If you dance strictly close embrace tango, you don't need a flexible embrace. But if you like to open for figures, a flexible embrace makes that possible. Maintaining a strong connection in a flexible tango embrace can be challenging, but the additional movement possibilities make the dance exciting.
- Dance on your own axis and allow your partner to do the same. Without your own axis, you rely on the embrace itself for balance, making a flexible embrace difficult to maintain. So if you aren't used to dancing on your own axis, master this first.
- Find a comfortable embrace that doesn't lock you into a specific position. For a flexible tango embrace, your arm should freely move whether you are the leader or the follower.
- Keep a firm embrace as you dance, but make sure your arm isn't tense. A tense arm on the leader creates tension in the follower and may distort her posture by pulling her in too close. A follower's tense arm creates tension in the leader and may make him feel as if the tango partner is clinging to him for balance.
- Open the embrace as a leader by placing the follower on her axis and releasing the embrace while maintaining a connection with your arm. Keep your hand in contact with her so she understands where the outer boundary of the embrace is.
- Respond as a follower by moving back into the new tango embrace while allowing your hand to move to the most comfortable position in this new embrace. Keep a strong connection as you do this.
- Move closer to your partner to close the embrace after the figure. Both the leader's and follower's hands and arms should slide easily back into the original position.
Walking and Embrace Part 1
Walking and Embrace Part 2
Technical Tips Close Embrace
Ocho Cortado & Dynamic Turns in Close Embrace Open Embrace 2to5 Forward Ochos
Elasticity from Close to Open Embrace
Illustration from Clyde Mendes column at Salsa TV, Singapore