Classes cancelled 2 months in the summer of 2024 ... from May 16th - July 23rd due to travel. We will resume July 28th. ×

An Intro to Close Embrace - Walking to Go Nowhere Ochos

Please share the site on Facebook.
Please share the site on Facebook.
Please log in to start testing your knowledge!

(Nancy speaking)I bring a classical dance orientation to tango. And I love tango because it gives me a way of expressing myself through dance now that I am older and don't have the conditioning for classical dance. Because of this "tango as art" orientation, I very much didn't appreciate dancing tango in close embrace. I felt that it gets in the way of bringing all that I know about movement to tango. In some ways, that's true.

Close embrace tango really is about something different. And, of course, many people have many different answers to the question: what is tango? or what is tango in close embrace (which some would say is the only way to really do tango)? But, for me, it's about a more internal dialogue between two people. It's very about being physically close to someone as well as about sharing a potentially very emotional moment with them. When I dance close embrace with David, I love the sharingness of it. I love how it accentuates the perfect music sync and perfect movement sync we sometimes achieve.

When I dance in close embrace with students, and they can move with their whole body, especially walking with me, I love how easy the walk can feel (ok, it's very hard but eventually it can also be very easy). I love how proud I feel at their achievement that they have learned enough to make something wonderful out of something which is intrinsically so difficult.

Artist Name:
Adriana Varela
Song Title:
Album Title:
Trottoirs De Buenos Aires

(From Wikipedia): Adriana Varela is regarded as one of the main Argentine tango singers of recent times, with a prominent singing career that begun in 1991.

And I'm wondering if right about now you're saying to yourself
"What are they doing?"
"Why did she cross?"
"It must be the hands on her back, he does this and then she knows"
Whispers in my ear
Yeah, *whispers*: "Cross, cross"
And really, what it is, is that in my...
I'm going to... For the leaders, if we zoom in, and you watch from the side, really what I do, is I say to her:
move a hair forward, a little bit to the left, and now move back. And then I shift her over her leg. It's that subtle.
It's very subtle, but it's really clear.
So one more time, from the side, as we're walking, wherever she is, just collected, just put her feet together
I'll shift her a hair forward, well the foot a hair forward, I shift her a hair to my left,
and then I take her back, so there's a small scene.
And then after she crosses I shift a little bit more to the left, to get her to shift weight over that foot.
And for the followers, you want to think that you are... Make your foot part of your body.
Instead if you're... If your body shifts forward, your foot shifts forward
If your body shifts back, your foot shifts back
He makes it sound easy, doesn't he?
Right, right
So, as a leader takes you just a hair forward, you move the leg a hair forward.
And if he takes you a hair inside, you move your foot a hair inside, and as he shifts you back, you move it back, and then he takes you just a hair over the foot.
So it's very subtle, and it's a very small movement.
And for the followers, you want your body very connected, and for the leaders, then, you want to think that this is all you need to do, that subtle.
So really, all I'm doing is I'm walking straight at her
and I stop anytime our feet are collected
And I take her tiny hair forward, a tiny hair to my left and a tiny hair back, and then I shift her to the leg by turning a little bit to my left.
And then we can go on.
I'd like you to do it at home, just to get sense for this
is, just very softly, leaders, I want you to just
follow your weight on your right foot, leaders, you're going to move just a hair backwards, te foot moves just a hair back, an then
a hair forward, it collapses, moving a hair forward, it goes forward. So I want you to have the sense, that you can control the foot.
You can move them a hair to your right, to her left, and foot goes that way, then you can make shapes,
and cross, and then shift her over the leg.
And so once you find that sense of the control of the leg, just separately
then later on, when you're on the body, you can do the same thing.
So you can try to learn this in a sort of easy and an isolated way. And main quest for the followers is the connection of the body.