The tango embrace often becomes uncomfortable because of too much tension, or ineffective because of not enough. Effective leading and following comes from the back, but since our arms are out there in front of us and are where we connect with our partner, we tend to fall into the habit of overusing arms. Our back is behind us and we don’t see it, so we tend to forget about it. But a widening, lengthening back is what gives support for heavy arms (did you know that each arm weighs roughly 5% of your body weight?!) and allows a dynamic use of the arms. Not only that, widening and lengthening protects you from the discomfort of a narrowed, contracting back or a tense neck and shoulders.
What happens when you raise your arms? Try it out now as an experiment. Does your back tend to go forward or does it tend to go back? Does your neck get easier or more tense? Does your chest go up or down? See if you can allow your head and your elbows to be free with your arms raised. Play with sending your fingers forward as you send your back back.
We’ll be looking at dynamic support for arms from appropriate tone and suppleness in this week’s Conscious Body – Alexander Technique for Tango Dancers class. But a strong back may be different from what you think!
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Wishing you expansion and suppleness,
DiscoverEase in Movement