So our favorite Montreal milonga happens Sunday night, L'Academie. It is a great space, fantastic music when Michele is DJing, lovely dancers, and just a wonderful environment. Plus it goes until at least 2am, usually later if people are still dancing.
I was having a hit or miss weekend with dancing. Some times I felt as though I was in the middle of a bad dream when I was asked to tango, only it was no longer the tango I knew, and I could not follow to save my life. Then, the very next tanda sometimes, it was heavenly and spot on. I have no idea what my issue was. But it was frustrating and upsetting. My friend had spoken to some leaders and suggested that they dance with me, and one of them, I have no doubt he was wondering who on earth allowed this follower to step on the floor!! I did not blame him. I could not feel his lead, I could not step clearly, and I could not get back in the space. My friend said my face was full of misery (reason #1 why I do not play poker, no game face) and she felt so badly for me. I felt badly for the leaders I could not follow. No one needs to go through that.
And yet, I had some really magical moments. One leader whom I really adore, is an older gentleman who is very Argentinean in his dance. It is wonderful to dance with him, and when he came over to ask me, I was so full of dread, as I had yet to be able to dance that night. But D'Arienzo came on, and off we went. And I was there. I followed, I moved, I waited, I was. It was amazing to me, as I completely expected to somehow impale myself on my own stiletto as that was the way the night had been shaping up. But no. I found some salvation somewhere. We danced three tandas, and he gave me the most lovely compliment. He told me that dancing with a follower like me was why he danced tango. I waited for him, I completed his phrasing, and my embrace was not a burden. Then he said "So you miss some steps, or miss a lead, pffahh (that's a french expression, closest I can get), who cares? As long as you dance, that is what matters."
Words of wisdom that made me smile and hope for the night.
I also danced with a new friend whose lead is just as yummy as dark brown sugar. Rich, deep and just enough sweet. Every time I go to Montreal, I look forward to seeing he and his girlfriend, as they are such lovely people and I enjoy chatting with them at the milongas.
Later I danced with G, who learned tango in Germany, and although he was more Nuevo in style, we danced three tandas in salon style and it was just lovely. My friend made the best analogy of dancing with him, it was like "Water in, Water out", like the gentle flow of the tide. Man, if my feet would have allowed me, I might still be dancing with him. I just had the biggest grin on my face when we ended each song. After dancing with him, I took off my shoes. The only other person I wanted to dance with was Sorin, and I did not want to mar the night with another tanda of "What the heck is Deb doing?!?". So I sat, wrapped in my shawl, and watched the dancers thin and circle the floor. It was mesmerizing. And I was finally happy with my night.
And now the crazy. We left from this milonga to drive home to Boston as I had to teach today. Yup. Montreal to Boston with a starting time of 2:30am. Uhm. yea. crazy. I did the majority of the driving as Soring was beat and I was sore and my feet hurt, but I was not really tired. I made it all the way to the Vermont/NH border on my leg of the drive before I had to pull over and crash for 40 minutes. Then back on the road with the sun up (amazing how much easier it is to stay awake when the sun is up), and arrive in Boston during rush hour traffic. We were supposedly about 30 minutes from home and a nap for my weary self when we hit the stand still traffic. Each inch we edged forward I counted as a minute less from my power nap. After a half hour we had traveled 4 miles and I was in tears from exhaustion. We finally got through the hideous traffic and sped home. Sorin was a dear and told me to just go in the house and get into bed as I only had a hour and a half to sleep before I had to leave for school. He would unpack my car. I gratefully dropped in to bed and was most likely asleep within seconds.
Class went well. Although the weariness of the weekend robbed me of my vocabulary, and my students were amused with my sudden lack of 25cent words, heck, I could not find 5cent words! But even though I was past exhaustion and still am, I would not have traded this weekend for the world. The few moments of bliss that I experienced during my night of trauma made the whole night worth it.