Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Oddity Tuesday

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.


La Tanguera said...


I so know what you mean!!! It can be very frustrating having the wish to find the connection with someone we know and love--and with whom we've been connected other times!!! I think it happens to all of us... each embrace is a world all in its own, I think... it depends on so many things... tension, tiredness, music, the rest of the population around you, expectations... just recently, I had a bit of that happen to me with my dear Mr. Bear, on a first day of dancing after a while, in which I was sick and tired... and things just didn't go well. I was a bit sad after that... until I understood that these things happen (as I'm sure you do, too). I'll come back!!!

caroline said...

I agree with Tanguera - it will come back! there could have been any of a million and one reasons why you were off with Sorin. Doesn't mean it will be like this next time. I would aim for privates if I were you, seems to me that group classes are always ridden with leaders who are not ready for that level yet. They are the ones who make it hard for you to improve because you're dealing with their ineptitudes more than learning something new and learning to do it well. Experience tells me that one private lesson equates about 10 group lessons. Really. Nothing beats one on one attention for an hour or so.

Sorin said...

I was more or less off last night myself, so if I were you I wouldn't worry about it. It may take a little time to get back in the zone after 5 weeks of not dancing, but it was not nearly as bad as you make it sound.

Debbi said...

Tanguera and Caroline - thanks! I know things go off and come back, and for such an intimate dance, it really is affected by every inner and outer stimuli there is! Still don't like knowing where I was, and seeing where I am.... But It'll get there, you're right...

Sorin - Guess it will have to be some kitchen tango to get me back in the zone! ;-)

La Nuit Blanche said...

i got to your blog by way of sorin's blog, and i found this post to be very illuminating!

i have such a ways to go, to be able to develop that kind of sensitivity in regards to connection.

although ofcourse, love and intimacy has a lot to do with it, in your case. ;)

Debbi said...

Nuit - you'll get there. It is amazing when you do. And although my connection with Sorin was stronger than my connection with others earlier in my tango path (yea, love certainly helps there!), I have that sensitivity with most good leaders. And when you get a tango god, it is amazing!

And thanks for linking me to your page, I just started reading yours. Always happy to find a new tango blog that is well written!