The Embrace is what identifies Argentine Tango as Tango, while most social dances have a version of an embrace, Tango’s embrace format is unique in the dance world. It is usually an asymmetrical arm embrace, where the Lead’s left arm and the Follower’s right arm are angled at the elbow at a 60 to 90 degree angle perpendicular to the floor. That near perpendicular position is a defining characteristic, as well as the ‘free’ arm of either partner goes around their partner (See Close Embrace) or is on their side, about 6 inches under the armpit of their partner in Open Embrace.
Truthfully there are many embrace types. Look at the related Embraces below for more information. The ones that are listed here are just a small smattering of the more recognized embrace types that are used in Argentine Tango. It should be noted that is not ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ embrace type. One is not better than another. One can be more useful than another. One can be less useful depending on how it’s used and where it’s used. But if there’s any one thing you should take away from this defintion, is one should not fall into the Embrace trap. You will invariably circle around its edges repeatedly, but the thing is to find an embrace that works for you and then work to refine it. Look below for ideas on where to refine and what an embrace can be.