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Taking Hold: Introduction

The close hold is the asymmetrical embrace common to all descendants of the contredanse. Also called the contredanse, closed or ballroom hold, it is the most obvious Old World contribution to Latin American dance. However, unlike in the more stylised derivatives practiced in Europe, the partner hold in Latin dance is much more varied and forgiving in its form.

Since you'll be spending quite a bit of time dancing in this position, it's essential to master the process of taking hold and the hold itself - preferably from both the lead and follower's perspectives, and understand with its strengths, weaknesses, and possible variations.


1999 Salsa & Merengue Society