Sueño Porteño still making me feel like a tango god – and a triple mix-up!

It’s two-and-a-half years since my last visit to Sueño Porteño, now relocated to a beautiful but cramped venue, and it still makes me feel like a tango god! This was milonga 10 this trip, in 13 days. Just saying, to the sceptics!

Terry had booked a table for him, Rita, Tina, myself and Beatriz Dujovne, author of In Strangers Arms: The Magic of the Tango

Milonga 10: Sueño Porteño

The dancing was as lovely as ever. I danced with Tina, Rita and Beatriz, then got a very clear mirada from a woman on a nearby table. Had a really lovely dance with her, with the Sueño Porteño Flattery in full effect. She asked where I learned to dance, and I said in London. “Ah, but your teachers must be Argentinian?” I said that one was, and another was Uruguayan. “I knew it!” The followers here really know how to line up future tandas!

I then had a series of further tandas, beginning with a friend of the first local, all of which were great! There was, however, some entertainment. Last time I was here (at the previous venue), I got myself into trouble – and it seems my record of mixups here remains unbroken for now!

I received a mirada from a woman on a different table, and smiled and nodded. She gave a clear nod in return. To reach her, I had to walk around some other tables. Before I reached her, and just as she stood up, another woman from a closer table stood up in front of me and said hello.

I had previously vowed that I would cease being British in this situation, and simply apologise and explain that my cabeceo was for someone else. But I was flustered in the moment, so danced with her instead. On the plus side, it was an exceptional dance! I was, however, determined to fix things, so once I walked her back to her table, I went to the original woman, apologised and said that the cabeceo had been for her. Only …

My mild facial aphasia was causing havoc. It appeared that this was not the woman I had originally cabeceod! So I had now gotten myself even deeper into the mess. She said she hadn’t noticed, which meant she couldn’t have been the first woman, who clearly nodded back. But she said she’d love to dance the next tanda with me. We did, and it was extremely nice, but I still have no idea with whom I was originally contracted to dance!

The evening was fantastic. I dance sustained close embrace with almost all followers, and it felt great. No struggles at all with feeling where the follower was. The local dancers clearly very much appreciate being given space for their dance, which I think is the real source of the compliments, as Tina said the leaders there didn’t do that for her.

The floor was super-crowded, with less than perfect floorcraft, but I didn’t feel pressured by that – indeed, I mostly felt it was a fun challenge! There were numerous times when I had to initiate a last-second change to my plan, and all were successful and – pleasingly – felt fluid and natural. I think in most cases the follower would not have been aware of the change.

With such tight space, I didn’t have much opportunity to try the dynamic cross into forward ocho, but the one song when I had room for this, it felt wonderful.

The time whizzed by, and I was sad when my 11pm(ish) curfew arrived. I could happily have stayed until 3am. As I approached the exit, I realised I’d forgotten to pay the bill. Terry was dancing in front of me, so rather than fight my way back through the crowded room, I mimed a request for him to pay for now. He nodded, and off we went.

Only … it seems I don’t have a glittering future as a mime artist ahead of me: he hadn’t understood. He paid his bill but not mine, so I’d inadvertently done a runner. Fortunately, I had the organiser as a WhatsApp contact, so explained and apologised to her, asked her to book a table next week and I would pay then. I’m looking forward to it already!

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