Close Embrace

When I entered the world of Argentine tango as well as learning a dance, I also made an agreement to move towards intimacy.  With strangers.  Or at least the appearance of intimacy, until I got the hang of it.  I’ve taken the silent vows of good personal hygiene and the popping of breath mints.  Ix-nay on the garlic and onions.

Lately our teachers have asked us to dance in close embrace.

We’ve been dancing thus far in open embrace or what I call the “keep-you-at-arms-length” position.  Which is antithetical to Argentine tango.  It’s all about the embrace.  The connection

Well, who can think about connection, what with all the salidas, cruzadas, ochos, barridas, paradas and molinetes?  How can one consider an intimate embrace with all the stepping on, the stumbling into and the running over of my partners?  And that of other people’s partners?

As a beginner my focus has been on learning the steps and patterns, understanding nuance from my teachers  and maintaining good form.  And then somehow miraculously dance while not thinking of any of it.

But as you know, I am now an advanced beginner and I am delighted to tell you that my muscle has some short-term memory.

I have made the bold move in some instances to move closer to my partner, give him a big hug and see what happens.

I am reluctant to use this old chestnut, but…size does matter.  Or at least it seems to. Too tall and my arms are above my head and become fatigued.  Too short and my endowment is blocking his vision.  Last week I danced with a man half my size and I felt his breath on my elbow!

As it turns out some of the most connected, intimate and sensual dances have been with men that are my height.  We are cheek-to-cheek and heart to heart.

I may not even know his name, though I will wholeheartedly follow where he leads.

Copyright © 2012  Nancy Green