I love that milonga so much.
Emerging after four hours of almost non-stop blissful dancing, you feel like it’s about 2am. But it’s still 8pm, and even allowing the obligatory blog post and time needed for the buzz to wear off, you can still be in bed at a civilised hour …
Speaking of obligatory blog posts, I had this idea to further streamline my blog posts for milongas. There came a point last summer when I decided to cease the tanda-by-tanda descriptions as that felt too voyeuristic. These days, it wouldn’t even be remotely feasible: there are a lot of milongas where I dance almost non-stop.
But while I try to limit myself to notable highlights, the posts still turn out quite long, and take time to write. So I thought maybe I could just summarise my key learning points, and leave it at that.
It appears not. I’m trying to be briefer, but with limited success if this one is anything to go by. When I tried to limit myself to learning points, it felt too bland – and definitely didn’t capture the experience of the event. So here’s my best attempt at brevity …
Learning points …
The ‘circular’ approach to encouraging weight-sharing is so great! It leaves followers with the choice. Once that first weight-transfer has taken place, they can maintain the weight-sharing or nor, but almost all do. That has transformed my experience of dancing with followers who don’t do it automatically!
Vocabulary expansion plan: My ocho cortados work with most followers but not all. I think it’s mostly an issue with fellow beginners who aren’t necessarily familiar with it, but I also think I need to make the ‘cut’ very clear. The cross just works. Still feels weird to me, but works, and followers like it. The pivoting planeo works, but could still benefit from more oomph. Contra-giro from the back ocho still needs work, but is coming along. Same with the left-side sanguchito.
I now forget to use the barrida. I mean, that’s not a problem, but I do like it, and followers seem to also, so it’s something to remember to throw into the mix.
Other things that stood out …
There’s no bigger compliment to me than someone saying their friend told them they had to get a dance with me. I had that twice tonight.
One very experienced follower told me she could feel the improvement in my dance over last time, a few weeks ago. After a slow tango, we danced a fast one, and she encouraged me to take more chances. It ended up an extremely messy, freeform dance, but it was a lot of fun!
I had a first-time dance with another clearly very experienced follower. She started doing these little double-time ‘wiggles,’ and I caught onto them and managed to do them with her. She then added in another, and I did my best to match that too. The more I tried to follow her, the more she threw in. It too got very messy, but I enjoyed it a lot.
There’s one follower I didn’t used to connect with, but now really do. More evidence that, at this early stage in tango, it’s always worth giving partners another chance from time to time.
I often take comfort in the ‘everyone’s a beginner for the first two years’ saying, and a follower tonight said one of her teachers had said to her – only half-jokingly, she thought – that the first seven years are the most difficult …
Plus all the usual wonderful dances with all the usual wonderful followers! (Well, bar one who has injured her leg so is sensibly waiting for it to heal before dancing again – she somehow manages to come to Terra to watch and listen to the music without bursting into tears about being unable to dance.)
Was that more streamlined? Hmm. Well, like my tango, I’m trying.