Close Embrace. This is an iconic look of Tango that has many variations and is usually the common visual of what you see people dancing with on a social dance floor. Close Embrace can be, but is not limited to Vee, Berlin, Pseudo, or even what you might think of as Open Embrace! It could be any one of several constructs where the partnership or the Lead/Follow Dynamic is in close physiological distance from each other. Anywhere from no distance (body on body, skin to fabric, or what Tango Topics refers to a level 1 of Tango Haptics), to Level 0 of Tango Haptics (where there’s air-to-air) and/or there’s a good deal of distance between the partnership (anywhere from an inch to 6 inches). These could loosely be construed as “Close Embrace”.
Close Embrace is usually thought of and defined as the bodies of the partner’s torsos are touching either very lightly with no space between them, with or without compression, tension, and pressure to keep the lead/follow dynamic close. However, Close Embrace, may also be where the partnership is ‘close’ to each other with a very (very) small amount of space or distance between the bodies. Some people consider this to be Close Embrace. Technically they’re right. They are “close” to each other but that’s about where things stop.
The idea of Close, Open, Vee, or anything in between is a North American construct. The Argentines would refer to their embrace as solely “El Abrazo” or The Embrace (translated to English). To the native Argentine there is no distinction between one idea and the next. The idea of Close, Open, Vee, Berlin, are North American & European specificities about the dance.