Comfortable Close Embrace?

jfm

Active Member
And I can't work out whether with this new style they are wanting to feel my movements or whether I'm supposed to have zero resistance.
 

Subliminal

Well-Known Member
And I can't work out whether with this new style they are wanting to feel my movements or whether I'm supposed to have zero resistance.
I think I've seen some of the new style you're talking about jfm. I think in general you are still resisting, but not as much as apilado. The strength of the non-weight sharing close embrace is you have more mobility in your hips at the sacrifice of some of the chest connection. Since it's closer to open, you also have to make a little more connection in your arms... is it comfortable for you to run your left arm up his right and make contact with your left palm at his bicep for a connection point? Otherwise I don't know, maybe one of the other followers has some advice.
 

jfm

Active Member
I've been trying to do that but it feels like dancing in open embrace at that point, and it isn't really an 'embrace' so I'm not sure it's even worth accepting invitations from them.
Bring back Villa Uriquiza and super salon! I moaned at the time when I wanted to dance enceuntro style but at least it wasn't a battle of wills!

And as you seem to know more than me... Do they expect me to pin their arm and am I supposed to be clutching their kidney? I can't work out how to do that on most guys over 5'5" without pinning them.
 

bordertangoman

Well-Known Member
So I have a new question on this:
over the last four years or so a new embrace has become very popular, it's the one where you dance close, but contact is incidental, and if you are a lady with a smaller bosom there is no body contact really. I am having trouble with this because I can't work out what to to with my left arm. I always used to do either over the shoulder and down the back or over and across the shoulders (but without any downward pressure that might hurt my partner). As I am quite short it's really tricky as I don't want to pin their right arm to their side but I only seem able to make contact at their armpit as I am being blocked by a shoulder. At the moment I have two methods
1. elbow sticking out and risking bashing another couple
2. contorting my shoulder so that my elbow is pointing upwards

There are very few people I come across these days where I feel like there is an actual embrace and it makes me sad because my body (short and very thin) isn't capable of filling the space.
I think I may be thoroughly incompatible with almost everyone.
that sounds strange. i dance with a lady who sounds similar in build to you, and we have no problem with the embrace. Her chin occasionally bumps into my clavicle. perhaps try a slightly v-embrace so you get close on the one side, and comfortable of course.

From your descritption try letting your upper arm go vertical along their arm at the side- or wherever it happens to arrive. Yes they must drop their arm to accommodate you. I suggest to tall leaders to let the arm go diagonally down the ladies back for their own comfort. No point distorting your own posture for the sake of what you imagine a 'correct' embrace to be.

If you have friendly leaders why not ask them to try different things?
 

opendoor

Well-Known Member
All I have read about the close embrace say that the woman is the one to decide how far apart the couple should be - How does she do that?
Where have you read that nonsense?

By the way, hi Sue, welcome!

What you are describing comes from a totally different background: an advanced social dancer in a night club environment that tries to grab the girl as tight as posssible in a split of a second. Then the woman may press with her left palm against the leader´s shoulder and may adjust to how near she wants to let him.

Your situation is totally different and the other way round: inexperienced leader in a learning environment.

As a follower you cannot control the distance. You are at the mercy (I mean ability in this respect) of the leader. You cannot run down his arms if he sticks them out to far. You cannot simply step onto his feet if he hasn´t yet built up a strong core musculature.

My advice: try to practice either embracing ritual isolatedly

(the more salonish variant) Build up in front of each other with torsos slightly touching. Hands hanging loose at your sides. Let then the leader raise his right hand and let it reach out round your back and round your right scapula. Then your right hand will rise, his left will follow, and finally your left hand will complete that ritual.

(the more milongueroish variant) The leader starts with his left hand like an offer. Then you can put your´s in his. The leader will draw his hand backwards while his torso moves forward. Then he completes that ritual with his right hand.

Finally watch and try with your dance parter (this more stagey variant):

 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
There are very few people I come across these days where I feel like there is an actual embrace and it makes me sad
I can really feel your pain. It makes me very sad, also; so much so that I haven't been back for some time now.
 

Gssh

Well-Known Member
I've been trying to do that but it feels like dancing in open embrace at that point

And as you seem to know more than me... Do they expect me to pin their arm and am I supposed to be clutching their kidney? I can't work out how to do that on most guys over 5'5" without pinning them.
I have seen this, and danced with followers like that, and the way I _think_ it is supposed to work (I have not actually tried to make this style work for me and practiced, so this might be wrong) is:

1) Yes, it is an open embrace (if by "open embrace" you mean "not apiladoish", or "not using a chest to chest connection"
2) You are supposed to have your hand on the lower edge of their ribcage, relatively close to the spine if possible. This gives you a stable anchor on their body. It is a bit like a nuevoish leaders right hand. When you open up this embrace the followers hand tends to move to the leaders upper arm and hold on there as the next stable anchor.
3) The dynamics are a bit more to the outside, i.e. instead of using the embrace as a reference point and staying on your own axis, the follower uses the leader as a stable base to give additional power her turns by "leaning away and pulling" (kinda like you would twirl around a lantern post). This dynamic also helps to reduce pinning, as the follower is somewhat leaning both into the leaders right and her own left.
4) If you want to avoid pinning even more the way to do it seems to be to have your elbow point up and your arm in a downward diagonal

As a whole it seems to be an approach that sets up the followers left arm exactly like the leaders right arm (and allows her to add dynamics/"whee" to her own movement) (and because it is going for this symmetry it probably works best if the leader and followers arms have the same length)



Gssh
 

jfm

Active Member
All good suggestions, if I can be bothered to attempt to dance with these young, groovy people I will have a go.
Opendoor it is quite obvious that I am a follower so I don't know why you think a leader would be complaining about being rammed in the chest with a shoulder, but never mind.

If you have friendly leaders why not ask them to try different things?
made me laugh out loud. Are you kidding? Even if they grudgingly attempt to accommodate a request, most guys (I'm sorry) revert to their old ways pretty soon, even if you tell them it's painful.
 

opendoor

Well-Known Member
..Opendoor it is quite obvious that I am a follower so I don't know why you think a leader would be complaining about being rammed in the chest with a shoulder, but never mind.....
So sorry jfm !!! Would not have happened in the wild or on the dancefloor, of course.
 

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