I wrote about one major milestone earlier this month: finally feeling like I have enough vocabulary to cope with a milonga where there isn’t much movement. That was followed by my first tangasm, and another really good experience in the Tuesday milonga a week later.
I realised afterwards that another milestone has been achieved …
The Tuesday milonga no longer feels like alien territory.
I’ve said before that the Tango Space setup is particularly good. Although the Tuesday milonga is open to anyone, it is mostly inhabited by students. You can move very easily between class, practica and milonga, which makes it significantly less intimidating than AN Other milonga.
All the same, there is a bias toward intermediate students in the milonga, and I’d always felt a bit like I was venturing out into foreign territory. That it was primarily for dancers who knew what they were doing, and that I was just coping as best I could in the gaps between them.
But it struck me on the way home that I’d felt at home there. I mean, I wish my technique were better, I wish I made fewer mistakes, and still I wish I could do more, but … I no longer felt like this was someone else’s space. I felt like it was for me too. That’s a pretty big mental shift.
I also got to appreciate that musicality has been a constant companion, and that isn’t something to be underestimated at a milonga. Not everyone dances to the music, no matter how technically skilled they may be. (Of course, I allow for the fact that some advanced dancers may be expressing some subtle element in the music I miss, but there are certainly cases where I am, shall we say, reasonably confident that this explanation does not apply.) This is another thing that’s helped me feel at home there.
It’ll likely be a while before I feel the same way about other milongas, but I feel that may have as much to do with familiarity than ability. Perhaps the next step is to see whether a few friends from my classes feel like venturing out to the Covent Garden one sometime?