But who cares?!? Not me, I'll dance anyway!
Actually my feet have gone from sore and aching to slightly sore, which is a good change I do believe. But Yale, what a great festival. This was the first festival that I attended as a dancer. I went to the Rendezvous festival in Montreal with S, but i did not dance then, only watched and contracted the tango bug. This festival I danced. And I think that from Friday night to Sunday around 1 am or so, I only took a few hours off from dancing to catch some sleep. It was pretty intensive, but ever so much fun.
I'm just going to hit on some of the highlights and interesting moments, otherwise this posting will be approximately 523 pages long I think, and I really don't want to be one of "those" bloggers!
So, Friday night, S and I arrive and go right to the milonga. It was a dual milonga, with alternative on one side of the building and traditional on the other. And it was PACKED! Luckily, floorcraft was in excellent shape, so there were only minimal bumps and whoops, no real horror shows. Although near the end of the night, when the floor became a little more empty, some people got a little eager for back boleos and one woman walloped my shin pretty good, I have a beautiful bruise that bloomed there, but she was mortified and apologetic, so no real harm done. I realized about a half hour into the milonga that there was no way I was going to remember leaders. There were too many people to watch, so I made the decision to accept any dance offered, and I would simply remember the leaders as either future "Yes, please!" or "I'm resting, but thank you." Not surprisingly, there were very few leaders whom I did not enjoy dancing with. I guess at festivals the levels are usually a little higher than on average. I had a great time, some of my favorite leaders from Boston and Providence were there, and I danced with some of them, but mostly I danced with people I had never met before, and that was really cool and an awful lot of fun. The DJ in the traditional room was Shorey Meyers, and she, as always, did a fantastic job. I spent the whole time in the traditional room, and I am not sure what time we left, but I think it was around 3am.
Next day morning came awfully early, and S and I went off to have some breakfast before heading to the workshops. I had signed up for Vals with Ney and Jennifer, Corridas with Robin and Jennifer, and Milonga musicality with Brigitta and Tomas.
I was not disappointed in any of these workshops. Ney and Jennifer are fantastic teachers, and they have a very easy teaching style that allows fun, creativity, and learning. My class with Robin and Jennifer on Corridas was exceptional though. I really liked their teaching style. To the point and honest. There were a couple of times I was with a leader who was just not getting it and my suggestions were not helping and Robin came over and correct whatever issue it was that had arisen, he was direct without upsetting the leader and great at immediately assessing the problem at hand. I think that I learned the most in this class. It was only the basics, walking and quick quicks, but I think that working the basics to the point of your muscles committing the lesson to memory is a great thing, regardless of your level of dance. It was recommended that I take a private with Robin the next time I am in NYC, and I think that is a great idea. Brigitta and Tomas' musicality class in milonga was also excellent, this is an area I need to really work on, as I often get carried away with the music and my form and feet go all to hell, so it was also a good workshop.
At this point, my legs are tired, my stomach is complaining loudly about its empty state, and S and I are ready to drop. So, is it food or nap or shopping? Yes! All! My friend P had bought this amazingly sexy wrap shirt that I just had to have. After showing S the picture of the shirt, it was not a hard sell to have him go with me to the shop, which was a two minute walk from the workshop space, and CLOSED! When we got there they had just closed! But the lights were on and there were people still in. S urged me to knock on the door, and as I hemmed and hawed about doing that, the ladies came over to the door as apparently my face was like a 5 year old being told there was no Santa Claus. I explained that my friend bought a shirt there that I had to have, and they welcomed us in and brought out the shirt. Wow. Amazing. That would NEVER happen in Boston. As the ladies played dress up with me, S watched in amusement, and I decided to buy the Origami wrap shirt in white. Then she rang me up at the register, and $100 poorer, I left the shop. But there was no way I could not have bought the shirt at that point, and to be honest, it is an amazing sexy shirt, so I think every penny was well spent. Then off to nap. Although the nap might have been a mistake. S did not sleep, but I did, and when he woke me up I was not exactly filled with boundless energy. But, there was an all night milonga to attend! So up I got, on went the Bali pants and the most expensive shirt I have ever bought in my life. And dancing all night. It was a blast, and I had some great dances from leaders all over the country, and a few from europe! It was sardine packed again though, and again, the floorcraft was exceptional. Sometime near 4am I hit the wall. I was cooked. Sexy shirt or no. S, however, was still going despite being exhausted too. So I went to lay down on a couch and he kept dancing until 6am, when he came to get me and we stumbled to the car in the dawn.
I'd say we went to sleep, but three hours is really only a nap. Quick shower, which felt good on our sore, tired muscles, and off to practica and more workshops! Practica was empty, which was great as we had more floor space to work in. And I discovered that my thick skin is much thinner when I am exhausted and become frustrated with practicing areas I am deficient in. But I got over myself and had a great time practicing with my friend P, who has a great lead and is the wife of one of my favorite leaders. I tell them that they are my favorite leading couple. :-)
Then the last two workshops of the festival. First up, embrace diversity with Carlos and Tova, whom I just adore, and had a great class with them. Then off to another milonga class with Ney and Jennifer. Unfortunately S and I were rather punchy at this point and S got a little silly in class, at which point Ney would laughingly yell at S "Romania! Get with it!" or something to that effect.
After the workshops, we decided to learn a lesson from the night before and go sit down and eat before the final milonga. So off for some Thai food, then go change, make coffee, and go back for the last milonga of the festival. It was much thinner, although still a strong showing. Again had a blast, danced until 1am at which point I was one song away from being a cooked noodle again, so I told S that I had one tango left in me and it was his if he wanted it. So we danced, which was lovely, and then we said our goodbyes to new and old friends and stumbled back again to fall into oblivion.
The only thing I would do differently would be to take the day after the festival off from work. What a mistake it was to only take the morning off! I was of little use to the students, although I did my best to make it through 8 hours of fittings for the show, but next festival, Monday will be my day to sleep and recover.
All in all though, it was a fantastic time and I am so happy we went! As soon as I get some pictures from S, I'll post them and you can see the most-expensive-shirt-I-ever-bought as well as my new favorite pants, the Bali pants.
(So much for not posting a long blog entry! heh heh heh...)