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Argentine Wraps

The Argentine Enganche is actually a misnomer of a word. “Wrap” is the Anglo-American version, whereas the Spanish cognate is actually “Enganche”.  The words Themselves are somewhat telling, in either language. How’s that ? In the English version something is going to wrap something. In the Spanish something or someone is going to be Enganche’d. The English version refers to one very specific thing, while the Spanish version is a much broader definition. Much broader. This is one of those pieces of Argentine Tango vocabulary where it rightfully classifies as ‘cool’, seemingly ‘intricate’, and definitely worth doing once or twice as spice or accent but certainly not an entire dance filled with them (ahem, hint, hint, hint). That said, let’s talk about the Argentine Enganche and in specific the Argentine Wrap!

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What is an Argentine Enganche (or “Wrap”)The Enganche is a family of tango movements, and the Argentine Wrap is a limited subset of the Enganche that we want to explore. An Enganche can be but is not limited to where the dancer’s free leg, can engage their partner’s free leg or the open space between their legs in a myriad of different ways through either a Gancho, a Ganchito, a Rebound, un Libre Pierna (a free leg) Columpio (swing), or a version of a Sacada, and/or a Wrap in the English sense of the word.  However the Argentine Wrap is a limited subset o f the Enganche idea. A bit more specific really, where the Lead, or the Follower, mostly the Follower in this instance, can, and will, ‘wrap’ their free leg around their partner’s standing leg usually from a side step. However a Wrap can be achieved from either back or forward steps as well, however it is slightly more challenging to do so.

The Argentine Wrap is 1 of 4 Displacements that happen in Argentine Tango. The first that this site has talked about is the Argentine Sacada. The next is the Argentine Gancho. Next is the Argentine Boleo (Social Boleos, Circular Boleos, Linear Boleos) And the very last is the Argentine Wrap (or Enganche). Displacement ? What’s that ? Meaning that the Free leg will either drift away as a result of an invasion as in the case of an invasive step. By default, if someone steps into you, you’re going to step backward or away from them. There are 3 possible responses to this invasive step. 1.) A displacement. 2.) A Default Resolution. and 3.) A Learned Resolution. The video above unfortunately doesn’t make a distinction between 2 and 3. The one that we’re after is #3. A Default Resolution is one that has been developed by the dancer as their goto behavior. In the video above it’s where the Follower allows their leg to go back but they as a result of the invasion allow it to swing but their default training know that that’s a less than desirable thing so they bring it to closure or collection and allow their body to turn as a result. 

So let’s get started. We have a lot of ground to cover concerning The Argentine Wrap!

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There’s a lot more to this ArticleThere’s the extensive Lead’s Perspective, the deeper Follower’s Technique Perspective, and sometimes we throw in a complete Dancing Perspective part, all of which are only visible to Tango Topics Freemium Registered Users, Gold Subscribers, Diamond Level Users, and Milonga Madness Users. To become a Freemium user, Registration is absolutely 100% FREE, click the button below, and you get access to this article, and over 400 videos, hundreds of articles on a wide range of Tango Topics. So what are you waiting for, go register, then login to your Tango Topics Library page and then select the “ARTICLES” button and you’ll see this article with all that good stuff in there. Easy. No ? 🙂

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The Case For WHY You Need This ? Actually, you don’t need it. Huh? Hmmm…that’s no way to sell videos or subscriptions. You’re right. It’s not. That’s because we’re not in the business of teaching you useless vocabulary that you probably don’t need. Stay with us on this one, it’s not going where you think it is. From a very specific point of view, this is cool vocab. No doubt about it. However, from another point of view, the social dancer who’s been dancing a while, a long while, this is nothing more than vocabulary that doesn’t further the cause of Social Dancing. Now here’s the kicker – Both, yes, BOTH points of view are valid. Here’s why:

From the Social Dancer’s point of view, you’re never going to use this stuff. Maybe once in a blue moon, but in reality the better that you get, the less you use this stuff. From their point of view, it’s four pieces of vocabulary that you need: The 6 Ways of Walking, Traveling Ochos/Milonguero Ochos, The Follower’s Molinete/The Milonguero Turn, and lastly – The Argentine Cross. That’s it. That’s all you need. From the Dancer’s point of view that’s hasn’t mastered this stuff yet, this is cool and you want to play with it, and to be able to master it. To find it’s in’s, out’s, how’s, and why’s, and mostly to have fun with it. Both points have their merits.

And now to the one twist in our point that you probably weren’t expecting. This stuff actually has validity, maybe not from a social dancing perspective, immediately, but more from a movement, and musical perspective. The fact is that this is all about one thing and one thing only: Skillz!

There’s a reason you study vocabulary like this, and it’s not because it’s cool (it can be), or that’s it’s musical (it is), or that it’s fun (it is that), or that it adds a little spice and variety now again (the once in a blue moon methodology). It’s because it’s all about your Foundation. Or put another way, because this vocabulary works your foundation in a really good way, by breaking down the movements to their component elements, so then you can become a much more fluid dancer so that you can use it, or not. It’s about availability, accessibility. Not about using it. Using it is entirely up you. But working the instrument, that’s what this vocabulary does. It works your instrument, … ahem…that’s you in case you weren’t paying attention.

No one wants to admit that they need help. That their dance isn’t stellar. Furthermore, you really don’t know that your dancing skills aren’t absolutely amazing until you see a room full of people all dancing way better than you are. And then you see it and feel like the poor cousin at the kiddie table during a holiday meal. There’s a reason those people have achieved ‘better’. It’s doing work like what you see in the video above. Being able to turn this stuff on and off as if it were a switch. A good portion of the time when we’re dancing we only think about the ‘cool’ toys in our dancing and we neglect the one thing that makes those cool toys possible: Our Foundation. That is, in case you’re not paying attention, this video series and others like it.

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About The Video. This video comes in at 31m:49s in length in 18 Sections. Both lead and follower technique is combined and integrated in the video.

Section 1 – Introduction – 00:01:46
Section 2 – 5 Points of Follower Technique – 00:01:50
Section 3 – Beginning Lead Technique – 00:02:18
Section 4 – Lead and Follower Technique Together – 00:01:31
Section 5 – The Closed Inside Wrap – 00:01:29
Section 6 – The Closed Outside Wrap – 00:01:19
Section 7 – 5 The Practice Embrace – 00:01:26
Section 8 – The Open Side Outside Wrap – 00:00:25
Section 9 – Open Side Inside Wrap – 00:00:21
Section 10 – Three Lead Errors Detailed – 00:01:54
Section 11 – The Follower’s Choice – 00:02:36
Section 12 – The Back Sacada Wrap Option – 00:02:03,
Section 13 – Wrap Review – 00:02:35
Section 14 – The Double Wrap – 00:01:39
Section 15 – The Close Embrace Wrap – 00:01:20
Section 16 – The Follower’s Choice – 00:02:36
Section 17 – The Flashy Wrap – 00:03:37
Section 18/End – Closure/Practice – 00:01:41.

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The Missing Information. Dearest Reader. TangoTopics is glad that you want to read this Topic, so that you can dig a little deeper into your foundation, into the music, into the codigos of the dance. However, you’re missing three important parts to this Article: The Follower’s Perspective, The Lead’s Perspective, and The Dancing Perspective. Which can change your thinking by informing of some important pieces of information that you may not necessarily be aware of. Watching a 5 minute video will not help you to change. Change is a concerted effort and requires a little thinking on your part: Becoming a Freeium User! As the name implies, it’s FREE. Register. You get to see everything above, and a whole lot more! 😉 Have a nice day.

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Why should you subscribe instead ?  Several reasons.  1.) Probably the biggest reason is to save a boatload of money. Buying these things outright isn’t cheap. Besides when you buy you only have access to the one video. Subscribing, on the other hand, gives you access to everything else so you can see the foundational material that goes with this stuff. 2.) Even if you’re a Free User, you’ll get access to free tips that aren’t available to anyone just reading the post like this one. 3.) Sometimes there are slightly different versions of the videos, that add a bit more content for the free user vs. an unregistered user. 4.) Because the Dancing Perspectives (Lead, Follow, and Dancing) are hidden to the open user. And that’s where all the information is at, unless you actually subscribe. Until you do, those very important textual descriptions of what’s going on for both Lead and Follow you want to read. 5.) And the real reason you should subscribe ? If you’re used to YouTube videos where you’ll see a performance, those Youtube videos don’t explain or walk you through how these ideas work! That is why! What you’re seeing is a presentation, a performance. Not how things work! And what you really need to see is how things work, and more importantly why they work! This website shows you that and more! 

Remember that what you’re seeing is a couple that is performing for the 15th row for a room full of people, they’re not social dancing. Whereas this website is all about ‘Social Dancing’  or how to make things function on a social dance floor. Social Dance floor ? Your local milonga! They’re showing flashy moves as a presentation! But not stopping and talking about how this works, why you’d want to put that piece of vocabulary there, or how to make things fit. This website is all about those things and more!

You could watch those videos and thereby spend your time, trying to infer, and figure out how things may work in that particular situation. Bend your body this way or that, twist and force this position or that. Place your foot here or there and figure it out. This is known as Tango Twister.  Which can be a lot of fun, but more than likely it won’t help you, because you’re missing something: The explanation from an experienced teacher showing you how to properly excute this stuff from a Leading Perspective as well as from a Following Perspective!

The goal of YouTube videos is to get you to study with those teachers in person. The goal of Tango Topics videos allows you to work at your own pace, in the comfort of your own space, so that you can play them over and over again to improve your understanding of the vocabulary or technique being described to therefore better your dancing experience. The goal of classes and workshops is to get you to come back over and over and over again, thereby spending more money with that teacher. This website and the videos under it are here to act as a resource for you to help you to improve your dance. Pay once and you’re done.

Eventually, one way or another you’re going to pay for this lesson, either here and now, or with them. TANSTAAFL! The difference between that lesson and this ? Is that you get to play this lesson over and over and over again. Further still, there are supporting materials (other videos) that help to explain the language and the underlying technique of how and why things work, so you can easily reference those things in the corresponding articles that go with the material, and or any language in the Tango Topics Dictionary. 


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