Saturday, March 31, 2007

turning a corner

Milonga last night in Providence. I was disappointed that the turnout was not very strong, they had an amazing DJ there, Shorey, and her music was fantastic. It was a quiet night, but I had a great time nonetheless. Plus I realized that I have turned a corner. I actually can dance this paradox called tango and I have stepped up from passable to good. Now my eyes are set on the sights of great.

The ever forward learning curve... up up up!

Oh, and the Bali pants came in, I wore them last night, and they ROCK!!! Awesomely comfortable and they look very cool if I do say so myself. Add the green shoes and look out! No ocho will stop me now!

Boleos though... that's another story... got to get those down so I can actually execute a boleo and not a blah-lazo....


I'll get there.


Ok, so had a reality check and an ego check. Apparently I am not good. I am good for how long I have been dancing, and for the community I dance in. But I am not an across the board, globally good dancer. Nothing like having your self perceptions flashed back at you in a mirror of harsh reality.
Of course, I should maybe stop listening to others. But I fear if I did, I would not learn as quickly as I have been.
I think I have gotten on board LaPlanchadora's tangocoaster....
Tangocoaster - 100
me - .00005

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Wednesday night high

Milonga last night, and it was heavenly. I was dancing. Really dancing, again. Which was fantastic. Had a great time and had some wonderful dances where I really felt like I was a partner, not just someone keeping up. Yea!

Got there a little early, and as I was settling at the table, looking for S who arrived separately, O came up to say hello. He is one of my favorite leaders, and I always look forward to dancing with him. He dances in a very tight, subtle and milongeuro (small steps) way, which used to take me a moment or two to adjust to, now I know just how to settle into his dance. So we chatted while I took off my scarf, hid my purse under the table, then before they even dimmed the lights, he led me onto the floor for two tandas. Really lovely, and I felt like I was just flowing along with him. I could not wait for S to get there and to dance with him, knowing that I was moving well. Well, S had arrived at some point while I was dancing and when I went back to the table after dancing with O, I got the lovely compliment from S that I was looking good on the dance floor. Getting a compliment from S is like winning the Nobel Peace Prize, it is handed out rarely, but with real intent and honesty. Yea me!

So I danced with S, and then continued dancing with other favorite leaders. It was a good night, I moved well, I focused on keeping my steps grounded, having the right amount of feedback through my right hand, and keeping my posture proper and upright. And everything seemed to be working. This is a high I could get very used to. :-)

In other realms, my feet are starting to give me problems, well, my toes actually. I am building up some good callouses on the balls of my feet, which is great. Being a former dancer I know how important callouses are to cutting down on blisters and helping your feet "toughen" to the dance. But my toes are hurting! The bones that is, are hurting. And I can not figure out how. I have started soaking my feet in epsom salts at night, which helps a little and certainly feels really good, but can anyone offer some advice on this? Do I need those metatarsil pads in my shoes? Am I possibly stepping incorrectly and therefore causing stress to my tootsies? I want to nip this in the beginning and not have problematic pains from dancing.

Of course, while I am dancing, I feel nothing, it is not until I change my shoes and leave the milonga/practica/workshop that my pain receptors perk up....

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

clothes for.... what else? Tango!

Yup! Bought my self a pair of really comfy bali pants for practica. Loose, comfy, roomy, and swooshy (yes, that is a technical term that us costume people use all the time....)
Sigh... my poor bank account....
However, my evil plan is to take the pattern off of these and them make a bunch in different fabric! *evil laugh* Ha! :-) But I think that I won't wear them quite so high.... I think the waist should be seen, not hidden!
However I have NO plan what-so-ever to fry my hair as this poor deluded model did! Sheesh! Hello blonde! Hello Brillo Pad Blonde!!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Potpourri of tango

It was a full tango weekend. Well, maybe not completely full, we sat home on Friday, but Saturday and Sunday was full to the gill (or full to the stiletto??) of tango. This weekend was the Boston Potpourri festival, and it was quite a bit of fun. There were some really great instructors brought in, and watching them perform Saturday evening at the milonga was a real treat. Murat and Michelle were there, and they are fast becoming one of my favorite couples to watch and take class with. Another performing couple were Marika and Bulent from Montreal, who are always lovely to watch and really a pleasure to talk with. The milonga Saturday night was pretty good. It was very well attended, so much that at the height of the milonga it was very packed and navigation was quite the challenge. The one thing that seemed to aggravate the leaders I danced with was the general lack of adherence to the line of dance. People were going where ever they seemed to want to, or wherever they thought that they possibly saw a little space, and it got a little like bumper cars at the amusement park. Although I always completely appreciate feeling the protective leader bubble that envelops me when we are dancing (I dance with my eyes closed still) as it makes me aware that someone near us is either not paying attention or is misbehaving (back boleos on a crowded floor?!?!? For shame!). I collected a few new bruises, but nothing bad. The only other mar was that sometime after midnight the music took a drastic change to alternative music. Now alternative music can be fun, and it certainly has its place, but unfortunately the music was all the same sort of slow, plodding pop music that makes nice background music while you are driving, but drove some of us bananas in dancing. One of my favorite leaders I was not able to nab until after midnight, and we worked through three tandas of this slow, uninspiring alternative music. Now I absolutely adore dancing with him and he is able to make bad music fun, but he also makes good music amazing, so I would certainly have preferred good music. But, we made the best of it, and I think I will make mention of this to either the organizers or the DJ and the abrupt transition after the instructor performances was jarring and rather disappointing. I know not everyone will be happy all the time, but it seems many people were unhappy with the late night music.

Then Sunday morning class with Murat and Michelle, which I was very excited for. They were going to teach this signature style that the dance, side by side, which you can see in the link I attached above to their names. I love it. I think it looks fantastic and allows all sorts of playful qualities to come through. Plus it is a little different, and different can be good. And can I mention that they were fantastic teachers. They did not teach patterns or series of steps. They taught movements, motion, and feeling. And then we blended it all together and saw what came out. Brilliant! S took the class with me and we stuck together as partners which was great for two reasons, one is we know how the other moves, and when I get frustrated at trying to learn something new, he can diffuse my frustration very easily. The second reason is that the level of dancers in the class was far from consistent, I know two followers who were in that class who most likely should not have been. But, then again, if you look at the length of time I have been dancing, someone might say I should not either.

On that note, I have to make a comment on one follower I saw there. She was wearing SLIPPERS!!!! And I don't mean ballet slippers, or even ballet like bedroom slippers, I mean HUGE-ASS fuzzy slippers that are as wide as her foot was long!! I have no idea why she was not asked to leave and come back with appropriate footwear, you don't have to wear 4" stilettos, but for the love of all things good and pure, you have to wear SHOES! She could have hurt herself or her partner. I have no doubt that if I was a leader I most likely would have refused to partner her.

Ok, rant over.

The lesson was fantastic, and I hope to practice the moves more with S so that we can dance with this in our vocabulary.
After the lesson, we grabbed some food, chatted with Murat and Michelle a little, then went over to practica, where we worked on what we just learned for an hour or so, all the time S had to diffuse my frustration. I think I am having growing pains as suddenly I have to work really hard to learn subtleties that I glossed over before. I hope these pains end soon. Then the last half hour I practiced with O and B, who (as always) were not only fun but helpful.

But why stop then? The day was not over! J invited us over to make some dinner at his place and dance. Marika and Bulent were his guests and they were heading back to Montreal that night, so off we went to J's. Considering that Marika is S's tango crush, I knew that we would have no choice but to go ;-). It was a lovely time chatting and eating, Marika and Bulent are lovely people and I hope to see them when we go up to Montreal. J invited his friend A over and after Marika and Bulent left, we went into J's empty living room and danced. Finally we called it a night a little past midnight, I turned into a pumpkin and home we went.

This morning my feet are rather sore and I have new callouses forming, which means I certainly worked myself in a good way.

Next weekend, Performance and milonga Friday, All night festival Saturday, brunch tango Sunday morning, and practica Sunday afternoon. I better start storing sleep now! I'm going to need all the energy I can get!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Snow tango...

I had tango mojo this weekend. I not only was able to move well, but actually dance, and keep it together not just for one tanda, or a few tandas, but for 2 days - 2 milongas and a practica! I feel like I graduated to a new peak, and it is a little heady up here. Friday night was a spring snow storm from hell. Milongas were canceled, and dance floors were dark and empty. But Saturday, despite the cold and the snow piled everywhere (which is incredibly depressing by the way, after a few days of warmth, where people were starting to come out of their winter protective shells, blamo! snow storm. ugh) there was tango to be had! And it was a St Patrick's day tango. Hmmm.... Irish and tango, ehh... I'm Irish myself, so the mix can't be all that odd... ;-). So the magic green shoes came out and off we went to Springstep to dance. And with the exception of one tanda, I was, as O mentioned after our first tango of the night, "On fire!" It was great, I had a blast, and I actually danced! Not just kept up, not just matched, but danced. I threw in a boleo or two when the time was right. And I was able to answer my leaders musicality in most instances. *sigh* it was better than chocolate really!

The one mar of the evening was dancing with this one leader, C, whom I would love to be able to dance with, but we never seem to be able to connect. I just could not follow his lead properly, and I seemed to be always off. Either off balance, off rhythm, off, off, off. I felt so badly, I really wanted to dance well with him, but it just was not in the stars that night.

But the rest of the evening I danced and just had the best time. I barely sat that night, and that was fine by me. I did not want to stop dancing, I did not want the magic to go away. But the evening did come to an end, and I was left wondering if that was it for another month or so. If that was my moment of glory, to keep me on the tango leash. Even S complimented me on my dancing, and I know he is not a man to give a compliment lightly or falsely, so when he tells me that I did well, it gives me a little rush and makes me smile.

So the next morning, heading to practica, I was curious to see if I was still in the zone, if I had moved up a level, or if last night had been a fluke. Got to practica, started dancing, and it was as though the night had not ended, I was still able to dance and dance well. Many of the leaders I practiced with I had danced with the night before, and they all mentioned that I had found my groove. Yea me! Another leader, R, whom I had not danced with for about a month at another practica asked me to dance, and after the first tango he mentioned, "You've been dancing a lot! You've gotten much better!" Double Yea me! And again, I did not want to stop dancing. I wanted to keep going. I was disappointed to not get to dance with two of my favorite leaders at practica, they always give me good feedback and I enjoy dancing with them immensely. I wish that there had been another half hour or so to keep going and dance with them. But alas, the clock was quite the dictator and we had to leave. But, we were leaving to go to a milonga. Ha! Loco....

It turns out that is was an alternative milonga, which S was not really sure about when we got there. The host is a great guy and a really interesting tango dancer. He has his own unique style, and no one confuses who it is that is dancing when you see F on the floor. So he had this kind of quiet little milonga at a coffee shop in Providence. Really cool little space, BsAs in style if it was more filled with dancers, and some interesting art on the wall. Now, unfortunately, alternative tango music is a difficult thing. I have danced to some alternative (i.e. pop) tango music and it worked well. But the music that was played in the beginning of the milonga was not exactly danceable. Some of it was ok, but most of it was less so. F has a very easy going style, so he let people play what they wanted. Unfortunately, few people wanted to dance to what was playing. S and I danced for awhile, tried to keep it going when a song came on that was workable, but we both tired of the music fairly quickly. Finally some danceable music was played and some traditional tango music, and more people got up to dance. And I sat. There were very few people in attendance, it was very intimate, but unfortunately the only person who would dance with me was S. P was there, but he was leading another leader who was learning to follow. I asked another leader whom I danced with once in a class, and I was turned down as he wanted to rest. Oh well. I had a great couple of days of dancing, the music there was not turning me on, so I was basically ok with not dancing. There will always be a little ego in me screaming about the fact that I am not getting dances, good dances, but it is getting easier to ignore that little sprite as long as I am happy with what I have had.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Oh the weather outside.....

Snow in mid March. Scenes from my office window....

And from the fire escape....

It really is pretty. A little late in the season.... but pretty.....
just wish I did not have to go out in it in order to get my winter coat from the cleaners.....

But who cares about that when there is tango to be had tonight! I hope that nothing is canceled due to the dusting we are getting...

Off to practica again....

The MIT practica last night was surprisingly empty. I think that they might have been on spring break as well, but even so, there was a dearth of community members there. Which was both good and bad, there was plenty of room to move and practice in, however there were not many people there. It was, for once, a leader rich environment, so as a follower, I had options, which was great. S really worked with me on a variety of issues at the opening of the practica. In fact, we were the only ones dancing for about 15 minutes or so as there was only myself and the student organizer as followers for the first half hour I think. So the break down that S gave me was good, even though it frustrated me. It is tough when you hear "Remember that thing that all beginners are told to always do? Yea, not so much anymore. Only do that when you need to; otherwise adapt." grrrr..... rules are becoming more elastic and moment appropriate, which is good for my understanding of the dance, but bad unless you want me to be thinking while I am dancing, then not so good. But regardless, it was helpful. I also had a really good half hour or so dancing with B. He is quite a good leader and very musical. He asked if there was anything I wanted to work on and I said everything, so don't dumb down your dance for me please. And he didn't! I really had to work at times to keep with him, but the flip of that was I was focused to much on him, I completely breezed through any mistakes I made. Something I have a hard time doing, and when I do, it makes everything easier. I don't know why this is. S is always telling me not to tense up when I make a mistake. But I really don't know how not to. I am getting better at fudging my way through mistakes, at least I don't stop moving any more, but it is hard to not think "Crappers! I think that was a molinette and I just did a sacada!" I just hope that I get over myself soon. The other little light-dawns-on-marble-head moment that I had was that with very tall leaders (such as B) the cheek to cheek close embrace is MUCH more comfortable and allows me better balance. It is a crap shoot for this embrace with leaders my height or slightly taller, but for the very tall, score! Much easier.

Otherwise, I also had a really fun few dances with a European gentleman, J, who came into Boston on holiday, looked up the Boston tango calendar and came over to MIT to see how the locals were. He thought that the practica was very full, which made me laugh, as I told him that this was in fact empty and usually you had to dance very close and keep embellishments to a minimum as it is normally packed like a sardine tin. He was not the best dancer I have danced with, but he was a ton of fun and had a great sense of musicality, so it was a blast. The only issue was I could tell he was used to having lots of space, as he danced into several people (twice we danced in S, and after the second time, I started dancing with my eyes open to try to warn him of any upcoming impacts). Regardless of the looks we were getting, and we did get a few, he was a ton of fun. He also mentioned that he loved dancing with Americans as we were more able to follow figures that Europeans. He mentioned that Europeans prefer to walk beautifully with musicality than dance less than beautifully with figures, whereas Americans prefer the opposite. Not sure if that is across the board true, but it was interesting to hear his opinion on this.

There was also two moments where I felt like an experienced dancer. There is a beginning leader, D, whom I danced with about a month ago a few times. He was a mess, but he showed promise, had rhythm, and really enjoyed himself, even though all he could do at the time was walk and lead the foot sandwich (I have no idea what it is called, that is what I call it. The leader "sandwiches" your foot with his feet and then leads you to step over his foot.) So when D asked me to dance last night, I was curious how he was doing so I said yes, and he has improved! His embrace actually feels like an embrace now, even though he is still in open, he can lead clearly a couple of moves, and his posture and presence were pretty good. I told him that I could tell he had been practicing as he was definitely improved since we danced last. He absolutely beamed and told me he had been taking classes and practicing in his dorm room, much to his roommate's chagrin and amusement. I told him it showed and to keep working as he would no doubt be even better the next time we met. It was really nice to be at a point where I could tell not only that this kid had promise, but that he was advancing. I will most certainly dance with him whenever I see him as it is fun to see him grow up a little, as it were.

The other moment was the opposite spectrum. Another beginner dancer asked me to practice with him. He said that he was a beginner and would I mind practicing walking with him. What could I say except of course. I was there myself not too long ago. So off we went. And it was rough. He had no presence, no sense of the beat, and was stiff as anything. Plus his embrace felt awful, his right hand was pressed hard on the top center of my shoulder blades, so his hand almost matched the placement of my hand on his shoulder! Halfway through the tango I could not take it anymore, he was pushing me off axis and it was actually very uncomfortable, so I very calmly moved his hand down to the center, side of my back and started to explain that this was more comfortable for the follower when he stopped cold. Just stopped dancing. I started to ask what was wrong and he said "Well, I can't finish the song now." Implying that I had completely ruined his mojo or rhythm, or whatever by correcting his mistake. I was blown away. I started to explain why I did what I did and he told me he had to wait for the end of the song. So there we stood in silence for approximately 4 years while the last 30 seconds of the song played out. By the time the song ended I was completely annoyed. "I probably should have waited for the end of the song to correct you, but in practica feedback is so important to working on issues. If you don't embrace your follower in a manner that is comfortable for her, you will pull her off axis and your lead will be muddy and thick." And with that I thanked him and went to the side. I beg for feedback in practica, sometimes without getting much in return, but how else can you learn if you don't hear what your partner says about how you feel and move? You don't have to adjust to every bit of feedback, but at the least hearing it and discussing it will only help you in the long run. Some people can't take the heat I guess.

ACK! I just looked out the window and it is snowing!!! *sigh* New England never ceases to amaze and surprise me...... Guess we will have a white St Patrick's Day, and considering we did not have a white Christmas, that strikes me as rather funny and sad. On the other hand, the ASM for one of the show just walked into my office with a bottle of wine that was left over from opening night Wednesday night and said I did not get it from him.... score! I love theatre people.... :-D

Thursday, March 15, 2007


I realized last night that I need a pair of black dancing shoes, as the shoes I own are all colored. So what do you think of these? They are the magic green shoes, only in black with a hint of bronze...

*sigh* I am going to be so broke between the shoes and the material for skirts and pants, and the milongas, lessons and workshops....
But I'll be happy!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

tango wardrobe

Is being built! It is amazing how much I get done when there are no students in the shop!

Here is the first skirt I have made specifically for tango. I'll get S to take some better pics to post later, it is hard to take pictures of yourself with a little point and shoot digital, but between mirror images and balancing the camera on work stations, I got two good shots that will give you an idea of the look. I am rather excited about how it looks, and I think that Planchadora will agree that it is far from a garment attacked by a wild animal!. It is plum with a mossy green/plum iridescent lining, so when I swirl, the lining peeks out and makes a really pretty contrast. I know it needs a steaming, I'll get to that before I wear it out. But the obsession is spreading from shoes to clothes!

phrases overheard

Riding the bus in this morning, I was feeling pretty good. It was warm, I had a coffee that was ever so yummy, and people were looking each other in the eye again, no more hiding behind layers of insulation against the weather. As I sat on the bus, drinking my coffee and re-reading a favorite Vonnegut book, there was an older man, definitely down on his luck, possibly homeless, who got on the bus and sat in front of me. He struck up a conversation with the gentleman across the aisle from him, and although he was rough around the edges, he was by no means unintelligent. He said something part way through their conversation that has stuck with me. "I don't talk to strangers." He insisted, "I talk with interesting people."

What an idea.

How else do we make friends but by talking with interesting people.
Now these two men were definitely from different worlds and only adjoining seats the Rte 1 bus would have brought them together. But they had a pleasant conversation about life, family, weather, and the world at large. Never once did the gentleman who was down on his luck ask for money, he only asked for a conversation to pass the time between Harvard Station and Central Square.


And cool.

Monday, March 12, 2007

The addiction continues....

Sigh.... yes, another pair..... I don't see the collection ending any time soon. I'll scrimp and save elsewhere to keep buying shiny pretty shoes....

Spring has sprung all over the place

The weather has been in the upper 50's for two days straight now, and tomorrow is supposed to be 60's and dry. It is like a mirage that I am afraid to inspect too closely as I may find it is merely a cover for another ice storm or blast of arctic chill hiding behind the spring coat. But hopefully it is not, and it is really spring. Walking to work this morning I found a new favorite thing about where I work. Being near Symphony Hall, there is always something going on around me, but this morning, walking by the New England Conservatory, the students had opened up all the windows, and I was greeted by the sounds of trumpets, clarinets, piano and singers as I rounded the corner onto St Boltophs street. I had to stop and listen. Even though it was a mish-mash of different symphonies and arias floating down together in a kind of musical stew, it was lovely to hear. Made my head ease up a little on the pressing headache that I had woken up with. Not sure how layers of un-synchronized music would ease a headache, but there you have it, it did. I just suddenly felt better being in the sun, not hunkered down into my coat, bracing for the blast of wind that always assailed me when I rounded the corner from St Boltophs to Huntington Ave. And hearing the music just made my morning a little lighter and a little cheerier.
Although my students are on spring break this week, so I am in the shop alone. Which is great. Today I am fixing the sewing machines that the freshmen managed to break in their rush to finish their projects before break, I am working on clothing for tango (oh yes, tango had to be mentioned at some point, never fear), and I am going to re-organize the supplies here in the shop. Plus I am designing A Midsummer Night's Dream with my dear friend J, so that will also be a project this week while I have the shop to myself. So much to do! Gotta get started!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Fashion Smashion

In quite a few of the blogs that I read about tango (sigh, yes, I am becoming the complete tango geek), there have been a rash of postings about what not to wear to a milonga, and a running commentary on La Planchadora's blog about "Attacked by Wild Animals" outfits. Well this past time when I was in NYC I saw someone who was attacked by a rabid squirrel and their pants were the real victim. The outfit was amazing in the not so good way, in that I am not sure what exactly she was thinking. The pants were black with huge slashes all over them, and the hem ended in ragged edges that sort of limply hung about her ankles. But when I say slashes everywhere, I mean slashes over her posterior, hips, thighs, legs, and some on either side of the zipper in the front. Now this was bad enough, but add to it that through the slashes one could see her underwear and her control-top pantyhose, and you have one hell of a look going on. A favorite phrase by a designer professor of mine was "Well, it's a look."
Things like this make me wonder what people think when they walk out the door. Why on earth would you want to go out like that? And if you do want to, why not go all the way? Why "ruin" it with panties and control top pantyhose peeking through the slashes of your bum and hips? It makes no sense to me. But then again, considering the line of work I am in, I am often looking at others with an eye for what they are wearing and how they are wearing it. I have been known to walk up to people on the street and exclaim over their shoes/dress/jacket/whatever and ask them about it. Before I even started dancing tango, I would watch the women's shoes on the dance floor. I would take "Shoe Shots" with S's camera, I think it amused him - or at least I want to think that it did ;-), and I would look at the outfits with an eye for ease of movement and grace of line. I am working on designing a pair of pants specifically for dancing tango with a friend of mine who is a brilliant draper (a person who takes a drawing and makes a garment from the sketch). I knew exactly what I wanted, but could not exactly figure out the rise of the pants or all of the construction issues with layer two pants on each other, I did not want bulk anywhere. So P is helping me with that and within the next 2 weeks, I am going to have a gorgeous pair of steel grey silk charmeuse pants with black chiffon pallazzo overlay. I can not wait!! And one thing I can say with absolute certainty is that I do not ever plan to look like a rabid animal attacked my outfit. And I can also say with certainty that if for some bizarre, unknown reason I ever did, S would never let me out of the house looking like that. ;-)

Monday, March 05, 2007

Magic shoes, Exhaustion and Kitchen tango breakthroughs

My green shoes are magic shoes. Seriously. The heel height is perfect, 3 1/2". I can walk in them and man-o-man can I dance in them. Danced Friday night in Providence and Saturday afternoon in NYC and it was amazing how comfortable they were and how easily I could keep and recover my balance in them. Not to mention they are green metallic leather and sexy as all hell. Then they broke. Yup, after two days. Saturday night we were in NJ at Tango Ghetto and somewhere around 1:30 am the heel of the right shoe broke right off. I was standing next to a couple at the time (thank god it was not while I was dancing), and the heel just gave out with a huge crack. The horror on their faces must have matched my own. I immediately took the shoe off and the three of us inspected it with an intensity that makes me laugh now. The only other place in my life where an injury to a shoe causes this amount of concern is at work in the theatre. The heel had cleanly broken away from the body of the shoe and 4 little nails were sticking their pointy ends out at me, like little tongues mocking me in my now one shoe world. The woman asked me what shoe size I wore as she would let me borrow her back up shoes, but I am a 7 and she was an 8 1/2. So I took off the other shoe and when S came off the dance floor, I mutely held up my mutilated shoe. Lucky for me, S was able to fix my shoe using epoxy and a little hammer. I was rather tired at that point from all the dancing and travel by that time, around 2am, so I took the broken-then-mended shoe as a sign from the tango gods to stop. By that time I was too tired to keep my axis and I felt as though the last dance I had was probably torture for my partner.
In terms of exhaustion, I discovered my threshold this weekend. We danced in Providence Friday night until 1 or 1:30 am, drove home, got up a few hours later, drove into Boston, took the bus to NYC, went to Chelsea Market, danced until 7 or so, ate some, went by train with the Adam Posse to NJ to Adam's Ghetto tango. I crashed around 2am on a couch in the corner of the room, but did not actually sleep until the sun was up and the real hardcore dancers also crashed. S was just as exhausted as I was, but he managed to dance until 5am or so, what can I say, he's more hardcore than I am... :-) There was no way I could move Sunday afternoon, even though we had planned to dance Sunday as well. I had blisters on my feet and I knew I was cooked.
I had had some very good dances over the weekend. Some rather memorable dances too, one was at Ghetto Tango in NJ with a Danish gentleman who spoke no English, but had danced for over 25 years. Can I just say it was like dancing with a master. All communication was through connection and dance, no words were needed. We danced 4 or 5 tangos together and afterwards I felt as though I was on a high or slightly drunk. Another was with a gentleman at the Chelsea Market, J, who was a lovely leader whom I danced a tanda with. We had a great time dancing, and whenever I did something that pleased him, or conversely, if I missed a lead or made a mistake, he would giggle. It was rather hilarious as I would giggle, he would giggle, and then we would dissolve into giggles as we danced through the market. I was not the best dance I had ever had, but it was definitely one of the most fun.
We got home late last night, after riding the bus through the night from NYC to Boston, and this morning after breakfast S put on music and we had a kitchen tango in our socks in the late morning light. And I had a break through. I was having trouble whenever S would slow down the dance. My balance would be a struggle for me and I could not for the life of me figure out how to make my steps smooth and flawless. Until S exclaimed, "I know what you are doing! You are not transferring your weight evenly, you are keeping your weight on one foot or the other, which is what beginners are told. Stop that, allow transfer to take place in balance." You mean I can have my weight on both feet and transfer according to the lead?!?! Great! Once I stop beating you with this wet noodle for not telling me sooner, lets try that again!
It's a whole new world. Steps are smoother, I have better control and my balance is suddenly no longer a struggle. It was a real tango moment, and having it in S's kitchen in my socks, hair in a messy ponytail and coffee brewing was better than having it dressed to the nines at a milonga.
Tango weekend? You better believe it!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Fleeting moment of perfection...

Well, perfection for me at least. Last milonga at Springstep I danced a milonga set and the very first dance was as close to perfect as I have ever done. I got ever lead, I was relaxed, I had fun (music was great) and moved to the music, and did not lose my axis or balance once. It was like buttah (as they say, somewhere, not too sure where or who they might actually be...). I did a little dance of happiness afterwards, but then lost it all on the rest of the tanda. I have no idea why or how. I just could not keep that zone, keep that moment. Perhaps I should have waited to do a jig until after the tanda, but I could not help myself (there is a reason why I do not play poker). So what the hell happened to me? Why could I not continue with that vibe? Do the tango gods have that twisted and cruel a sense of humour? How do you move from one moment into the next without losing your vibe when you've found your mojo?

I'm in love.....

With my new shoes......

And who wouldn't be?!?!