I am hoping that I never wake up from this tango dream. It has been a few weeks now that I have been moving well, enjoying amazing connections, finding moments to contribute to the dance, and been on cloud 9. This past weekend was the Yale Tango Festival, and I have to give credit to the organizers and volunteers for doing such a wonderful job. There is too much to talk about, and most of it would be incoherent as I am still processing it all, so instead I will just offer some favorite moments from the Yale Tango Festival.
*Dancing with new and old friends. I love festivals as I am starting to recognize people whom I only see at festivals, and we get to dance and re-connect. It is such a wonderful thing. And then there are the new dances, it is great to find new connections and partners. There was a contingency of dancers there from Colorado, and I got to dance with some of the leaders. Man they grow them tall there!! Each leader I danced with was easily over 6’. The top of my head did not meet their chins…. And I am no shorty. But it was really lovely to feel a different style of dancing. They were smooth, it was all about the walk, with a few movements added. Very nice and very languorous. It is interesting to feel a difference in style from the East Coasters that I am used to dancing with. Just as there is a marked difference from Boston and New York and Montreal, there was a marked difference with Colorado. Which I find thrilling.
*I led for the first time in a milonga. And the only bump we had was not my fault!! My friend M was an absolute doll and allowed me to lead her (after she led me, which was just a great time, and I loved how she growled at any misbehaving leaders who weaved in and out of lanes!). I realized very early into the first song that my limited repertoire was not really going to work as there were too many people on the floor and I could not focus on them and vocabulary. So we walked, we rock stepped, we had some percussive side steps… I tried to be musical without figures. I was very proud of myself for not killing her, not freaking out, and keeping a beat with some semblance of musicality. Whoo hoo!
*Sunday brunch practica. There was an adorable 9 year old (I think, give or take a year) there in an very spring-y little dress, cute little dance shoes with a slight heel, hair neatly pulled back, a touch of lip gloss, sitting oh so properly with hands folded in her lap along the line of tangueras on the side of the dance floor. And she could dance. And she got dances, which made me smile. She even got to dance with a tango god, who was an absolute gentleman and danced what looked like a very enjoyable tanda with her. I have no idea if she knew who she was dancing with, but the joy on her face of dancing, warmed my heart. I grabbed Sorin’s camera and snapped a few pictures of them as it was too wonderful a moment.
*Three Tango Highs. Dancing with tango goddesses. During Saturday’s practica I had the opportunity to dance with Mila, and it was just fantastic. She is wonderful lead, incredibly clear and musical. I had an absolute blast and was on a tango high after we danced. I can’t wait to dance with her again! And then that night I asked Kyla if she was leading, and if so, I would love to dance with her. She came to find me later and we danced a couple of tandas which was just great. She also has a crystal clear lead, and her exuberance and musicality shine through and makes for an amazing connection. I adore her as a person and now I adore her as a leader too!! And then finally on the last night, when I was so past exhausted and my muscles had gone from sore and tired to super relaxed and loose, I got to dance with H, whom I had been trying to cabeceo for the past few days. Finally caught his eye, and off we went on what I can only call a phenomenal two tandas. The connection was like a circuit, constant little pulses back and forth, he would suggest, I would suggest, and we danced. It was perfect.
There were many other moments that I recall fondly, or made me laugh, or were simply beautiful (Kyla and Robin’s performance the final night comes to mind with beautiful), but it is so much to digest. I will just leave you with that. (And thanks to Elizabeth, whom I stole the title from as her post on Tango Tranquility really resonated with me.)