The relationship of the two partner’s bodies is maintained through the selected hold.
Facing in the same direction: The partners face in the same direction and are side by side with their arms comfortably extended and their hands clasped. The lady is on the right side if not otherwise indicated in the dance description. A variant of this position is the arm-in-arm hold.
Facing in opposite directions: The partners face in opposite directions, usually looking towards each other. Their arms are extended towards the side, usually with both hands clasped. A variation of this position can be seen in the Cha Cha Congalado during which the partners skate back to back with one pair of arms having the hands clasped and th eother pair of arms extended without the hands joining.
Face to Face Holds
Closed or Waltz Hold: The partners are directly opposite each other. One partner faces forward while the other partner faces backward. The man’s right hand is placed firmly on his partner’s back at the shoulder blade with the elbow raised and the arm bent sufficiently to hold the lady close to him. The left hand of the lady is placed on the shoulder of the man so that her arm rests comfortably, elbow to elbow, on his upper arm. The left arm of the man and the right arm of the lady are extended comfortably at shoulder height. Their shoulders should remain parallel.
Outside or Tango Hold: The partners face in opposite directions – one partner skating forward; the other partner skating backward. However, unlike the closed position, the partners are offset with the man to the right or left of the lady so that the font of his hip is in line with the front of her corresponding hip. Tight hip-to-hip position is undesirable since it impedes flow.
Side By Side Holds
Kilian Hold: The partners face in the same direction with the lady to the right of the man and his right shoulder behind her left. The left arm of the lady is extended across the front of the man’s body to hold his left hand. His right arm crosses behind the lady’s back to clasp her right hand. Both hands rest over the hip bone.
- Reversed Kilian Hold – This position is similar to the Kilian position but with the lady at the man’s left.
- Open Kilian Hold – The man’s left hand holds the lady’s left hand, with his right hand resting over the lady’s left hip or behind her back. The lady’s right arm is extended. This position may also be reversed.
- Crossed Kilian Hold – The lady’s left arm is extended across the front of the man’s body to his left hand, while his right arm is extended across in front of her body with both partners’ right hands resting clasped over her hip. This position may also be reversed.
- High Kilian Hold – One pair of the joined hands are elevated to slightly above shoulder height with the elbos slightly bent.
Open or Foxtrot Hold: The hand-and-arm positions are similar to those of the closed or waltz position. The partners imply turn slightly away form each other so that they both face the same direction.
Crossed Foxtrot Hold: Both partners face the same direction with the lady’s right arm and the man’s left arm extended in front of them with their hands joined as in the open hold. Their other arms are crossed behind each other’s back so that their hands rest on their partners’ outside hips.