Monday, February 26, 2007

Longa Milonga, oh my....

Saturday night - went to Providence Tango's Longa Milonga to dance from 9pm to 5 or 6am, or whenever your feet fall off, with S. It was a leader's environment, many more followers and the level of ability was advanced and higher. So I ended up sitting more than half of the night. S danced the whole evening and he had some amazing partners, which put him on a tango high, which was great as he was jonesing for some good tango. And he got it. I was jonesing too, and got a little. Somewhere around 2am the place emptied out a little, and I had more of a fighting chance. So, after some prompting by S and a few followers that I had been chatting with, I started asking leaders for dances. I figured, if I have to ask for dances, I might as well aim high. So I did. I asked the advanced leaders whom I knew and had danced with before to dance. One of whom was a lovely instructor, Evan, who will be coming to Providence Tango starting next month as two of their instructors are leaving for Buenos Ares. I had danced with Evan once before on my "try out the new promising beginner night" where I danced with a few local and visiting instructors (talk about a tango high that night!). So I approached Evan, smiled, and asked if he would be willing to dance with a beginner. I was absolutely expecting a "I'm taking a rest" thank you. However he was very gracious and danced a whole tanda with me. It was fantastic. I am sure it was less than stellar for him, as I had seen the level of dancing he had been doing that evening with the other instructors and advanced followers, but it was great that he indulged me and gave me a good dance. I also ended up dancing with the leader who dropped me. I know, I know, I said that I would never dance with him again. But he came over to me while I was sitting on the couch and asked how my knee was and was apologetic for trying to, as he said, "make you move when I should have stopped and shown you what to do." Then he asked if dropped me meant I would refuse his dances. Well, what can I say to that? So I said no, I would not refuse, and so we danced a tanda. It was fine. I still am not a fan of his leading style, but I am not one to hold a grudge for too long, just until my ego bruise heals I guess.
I was disappointed that I did not dance much at all that evening, and although I completely understand that when the saturation of advanced and expert dancers are in one room, who is going to spend a tanda, or even a tango, on a beginner? Not many. I get it, I would probably do the same if I was advanced. Plus S2 made a comment as he was leaving and we said goodbye that made sense. He asked if I was enjoying the dances, and I mentioned that (at the time) I had only danced with him and S. He was surprised, and said "Well, I think that those of us who know you all thought that someone would dance with you, and we all ended up dancing with others." Sigh, yea, pretty much. But once the night deepened, and I got over my queasiness about asking for dances, things got a little better. S reminded me in the car ride home that I was possibly the only follower there with so little experience and the fact that I got the dances I did was a great thing. Which is true, but I want to be at the level that I hope to be in one year NOW. I have patience in many areas of my life, and almost endless patience when teaching others, but when it comes to my abilities and my learning, I want to learn it all and be the best immediately. And if I do not do so, I get upset with myself and can not accept that I am not the best in the class. I know that this comes from inside me and years of always being the smartest in class - I am not being egotistical, I started school early because of my performance in the IQ test and the fact that I could read simple books at age 4. Plus I always tested off the charts in those standardized tests. And when I danced ballet, contact improv and modern when I was younger, I excelled quickly and was usually singled out for solos in performance. So the fact that I have not mastered tango in the two months I have been dancing is completely understandable, except in my own brain. I want to dance with S and not have him roll his eyes at me when I miss something, or ask me "What was that?!?" when my feet don't move where they should and my hips decide to join the dance. I want to be the follower who never has to ask for a dance.
whine, whine, whine..... if I could eat cheese I should now after that fine whine.
Ugh.... I'll get there, the frustration with learning can sometimes be overwhelming.

In another, completely unrelated area, this morning I woke up to big, fluffy, white snow. The kind of snow that I love. Huge, sticky flakes that break apart into smaller sticky flakes when they drop onto your eyelashes. One of my favorite memories is lying in a sled, my sister lying in front of me, her head resting on my snow suited tummy, and watching the snow drift down onto my face as my mom pulled us down to the store to buy bread or milk. We would lie there in the sled as my mom ran into the store. Amazing that in the early seventies, one could leave a 6 and 3 year old by themselves outside of the local market. I can not imagine the response that would garner today....
But back to today.... My room was very bright at 7am, and when I rolled over and saw all the snow, I grinned and snuggled down into my down comforter. There were no tv weather warnings of "It is going to snow tonight! Keep your babies and puppies inside and don't venture out! We will get between 1 and 65 inches! School is canceled because it might snow!" No hype, just the sort of weather that happens in New England, and you know what? Without the hype, people were cool. Everyone on my street was out shoveling, and chatting about the snow. No one was panicking. Drivers were cautious, but not stupid, and there was no traffic problems getting into Boston. Shocking, really. Apparently if you do not instill panic into the populace, they tend to deal with situations, like snowfall, with appropriate responses. "Hey, look, it's snowing. Guess I'll shovel my drive, chat with the girl next door shoveling out her car, and then take it easy going into work." Amazing.

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