tango open embrace vs close embrace - which is better?

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tango open embrace vs close embrace - which is better?

Georgina
I'm a new tango dancer.
I know this is a hot topic with a never ending answer, but...
Is there a preference amongst tango dancers for open embrace as compared to close embrace?
If yes, why?
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Re: tango open embrace vs close embrace - which is better?

paul
I prefer open embrace because:
1. Close embrace can be bad, even destructive to the dance. If you do not have a great connection, it can be a really unpleasant experience.
2.  Close embrace can be really hard to do, and make the entire tango harder. Mistakes are much obvious in close than in open. The slightest mismatch in axis or interpretation is noticeable.
3.  Close embrace can be too intimate, specially for those people that are uncomfortable about their body space being invaded.
4. if you have a partner, close embrace can cause jealously.
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Re: tango open embrace vs close embrace - which is better?

Rina
True, close embraces are very hard and if not done and danced properly can be counter-productive to the enjoyment.
But that's the whole point in any thing difficult. It is the challenge!
Done properly and beautifully, close embrace is absolutely exhilarating addictive and blissful!!!!!!!!!!
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Re: tango open embrace vs close embrace - which is better?

Georgina
I'd like to say, as the initiator of this thread, that one of the problems with close embrace that I have experienced is that some men hang on too tight. I don't think they do this on purpose, just a bad habit. This makes dancing really uncomfortable. We actually talked about it but he said that the embrace had to be tight to ensure connection.
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Re: tango open embrace vs close embrace - which is better?

Elle
In reply to this post by Georgina
Georgina,

If I may.  I am also pretty new in traditional tango (closed embrace) even though I have danced all my life.  I am 47 now and still going strong and once in a while doing local exhibitions very amateur dancing.  I still have a LOVE/HATE relationship with tango.  

I have danced both and I prefer the closed embrace- I want to completely feel what the man is trying to tell me otherwise I get confused especially with the open embrace.

I see the open embrace as choreography.   Closed embrace, you truly surrender.  Open embrace I see a lot of people looking down.  In any dance, first rule never look down at your feet.

There is much better connection and you become one.  It is hard at first because I was not use to anyone invading my personal space- I am American (Hispanic).   You will be able to perceive if a man is simply trying to get fresh or really wants to learn how to dance tango.  It should not feel dirty or sexual.

I am very passionate when I dance- the music evades my every fiber and I transform but I draw the line- always respect to me and to my dancing partner.

One time, one of my students tried crossing the line and I had to talk to him- that I do not play like that- I am married and happily married.  Hope this helped.
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Re: tango open embrace vs close embrace - which is better?

Javier from Connecticut
In reply to this post by Georgina
Close  embrace is real argentinean tango. The origen of tango dance was always close embrace. You can listen the great classes about the history of tang by Osvaldo Natucci in YouTube. Close embrace is not easy at the first time and need a lot of practice but is the best way to dance because two torsos are very connected and you don't  lose balance. I advise start right  away if you want to take tango classes with close embrace . Find a teacher who teach that way. And also in real milongas you will see among a lot of people his close embrace is better than open embrace . Open embrace usually , I saw that very often, the couple are not very connected  most of the time. The torsos are disconnected easily . It is that in buenos aires some famous tango dancers an teachers  told me: close embrace is real argentinean tango.
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Re: tango open embrace vs close embrace - which is better?

Linda
In reply to this post by Georgina
When we learned, we moved very quickly into close embrace, but we did close embrace without using the arms. We learned about keeping connection through the heart, and through body language; we walked forward and back with this connection. Then it was easy to be gentle with the arms.

Linda
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Re: tango open embrace vs close embrace - which is better?

Stephen
In reply to this post by Georgina
I prefer a closed embrace but, there's no tango law that says it has to be one or the other or that you have to start and keep the same embrace during the course of a tango.
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Re: tango open embrace vs close embrace - which is better?

Barbara
In reply to this post by Elle
My teacher taught open embrace only.  He told the follows to turn our head slightly to the left and keep our eyes on the lead's chest, which usually causes our head to tilt down.  Soon, it felt very natural to do this.  I took for granted this is how open embrace is always taught, but i don't know that for sure.   I suppose it could look as though I'm looking at my feet when my head is tilted down in this way.  but I've never looked at my feet while dancing.
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Re: tango open embrace vs close embrace - which is better?

Mariposa
In reply to this post by Georgina
Argentine Tango is danced in close embrace.  It is important to learn close embrace as soon as possible, or you will learn bad habits.  Sometimes teachers teach open, in the mistaken idea that it will be easier for students.  The problem is, people who start in open, will take more than twice as long to learn true tango.  Learn close first, and open will be easy.  BTW - most moves in tango are built for close embrace.  If you ever want to dance in Buenos Aires, or at a festival, get into close embrace!!
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Re: tango open embrace vs close embrace - which is better?

esteban
Sorry but you cannot say AT is only this or only that.  Even in BA there are many venues and one can find any style if you wish to look for it.  Over the years I've seen microcosms within the community that prefer open, and they invariably develop bad habits which inhibit growth as a close embrace person.  It is equally true going the other way.  Many, if not most close embrace dancers I've known over a decade of dancing rely far too much on their partners for balance, and end up pulling/clasping onto their partners in uncomfortable ways.   I constantly see immediate improvement in their dancing by opening up a little.

If you want to dance on crowded floors, close works for a lot of people, but you can do amazing things in 'open' if you simply rotate in tighter circles and take smaller steps.  If you want to play on a less crowded floor, you will have MANY more possibilities for movement & musicality if you open up.  

My own preference is for a more dynamic embrace.  Open vs closed is too binary, and why limit yourself?