1. Posture and Standing
Argentine Tango Close Embrace Style
(for dancers with at least some Argentinte tango experience)
The posture of close embrace style can best be described by borrowing an image used by Susana Miller – an influential teacher from Buenos Aires. Think of yourself as a hybrid of three animals, with elephant legs, the torso of a tiger and head of a bird. Although strange, this imagery makes the point very well if interpreted appropriately. Elephant legs keep you grounded (not heavy), Tiger torso represents a proud chest with stretched spine and bird head implies lightness. Imagine two centers of energy, one at the center of your torso going up and slightly forward and another at your belly button going straight down.
Stand with your heels on the floor a few inches apart, toes relaxed and spread apart (This gives better grounding and balance)
- Step 1. Take a deep breath slowly elongating your spine and raising both arms up, chest forward, without raising the heel from the ground.
- Step 2. Slowly exhale while bringing your arms down to the side and relaxing your shoulders completely. But do not collapse your lungs, chest and spine. Keep the forward stance (Remember the elephant, the tiger and the bird).
- Step 3. Repeat this exercise.
The goal is to be able to stay elongated and forward after step 2, indefinitely. THAT IS THE STANDING POSTURE. In the beginning you should feel your back very stretched. Try to incorporate this posture in your everyday being. Stand tall and proud, do not collapse your spine. At the same time, it is very important to feel your neck, arms and shoulders relaxed.
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