I’m really going to miss the Champagne Tango Club

The shock to my system of having to get up at 6.30am yesterday for a week of working in the mornings saw my afternoon nap end at 7pm – so no dancing yesterday. However, that gave me a decent amount of total sleep, enabling me to skip a nap today and head back to the Champagne Tango Club this afternoon.

As an aside, there’s overlap here with some thoughts I had about time. Some might consider doing nothing more than working and sleeping yesterday to be a poor use of a day in Buenos Aires, but when the result is a day in which I feel refreshed and truly able to appreciate dancing, then I consider it time well spent …

Champagne Tango Club at El Beso

I’ve talked before about the dangers of one wonderful milonga creating unrealistic expectations of the next visit, but in this case one perfect milonga was followed by another one.

I applied my usual ‘skip the first two hours’ approach, so booked a table for 5pm. This again paid off, with nothing but lovely music for almost the entire time, from DJ Jose Luis Barrios.

I might struggle to recognise followers from last time, but thankfully they recognised me; I was cabeceoed even before I’d changed my shoes! That led to a pretty much non-stop afternoon of dancing, sitting out only a handful of tandas.

This did include some new followers. I had a delightful vals with one of them, a woman who spoke more English than I spoke Spanish, and we managed to express our mutual admiration at the end of the tanda.

I enjoyed a stream of absolutely lovely tandas with followers of every age from 20s to 70s. One thing I’ve noticed about this milonga is that it’s almost all locals. Even one woman whose accent suggested she was a fellow visitor turned out to have lived here for 15 years. Lilili and friend were the only exceptions I found.

Speaking of whom, I finally got the chance to dance with her! She’s always a very popular and busy woman here, so I had to file the necessary paperwork and wait a few weeks for my slot. We had a delicious collaborative vals.

I’m making some small progress with Laura’s guidance on slowing before accelerating, when switching from single- to double-time, and am continuing to love rhythmical dance too – even if not as much as lyrical! I’ve become something of a D’Arienzo fan now, which was (live bands excepted) not the case previously.

There were three Pugliese tandas, and I danced one of them with a new follower who gave me what must count as one of the best compliments I’ve ever received: “You really understand Pugliese.” (Not many of the lyrics, mind …)

I generally aim to ensure my final tanda is a good one by treating the final 40 minutes as a countdown! If I have a great tanda within that time, I’ll make that the last one. However, here I really could have left at any time. The final tanda was a beautiful Troilo one, with a local follower I’ve danced with before, and the photographic evidence appears to suggest that she loved it as much as I did …

I again walked home, feeling like I was floating on clouds.

I ended the evening in the company of the the gift Alessandra gave to me.

Even more than the new Parakultural, the Champagne Tango Club is my new home in BsAs, and I really want to be able to find a way to bring it back to London with me …

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