Something rarely mentioned in classes is the position of the leader’s right hand. This is a very important element in establishing and maintaining a comfortable connection.
Every Maestro I’ve danced with over 20+ years connects to the follower’s torso with the INSIDE of their right WRIST, not the hand. (Exceptions: performance and/or large moves that require a fully open position.)
Connecting at the wrist creates a stable connection with the follower, and gives the leader control of her axis. Instead of “fish-flopping” his/her hand to guide, his/her energy flows from his/her center to the follower through his/her arm. When leaders connect with the hand, the connection is broken at the wrist and he/she has to use extra power to indicate what he/she’s leading.
To the follower, being connected at the wrist helps her feel more connected, more stable and secure, and is much more comfortable than being pushed and pulled around by a wavering hand.
Not sure if it will work? Give it a try, ask partners which they prefer and see if you have better control of your partner’s axis, which in turn makes your leads more clear, and removes any doubt from your partner’s mind about your intent.
If this information helps even one leader improve their connection and ability to lead from their center, and improve the comfort of their embrace, that would be excellent! If you read this, try it, and if you find that it helps, please share your experience with others.
Leaders, if you desire to please your partners, this position will improve your connection and control (in a tango way) exponentially. I’ve danced with countless leaders who have years of experience, know boat-loads of tricks, dance with musicality, etc. but if they connect with their hand instead of the inside of their wrist, they still feel like beginners.
If you are a teacher and use this method, or a student who has been taught this method, I’d love to hear from you.