Well, it certainly shows that I have not been dancing much these past 5 weeks. Although in the weirdest ways. Which is upsetting really. I want to go back to the days when just dancing made me happy. Now if I don't dance well or connect well with one of my favorite leaders, it upsets me.
Last night was my favorite milonga, Odd Tuesday. And it was both great and not so great. I got there for the practica, which I am glad that I did. I had a great conversation with my friend P about using your heel when you walk backwards. Sorin and I had a discussion the other night at PT about walking with your heel, and I am gathering info from the more advanced dancers on this as I almost never put my heel down. But that is a whole other topic....
So, practica first... there was a beginner leader, a puppy leader really as he had been dancing 2 weeks (!!!) and stayed for the practica after the lesson. He asked me to dance, with the caveat of being a beginner, and I said sure. It is so odd and funny to dance with beginners as I remember so very clearly when I was beginning and how great it felt to practice with someone who knew what they were doing. We walked through half a song and then I asked if I could give him some feedback, which he wanted, so we talked about embrace and presence and leading with intent from the chest, not the arms. It was rather lovely to be able to talk about these things and see the little lightbulb go off when he got what I was saying. It was also lovely that he took my feedback and immediately incorporated whatever I was saying. That was gratifying and showed promise. I even led him through a couple of steps so that he could feel what I was talking about. Not that I can lead, I can't. But I can show the difference in embrace as well as leading with intent and without. After a half hour, his poor head was swimming, but he said that it was very helpful and he plans to stick with tango. Good for him! We'll have another addict in our group soon! :-)
Another moment that I loved was actually a few short moments. While I was working with the beginner leader, both J and Sorin grabbed me at different times to demonstrate what they were talking about. It made me laugh to be the tango dummy. Or the Tango Model. J grabbed me, pulled me into close embrace, and took three steps. Then he said "See, you can not get too close." I laughed out loud and said "There is no such thing as too close!!" The couple J was helping laughed at that and they went back to working on embrace.
Later Sorin grabbed me to show something, and lead me in open through a few phrases of music. I am not sure what he was showing, but that moment felt really good, the connection was there and it was playful, and it made me wish for the milonga to start so that we could dance. And having that taste of really lovely became bittersweet. Once the milonga started, and I got my wish, it did not happen. I could not find the connection with Sorin. I tried everything I could to find it. I grounded more, I pushed up with my chest more, I blocked out the world, but it was not there and we were not moving well together. At all. And it was upsetting. Of anyone, I should be able to immediately connect with, it is him. But I couldn't, and it made me sad. We did dance a milonga set at the beginning of the night in open embrace, and it was pretty good. But I could tell he was not feeling it and the crowd was cramping him. But despite that, I really liked it and I have realized that milonga is really my favorite.
I had other dances through the night that were good and made me very happy. I got to dance with S2 and S3, both were great fun. I also danced near the end of the night with a young leader, Y, who was just a blast and really good. His dynamic changes were fantastic, and so much fun. I really had to concentrate as he would slow down to what seemed like a snail's pace, but still infused with musicality and grace. I thoroughly enjoyed dancing with him. I believe we had danced one before in the spring, while I was still a "mixed bag" (to steal a phrase from Sorin). But this time I was able to follow whatever he led at whatever pace he set, and we had a great time.
So it was a night of oddities. Which helped me decided to sign up for an intermediate series or a private to help me get back up to speed. Losing ground is no fun.