"I'm not letting go."

I have been so busy of late evangelizing about close embrace that I missed a gift occasionally offered by some of my partners. While it's true that I enjoy being held close for tanda after tanda - there is a beautiful sensation that can come from a slightly more elastic embrace.

I noticed it when I was dancing Saturday and my partner opened the embrace a bit to make room for a step and a turn. I opened my eyes a second just long enough to notice we were indeed turning and then settled back into the embrace.

So why was I able to stay in my coveted state of entrega for that - but I got jolted out of it other times? I think it's the way the opening is handled. Well, more accurately, the way I'm handled.

When my partner opened the embrace, his arm around my back actually became firmer, more present. It was reassuring. Like a whisper in my ear, "I'm not letting go."

And then, when we closed the distance again, he held me a little closer for just a second before we settled back into our regular embrace. I never had the sense of being dropped, or let go of.

Maybe, when done just right (and not for too long), distance can make the heart grow fonder.

(I can't for the life of me figure out where I found this picture -or I'd credit it properly. Does anyone know where it comes from?)


Anonymous said...

I LOVE that photo! As for the "elastic" embrace, I think i enjoy it when it is a constant close/open. But when we're dancing close for a while, and suddenly it's open, I find it jarring, no matter how it's done.

PWS said...

I agree with that last comment. . . Great photo! If Leonard Cohen danced tango he would look like this gentlemen in the picture. Saw him live last night in St. Louis--what an advertisement he is for enjoying your maturity and kinder sensibilities. Then next night I was able to dance to his 'end of love vals' at the milonga with my one deep breath and partner.

Trying to learn dynamic embrace this month in class--popping open from close to open with an energetic 'snap', but it's not easy enough for me on the dance floor yet. And do I even like it? Not yet.

Thanks for all the great pictures!

Mari said...

Johanna - I think the key is that it shouldn't be opened too suddenly - it shouldn't be a surprise. The key with my partner on Saturday was that I felt it coming. I got a subtle signal that the embrace was changing, and another signal when it closed again - a message to settle back in. I can't imagine it's easy to lead. To have that forethought. If I'm dancing with someone who *never* opens the embrace who then suddenly does, I think that would be very tough for me.

PWS: You got to see Leonard Cohen?!?!? I am so green with envy, you have no idea. If anyone should dance tango, it should be that man. Lord knows I've danced enough tango to his music. "End of Love" is gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous. _sigh_

Dynamic embrace is all the rage these days - with an emphasis on "energetic snap" etc. just like you said. I must admit it's not my preference. I think a gentler elasticity would feel far more comfortable - but the focus seems to be on the look of the moves it allows you to execute rather than maintaining strong connection. That requires more speed. _shrug_ To each their own.

PWS said...

Re: Cohen love. . You should see what digital images you can unearth and post along the lines of a burning violin, or 'kiss-through' curtains then!

Whoops, that concert was Saturday night, not Sunday. A 3 hour concert, every city he travels to. He spends much of the concert singing on one knee, head bowed.

Take This Waltz, I'm Your Man, Everybody Knows, all of these and others make me want to find the nearest pista and partner up for vals.

happyseaurchin said...

another lovely insight

i hope more followers read this
to think and demand a more sensitive lead
and more leader read this
so that they know they dance more sensitively

much higher chance of finding tango