and riposte, if I care to. I sort of liked it when I was in Buenos Aires and couldn't understand what my partners were saying at times. (But still want to know how I should be doing milonga differently!)

    Am currently resisting diatribe against "helpful" feedback, most especially at a milonga.

    If you feel no pain over this incident, it may be because of my empathic ability regarding this topic.
  16. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Took some time to look at the vid and am only part way through, but...

    Clearly some of what they are presenting is not what is taught by others, and what I have learned or prefer.

    Gee, it's AT, what else is new?

    Good "special effects. "
  17. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Ooh, sorry about your experience, Dchester. That sucks. Especially since it seems I would about kill for more men who could dance really well in close embrace, especially with shared weight (or at least a very strong connection), with a comfortable embrace. Difference in style is one thing, but that just doesn't excuse her rudeness. Not to mention, she's giving those of use who do also enjoy open embrace a bad name. :-(
  18. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    No, she only gave herself a bad name. Fortunately, mean manners like that doesn't usually rub off on others.
  19. gyb

    gyb Member

    Sorry for the bad experience. I'd say, though, that you missed an opportunity here. You could have showed great interest and said "sure, awesome" with a wide smile and an inviting gesture to escort her off the pista to talk these things through. Once off the pista, you listen to her remarks, ask her about her dancing background, and in general make her chat, until the second-third song is already over. By making her talk a lot you can then smoothly get out the obligation to continue dancing with her; thank you then hurts much less.

    As a side remark I almost never "thank you" anyone (although what you describe haven't happened with me in the past years either). In general I think it's my responsibility to "check out" the new dancers before deciding to invite them, and in case I don't do that it's my fault if I end up with an undesired dance, so why be rude. I also don't invite new people without giving them a chance to see me dancing; I consistently dance very close, and I want people to be aware of this so that they can make up their mind before receiving my cabeceo. Of course I immediately conform to other's comfort level, so in the very rare occasion I get the indication I dance semi-open or open through the tanda and put a nice face to it. However in such case, since I went through the pain of making sure we both (could) have made an informed and unforced decision before our dance, I'd feel justified to not invite her again for a long while.

    I guess (although you left this detail out) she was a beginner, and if that's the case I don't think she should be shunned. Who knows, maybe she got very nice dances from leaders who could make the close embrace lead comfortable and clear to her, and she might just wanted to be helpful by giving you feedback on how to become more similar to them. I'd give the benefit of the doubt that no-one yet explained to her that the milonga is a place different than a class or a practica, and that people are there to enjoy the night without being reminded of how much more they could improve, as all of us could. Newbies can't be expected to know this beforehand. That being said I'd probably "give her more time" (a couple of months maybe) to make sure that she had the chance to learn more about the customs and to reconsider whether she would want to dance with me the way I can roll.
  20. gyb

    gyb Member

    Sorry, I missed this part, this was definitely rude irrespective of whether she really thinks that. I don't think I'd even acknowledge her presence at the milongas after receiving such a remark.

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