One new trend that I've been encountering among followers while dancing in close embrace is what I can only describe as a choke hold embrace. Their left arm is positioned such that the armpit is positioned against my right lateral deltoid or, even worse, my bicep. An immense amount of pressure is then applied to presumably achieve a strong connection. All I can say is 'Ouch!'. It feels extremely constrictive, especially when I'm trying to turn or even walk on the outside of the follower. Not to mention the pain I feel afterwards from straining against that embrace. Apparently there is a female technique meme going viral among teachers now: somehow the followers have to use their lats (back muscles) to achieve a good connection. I was informed of this by a follower who has a beautifully comfortable embrace, who has figured out how to get a good connection without squeezing the living breath out of leaders.
So now I am on a quest to counter this annoying fad. I am teaching my beginners to focus on connecting at the chest first without any arms, then let the arms fall wherever they fall. I have no idea if this is a kosher idea, but I know their embrace is very comfortable. I'd rather dance with an absolute novice who doesn't hurt my back and shoulders than a more advanced dancer who does.
So,ladies, relax! This is supposed to be a nice, intimate and gentle dance. Don't make it into a wrestling match.