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Close or open embrace?

As a follower I am often confused as to when to be in close or open embrace, especially if I haven’t danced with someone before. At the start of the dance, is it my choice whether to move closer or is it the leader’s?

Personally I prefer a fluid embrace that changes with the movements but sometimes the leader doesn’t give me a choice and holds me so tight that I can’t escape and when it comes to ochos and giros, I find them difficult because of this restriction. I don’t know what to say. My form probably looks crap because it certainly feels like I'm struggling with my partner.
I find especially towards the end of the night when most people are hot and sweaty and more recently on these hot nights it is more frequent.  I don’t want to dance close embrace but am forced to by leaders who won’t let go.
What can I do or say without offending?

Re: Close or open embrace?

Hi there

Isn't it ironic that it's the man lacking in self awareness or concern for your comfort that is kept from being 'offended'. I think its important to treat people with respect and care, but that doesnt mean you have to tolerate that sort of business. I know of men who are aware of their excessive perspiration who carry a pocket hanky to wipe themselves between dances, or who explain that they are using an open embrace because they are sweaty. I dont think its offensive to ask the man to keep a little distance if his sweating is offensive to 'you'. Firm but gentle me thinks.

As to being held tightly...if I have less space to move in, I try and make smaller steps. If he holds me that tightly, I close my eyes, try to maintain my connection to his dance and let him lead the way. If it doesnt work, then perhaps don't dance with that person again. I'm quite self critical, so I always think that 'I' need to have good form regardless of my partner. Obviously that's not always the case either (with a little retrospective reflection). I kept thinking about your concerns, that others would think you have poor form, and I think that this is the cause of a lot of stress for many men and women. For myself, I feel that if I start to get too worried about how others judge my 'form' (and it is far from perfect), then I diminish my joy. The joy that comes from dancing, connecting, the music and ofcourse being with friends. 


Re: Close or open embrace?

Tangodancer76, remember it is not only followers that find themselves in that sort of situation ...


Re: Close or open embrace?
This is a tricky subject but really good one I think...
I may make comments but later...  as I feel It would be good if more follower comments more first.
Just one question to tangodancer76
How long have you been dancing?

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