The last milonga I went to was an all night affair, which was a lot of fun and the second all night milonga I have been to. But this one I was all over the place and perhaps my only consistency was the fact that I did not fall over once. But that is about it. It was an odd night for me, my emotions were all over the place and so was my dancing. To steal a phrase, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." Let's start with the positive though, shall we? I did have some fantastic tandas, which actually amazed me. S2 was there, we chatted quite a bit about tango, dance, work, and being in a relationship with a tango dancer (his wife dances tango). We danced two tandas, one at the beginning of the night, which was lovely, but nothing amazing. Then we danced a tanda near the end of the evening, or actually, into the early morning, and it was fantastic. The music was gorgeous, and full of nuance, the tango itself was beautiful. I felt as though every lead was clear, albeit subtle, and I knew exactly where we were going and I could do anything he lead me into. I actually couldn't, there were a couple of whoops but I just laughed a little and we kept going as if nothing at all had gone wrong. That tanda was magical. My S is right when he says that those moments are when everything aligns. It is as though chance smiles on you and hands you a gift. S2 also gave me a really lovely compliment, he told me that this was the first time in dancing with me that he felt musicality coming from my following. And he thought that with some time, I could really add to the dance with this skill. Yea! So, one really good tanda for the night.
I also had a fantastic tanda with one of the local instructors, B, in Providence. I was actually amazed when he approached me to dance, it was all I could do to smile and accept without leaping out of the couch and into his arms. And of course, I had just turned down another leader stating that I was a little tired and taking a break. But honestly, if someone of this caliber asked me to dance and my feet were bleeding I would accept the dance. He is an amazing dancer and from what I am told, fantastic teacher. So, I prefaced my acceptance as I do with all new leaders, telling him I was a beginner, and he said, "Well, let's see." And off we went. It was so fluid and so smooth. We danced two tangos in open embrace, I followed most everything easily, and only a couple of whoops, which I laughed off. It amazes me that with certain leaders I can laugh off my mistakes, and with others I either can not, or I force myself to. Curious. So the two tangos were lovely, and the tanda ended and he asked me to dance one more to make it "an even three", heh heh, and we chatted through the cortina. B asked how long I had been dancing, I told him a little over a month, about 5 weeks, and he said that I was doing exceptionally well for someone who was dancing for so short a time. He said he could tell that I practice, but that I had an excellent sense of following, and although my embrace was a little tense at times, it was great considering. Yea me! Then the music started..... oh no! Milonga! B immediately saw the panic in my eyes and told me not to worry, just follow and ground my steps. Sigh.... I tried.... and I did ok, but he was an absolute dear to keep it really simple for me. This we danced in closed embrace, and there was one strong lesson I learned from it that had little to do with moving, it had to do with hair. B has gorgeous long curly hair, but in close embrace, it was tickling my face and was a bit distracting for me. I am sure as I get better things like that will not throw me, but it made me think about my hair and how it would affect leaders who were the same height as I am, so I am going to pay attention to my hair when I get ready for the milongas with that in mind. Might be a little thing, but some times it is the little things that completely screw things up.
So those were the highlights.
Lowlights - were both my following and others leading. I'm not going to go into it too much, but some leaders looked great with other followers and so I accepted dances and then discovered that either they were more tense than I was (who knew it was possible?!), tentative with their lead, or did the exact same thing over and over and over again. Then on the flip side, I was a bit of a spaz for some following, not sure why, and unfortunately most of these moments were with S. Which frustrated the hell of of both of us.
So the emotions for the evening fluctuated between happy, peaceful, spaz, frustrated, relaxed, tense, pissed off, ecstatic. No wonder I was exhausted come 4am!
In other worlds of tango, tonight is my last lesson. I think I am going to talk with my teacher following class to see what she believes I should do in regards to lessons. I think I am more advanced than beginners who have been dancing as long as I have, but I still need help getting the basics committed to muscle memory. Maybe private lessons are the way to go to get the basics down and then she can test me to see what level I fit into. Not sure exactly what to do as I learn so much at the practicas and milongas, but I know that I need lessons still. So we'll see how it goes and what she says.