You often connect to Uke. But you don't always connect. You do what fits the situation. Body positioning, blending, leading, these are not tricks, they are part of Aiki.
Then we have fundamentally different conceptions of aikido, because to me without connection there is no aikido.
I never said or implied that body position, blending or leading are "tricks" - but I will say in my conception of aikido, they are tools
that enable us to make connection. Even on a non-touch throw there is an inherent connection between uke and nage or else uke is merely tanking.