Close Embrace vs Open Embrace for Absolute Beginners March 1, 2017 / tangoclay / Musings 4 Take Our Poll
Ah, those pesky back leading followers. I know what you mean. I feel your pain!
I think the start of Month Two is a good time for close to debut.
From the first moment of the first class. With instruction on how to deal with the discomfort, and fear, often generated by conditioning from our Cultures of Judgement and Shaming, and how we are more effectively conditioned to listen to our Egos, rather than tuning into our Instinct of Caring for Others, in this case, our partners.
Also, in the first class, begin stressing the importance of Intimacy in hearing and memorizing the musical phrasing and passages, outside of just the basic rhythms. I.e., start from musical interpretation, not just getting people moving to steps.
yes yes yes, start with musical interpretation, yes yes and
no no no only getting people moving to steps 🙂
I didn’t vote because my experience as a dance instructor is not exactly on this ballot. I introduce close embrace right away with beginners so they may know the territory, learning about the embrace and the concepts behind leading and following within the embrace.
That said, I have them learn in practice open embrace at first so the leader can understand his body positions without the distraction of the embrace, but introduce close embrace intermittently.
I have found that when one learns close embrace first, the open embrace is easily learned and well led, but if open is taught first, the close embrace is over led and the sensitivity needed to execute it is harder to come by because the muscle memory is already established on a grosser level.
In a larger group setting, it is more difficult because learning close embrace requires individual feedback. If the teacher can not work individually with the beginners, the students won’t get the feedback required for corrections. Teaching the followers not to back lead is essential, but even this requires one on one coaching for feedback.