Tango Close Embrace
There is much confusion about Close Embrace, because the Argentinians don't understand the term. This is the only way that they dance, unless they are on stage. Unfortunately, since so many Americans had wanted to learn stage tango rather than social tango, and teachers obliged them, many ended up doing a hybridized form of "tango" which is not really tango at all. Those who are more knowledgeable needed a term to distinguish the "close embrace" style from the "dreaded eight count basic" style.
"But I think that what made me fall in love with tango, was something that one day was told me by my brother-in-law ( for me, a second father ): 'If you dance a tango with the proper woman and you do not finish trembling, better focus in rumba and bolero. But if you end deeply moved because you feel that the woman was a part of your body and yours from her, then you are done for — you will take forever with you the tango in your soul'".
The milonguero, or close embrace, style is the way tango is danced in the clubs of Buenos Aires. It is the essence of tango. It is a strictly social style (not for stage) that emphasizes the connection between the couple and musicality. It uses compact choreography that creatively employs limited space and respects the social dance floor. Although apparently simple, the milonguero style is a rich and complex form of subtle body signals that profoundly respects tango’s rhythms.
"There is pressure between the partners, they push gently toward each other, they don't really lean, they both have their own balance, but with the forward pressure they move usually sharing one axis. This is a general statement though, the frame is more flexible than this might imply. There is subtle movement sometimes side to side between partners. In some situations the frame may open into a bit of a vee with contact down one side, leading a forward ocho, not an ocho cortado, might result in this. The main thing is that the forward pressure is always present." — Marisa Galindo, in her tribute to the milongueros (published in B.A)
Lois believes that it is the close contact between two people in milonguero-style tango and adherence to the rhythms inherent in the music that facilitate a level of communication that is profound beyond words. She believes that anyone can create and experience beauty through Tango if they are open in body and heart to their partner and the music.
"From many years of organizing tango festivals, from many years of observing and attending other peoples tango communities and festivals, and from many visits to Buenos Aires, it is my belief and observation that to have a successful community you must promote and develop a community that is absolutely, insanely and madly in love with dancing close embrace tango to 30’s, 40’s and 50’s golden age traditional music—not because that is what I love the most, but because it is the linkage between this style of dancing and this particular music that makes tango so addictive. Furthermore, I base this claim on my experience as a former dance studio owner and teacher of a dozen different ballroom dances—none of which can compare nor compete with the emotional passion, connection, and exuberance one experiences from improvisational close embrace tango"