Embracing the Partner and establishing connection
For any student in tango, The first thing to learn should be the embrace of the partner. An embrace must be elegant and comfortable. with 5 clear contact points. These points are men’s left hand to ladies right hand as a platform to accommodate the woman’s hand, Secondly the mans right are must come underneath the woman’s left arm enclosing on her back past the spine to give the second point of contact with fingers closed. The third point is where the lady drops the hand gently on the mans shoulder or across the shoulder on the back depending on the closeness of the embrace. she then drops her elbow on his arm to create the forth contact point. The final contact point is the man’s wrist on the ladies lower rib cage on her left side as a guidance for side motions. These five points create a frame to accommodate following and leading.
Walking – Caminar
The Argentine tango has the following characteristics as a dance:
– It is a partner dance with unique music danced on phrasing, The percussive is used as the underlying heartbeat of the song while the melodic are used as cues for rhythmic interpretation.
– Tango is a traveling dance with trajectories. The tango usually progresses counter clockwise in social dance settings called milongas.
There are two walking systems, Parallel and Crossed walking systems. There are three main speeds, Half time, Normal time and Double time. Tango can be a fully improvised dance at every step and pivot. A combination of steps is called a figure. Figures are learned as a aid to developing movements, but they are not the final development, figures provide a good foundation of motions but creativity is required for dancers to break the figures and improvise their own with a particular partner.
The walk can be done forward or back, with side steps in between. The best way to get good at tango is to practice walking drills. This is required even at the mastery level of tango dancing because movements get refined the more they are done. Correction and elimination of bad unclean elements is required to gradually come closer to the perfect tango. Tango is a lifelong pursuit and investment in the refinement of walking. if you can walk, you can start tango. Getting good at it is a long term investment.
Salida is another name for the basic academic figure with 8 steps that is taught to beginner students. Salida is a refinement over the years incorporating elements of tango into one structured figure to assist in the educational process. Salida is not the final result of what we are trying to achieve but it incorporates enough elements to get started on a basic.
The first steps of the salida are the opening, 1-2 (open the frame into the rising of the figure) the 3-4 steps teach a basic walk, Step 5 also known as the Cruzada establishes a axis shift, 6-7 constitute a closing resolution and step 8 closes the footwork neatly to mark the end of a phrase.
Each element of the Salida can be expanded to a practice drill and the more it is practiced, the more it will refine.
Key elements, when the man takes the side step on 2, he must take a wider step then the lady. After each step the partner must collect their ankles and knees together neatly to the floating point. At the cruzada on 5, the lady must cross neatly with feet close together, usually with her left foot slotting right next to her right supporting leg, she then shifts weight on the 5 count or the “and” count directly after.
So the Salida is constituted by three main parts. The Salida opening, Walking to the cross, and then followed by the Resolution.