Sorin and I are vising a dear friend in one of my favorite cities and naturally we will be going out to tango every night! :-) wheeee!
Last night we went out to a milonga that is one of Sorin's favorites and I did a lot of sitting. Which is fine, because I have learned in this city that the first night I go out dancing here, I am watched, and then the subsequent nights I will be invited. I danced almost entirely with Sorin, which was good, although I was so tired from our long drive up north, that my balance was thrown. I could not figure it out, until today when Sorin mentioned that my ballet background was rearing it's tu-tu'd little head again, I was going up in energy and not grounding down. My friend also made excellent advice to soften my knees more, which did help. But I was tired. The place was packed like Christmas lights in a box, and the stress of over close proximity to a couple of people who did not know that navigation was an element of leading added to my weariness. I did dance with one of my favorites in this city, an older gentleman whom I danced with before and enjoy his lead very much. My friend kept prompting me to go ask him, I explained I was trying to cabaceo him, at which point she chuckled at me and said his eyesight is not so good for cabaceo. And she was sure he would remember me and be thrilled that I went to ask him for a dance. So I plucked up the courage and walked over. He did not remember me. But he was pleased that I would come over to ask him to dance. We danced two tandas, and they were just lovely. Although I was hyper aware of my balance issues, but he was a dear and told me I moved beautifully and would I save him a tanda for later in the night. Naturally, of course!
The place was so crowded, it was a wonder that the navigation on the whole was so good. Leaders were really taking care of their followers, and there were a few warning elbows for those who were not respecting the line of dance or the space of others. I danced with another gentleman whom I ADORE dancing milonga with, but by this time I was feeling the weight of the day settle on my shoulders, and I know I did not dance well. He was gracious and thanked me after the tanda ended, but I know I was not dancing as I wanted to. So off the shoes came. There were several leaders whom I saw that I would have liked to dance with, but I did not want my first dance with them to be while I was not able to give them everything. I even turned down a lovely leader from Argentina who does not get turned down! And it killed me to do so, but I took his hands, kissed his cheeks, and explained that I really wanted to dance with him when I really could dance with him. And would he save me a tanda at the Sunday night milonga. He was funny and sweet and told me he would. And then I went back to my friend's apartment. Sorin stayed and danced almost to the end, which I was happy he did as that is his favorite milonga. And my weariness does not mean he needs to end his night early if he does not have to.
Back at my friend's house, we had some bread and chatted in her kitchen about dancing in different cities and the leaders we like. Which sparked conversation as I mentioned that some of my favorite leaders are actually women. I guess some might think that odd, but I don't see why. One of my dearest friends in Boston, P, is a gorgeous leader AND follower, and I love dancing with her whenever she puts on her leader shoes. Also, I danced with a woman, G, last weekend in NYC who was really good. The milonga I was at had a derth of good leaders and an overabundance of followers, and when she asked me I was quite happy to dance with her. Her lead was quite clear and clean, and her embrace was lovely. It is sometimes odd when dancing with women, due to the whole two sets of breasts issue, (yea, yea, TMI I am sure, but it is true! If both women have curves, then you need to find how to fit them together!), but there was no uncomfortable fiddling with the embrace, it was lovely. So I don't look at it as dancing with women leaders so much as dancing with leaders, who happen to be women. If that makes any sense....
Tonight we are all going to the All Night Milonga at TangoFabrika. I hope I will be in a better space to dance, and right after I post this I am off to nap land in order to last the night. ;-)