Labor Day weekend... what's a tango couple to do? Go tango naturally!
Off to NYC Sorin and I went. On his bike. Yup. 3 1/2 hours on a motorcycle. Uhmmm... let's just say after about an hour my ass was hurting and felt like it was deflated. I started calling it "DeFlater-Butt". Heh. But despite that, it was actually beautiful to travel on the bike. You get to smell everything (flowers, trees, someone's bbq.... although on the flip side of that.... SKUNK!!!), you see more than in a car, and it really is fun. So, off to NYC we went.
And had a blast. We went to three events Saturday. The intermediate/advanced practica at Dance Manhattan, which was really good. My friend L from NYC was the DJ and he did a wonderful job. The selections were right on, and he paid attention to the dancers. Usually at practicas DJs will throw on a playlist and let it run. But L treated this as a milonga, and the music was great. The level of dancers was also really good, and it felt great to stretch and move after being on the bike for so long. We ran into some fellow Boston-ites while there. And discovered that one of my favorite Boston leads was leaving for BsAs that night! Yikes! I was so glad to see him there as we got to dance a few tandas together before he left. Every time I dance with him, I just enjoy it more and more. He is so smooth, so clean and clear, and his dynamic changes are just flawless and musically creative. I am sure he will have a wonderful time in BsAs learning and becoming a better leader, and I can't wait to dance with him when he comes back!
After practica we grabbed a bite to eat, and then thought we would go by the Central Park milonga and watch a little. We did not plan to really dance much, but that completely went out the window as soon as we got there. Sorin and I danced a few tandas in the beginning before it got crowded, and it all came back. I felt connected to him, we were playful, and I was in bliss dancing with the man I adore in Central Park beneath Will Shakespeare. So great to get back into that space! After we danced, we stopped to see who was there, and then I had a first. And funnily enough, it was not a last! A gentleman whom I had seen in NYC before, and admired his dancing, came up to Sorin and myself and asked Sorin if he could ask me to dance. Very Argentinean. Usually I get a little miffed if a leader asks Sorin for permission to dance with me, but this was not the same thing. It was more of a formality it seemed. Anyways, it did not bother me at all. Then he told me that he knew Sorin and read his blog, so he knew who I was and wanted to dance with me. Huh?!?! Ha!!!! That was great! It was the first time I had ever gotten a dance because of Sorin's blog!!! I thought that was hilarious. And you know what? If this is the sort of leader who reads Sorin's blog and then wants to dance with me, I say fantastic! Because this leader was beautiful. It was a gorgeous tanda, full of nuance, musicality, and emotion. I was so aware of how advanced this leader was, but not because of anything he put out, simply from dancing with him. I discovered later from Sorin that he is a tango teacher. Not surprising.... so I would state that he most likely is a tango demi-god and I was thrilled to pieces to dance with him.
Near the end of the milonga, I saw one of my favorite NYC leads, C, dance by with a strikingly beautiful and tall woman. Yea! C was there! I knew if I could just catch his eye, I would have a wonderful few tandas. So I sat down near the front, they danced by, our eyes met, smiles of recognition, and off they went around Will. And they kept going around Will. They were beautiful together, moving with grace, and after the third tanda, I accepted a dance with another lead I knew. A few tandas later. They were still dancing together, and I just laughed. Apparently he had it so good at the moment, that he was not letting her go. Fair enough, I understand that feeling very well. So I just hoped that I would see him at the SeaPort the next night. I then danced with an older gentleman, whom I had seen before, and it was gentle and lovely. He was in his 70's and still dancing. And let me tell you, some young bucks could learn a thing or two from him about salida! We parted when the tanda finished and I turned around and saw the beautiful tall girl dancing with someone else. My head whipped around, looking for C, and there he was, walking towards me with a huge smile. Yea me!!! We said our hellos, kissed cheeks, and stepped right into the embrace and started dancing. I have to say, his lead is like velvet. Smooth, supple, clear, and beautiful. I was again in bliss. Lucky me! We chatted in between songs and turns out the striking woman was a friend of his from Montreal who was visiting. I mentioned I was headed to Montreal the following weekend and he promised to introduce us. Then we danced for another 2 tandas, and I was just in heaven.
After the milonga, Sorin and I found some food and compared notes about what others had told us about the options for the night. From everything we heard, we decided to go to Dance Studio 101 at 101 Lafayette for their milonga. It was a good milonga, although it was better for Sorin than me. The ratio of followers to leaders was about 3 to 1, so I did a lot of sitting, which was fine by me, and Sorin did a lot of dancing, which was great for him. At one point he likened the milonga to a candy store. :-) I did get to dance with the people I was interested in, so I was happy. And I got to chat with C's friend, M. She was lovely and we talked about Montreal, tango, and NYC. We exchanged info and promised to look for each other at L'Acadmie when Sorin and I go up next weekend.
I did make the mistake of dancing with someone who I completely misjudged. Their lead was beyond strong, beyond firm, and beyond endurable. It was as though I was a doll, and was thrown this way, and that way, and pushed here and there. I swear I have bruises the shape of fingers on my back from their embrace! And then they adjusted my embrace! Moved my arm from where I was comfortable to another position. Now, in a practica, I am all about making adjustments and talking about embrace and how to make it comfortable for both of us. But to just move my arm in the middle of the dance??? Wow. Uhm. Wow. I was stunned. Like I said, had this person been other than who they were, I would have stopped the dance and walked off. I was offended. Not to sound as though I am tooting my own horn, but I get compliments all the time on my embrace. I had no idea how to survive the tanda, and for multiple reasons, I did not feel as though I could end the tanda early. Luckily, it was a short tanda and I could say thank you and walk away. Yikes. Oh well. What can you do?
Sorin and I fell into bed sometime around 4am, happy and exhausted.
And that was only one day.
I'll write about Sunday and the SeaPort later. My typing is going downhill as is my energy level. But suffice it to say, the SeaPort was FANTASTIC! Definitely one of my favorite milongas in NYC, despite the challenge of the planks and the tourists. Really, anytime you go to NYC in the summer to dance, go to the Seaport. You'll love it.