Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Guerilla practica, but no guerilla leading.... ;-)

We had a guerrilla style practica last night, which was quite fun. We went around to difference spaces and set up shop so to speak.
By the time we arrived at our last space, we had lost some of our group, and I looked around and realized we were 3 men and 6 women. whoops! So off came the stilettos and on went the sneakers and I practiced leading. The friends who allowed me to lead them were so lovely to put up with me! We did not do much, my vocabulary is pretty limited, but I tried to do what I could musically and I tried to give them moments that I knew I would have wanted to enjoy if I had been following. And I had a great time. It was interesting to dance with three different followers and realize their different strengths and how I needed to alter my lead accordingly. I got some good feedback as well, which was both confidence boosting and helpful in critique. The best compliment I got was that my walk was strong and my intent was clear. whoo hoo!

I also found that when I did not stress about the cross, it happened naturally, so I decided to stop thinking so hard when I knew I wanted to cross her, and it would just happen. So maybe 75% of the time the cross when through fluidly, which is a marked improvement of my last attempt at practicing the cross which happened, oh, say about 20% of the time. I am also doing better about watching the room and not falling into the follower default of watching my partner's core. As a leader, I need to be aware of her core, but watch the room! Luckily, I have never walked my partners into anything, thank whatever patron god of tango there is!

But it is really hard to switch from leader to follower immediately! I lead one of my favorite leaders, and then he led me, and man it was tough! My brain was sort of sparking, confused as to what was going on. It took me a whole song to settle into following. So until I get better, I need to give myself some time in between leading and following, otherwise I may end up looking like a short circuiting mess! ha!

So, feeling more confident about leading, even though I am still in open embrace right now. Next practica, I am thinking about trying to lead ochos.... Ai!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Tango Dis-Etiquette

Sometimes people's behavior surprises me to the point of speechlessness. And I am always reminded of a very wise piece of advice given to me by one of my theatre professors, it was "Be sure you treat those whom you pass on the ladder to success well, because you will meet them again on your way down."

Not too long ago, at a milonga, I was sitting on the edge of a stage along with about 6 other women. The milonga was very follower heavy, and this space was certainly a good area to be seen, but it was also one of the few places with good air movement, and it was hot that night. So sitting there I struck up conversation with the women beside me, and we chatted of this that and whatever. Then a young Tango-HotShot-Wannabe came over and squeezed in beside me and the young lady I was chatting with. As he squeezed in, he started talking in a falsetto voice "Oh, none of us ladies are getting dances. Oh, won't someone come dance with us!" all the while flipping his hair and pushing his chest out. I was struck dumb by this flagrant taunting of women whom he apparently thought far below his swelling talent.

I have to admit, that I had seen this man climb over the past year or so in a nearby community to where he is, had been curious about dancing with him even though I thought him rather stuck on himself, but after this crude and rather cruel display, I no longer had any interest in dancing with him ever. I am sure he will never ask me, so I will never have the pleasure of saying No, Thank you. Who knows, perhaps he will go far now that he calls himself a teacher, but I know 7 women whose thoughts of him turned very dark one night, and I am guessing that none of us will ever take class with him, or give encouragement to others to take class with him. It just strikes me as a less than intelligent choice to mock those whom you feel are less than you, and are also your potential target group for teaching.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Taguerositos - or tiny cute tangueros

From the minds of babes....

I can not claim to have found this first hand, instead I found it through another obsessed tango dancer. I just had to share it with all of you though. Too stinkin' cute! And imagine in 10 or 12 years when they are in early adulthood.... damn!