Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The power of the Embrace

The Three M's: Starting with eMbrace, then Movement and Music.


If the Three M's were celestial bodies in a solar system, the eMbrace would be the sun, and Movement and Music would be planets.  Is it just a coincidence that people who have lots of hugs also are more resilient to viruses than those will fewer hugs, as a recent experiment demonstrated?

Biologically speaking, we start out being moved through the birth canal, being moved to the arms our mother.  The eMbrace is the starting point and ending point of our lives as we melt into the body of the one who embraces us.  That is our embrace.  The eMbrace starts all of our love relationships.  In 1998, I knew my last time with my mother would be our last earthly time together.  I embraced her and told her I loved her as my last moment with her.  We wept.   Only months later, I embraced my second son as he came into the world.   Such is the circle of life. The eMbrace is the Alpha and Omega of tango as well.

But isn't it strange?  I notice that people in the street seem to know how to embrace more naturally than many tangueros and tangueras.  I am not sure why, but perhaps teachers try to teach people to embrace, and it ends up being unnatural.

A man in Istanbul blindfolded himself, and wrote a sign that said, "I trust you.  Do you trust me? Give me a hug."  Watch these wonderful embraces!  This video is deeply moving.

Please considering going back to your first embraces, your natural embrace while you dance.  Start any dance with a genuine embrace, not the ones you see on tango YouTube performances.   Even total strangers know how to embrace more authentically than many I see at a milonga. This is what it should look like:

A good eMbrace touches the soul, brings tears to your eyes, and even your immune system feels better too.

Photo Credit is from PsyBlog: Understand your mind.


  1. im crying!.. Thanks bro..

  2. For me it is a joy to dance with someone who offers a committed embrace, but this is not enough.
    Often I feel my partner is so mentally engaged,emotional content is lacking. Surprisingly this is not unusual with tango teachers.
    It is understandable with beginners who have not yet transferred the head thinking to their body mind and freed up their feeling center.
    An open heart to open heart tander is transforming.

  3. David--yes, it is the most essential and natural thing about tango, and too many teachers do not have it to give. However it is not always that way. In a short amount of time I danced with a few German teachers (from Karlsruhe and Freiburg), who amazed me because I found out after they were teachers. Why amazed? It is so easy to lose what dancing is when thinking about the movements and not being present in the embrace, a difference between precision dancing and precisely dancing. Dancing is precisely this: A perfect balance of Music, eMbrace and Movement. :-)

  4. What a beautiful video! Thanks for sharing it.

    Teachers forget to start with the embrace in classes. It's what makes tango what it is.

  5. Dear Tango Therapist,
    Thank you so much for this video on Hugs-natural hugs and
    embraces. It was wonderful to see this man so open to whoever came to him. So open to life to take the risk of being loved and loving in return. So
    sad that the police charged him with a $45/ticket for
    "disturbing the
    peace." How ridiculous that the most
    natural displays of affection are "considered disturbing the
    peace!" It is truly amazing that Hugs can threaten authority! How brave this man is!
    Thanks again! Mimi

  6. The video is very touching, thanks for sharing!
    But I am not so sure about Tango and true, heartfeld embraces. For me, tango etiquette is sometimes a quite useful shield against too overtly offered touches, trespasses etc. Needless to say, I love to embrace the many tango friends male or female I made!


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