No regrets

2007, September 2

The summer break is ending, the golondrinas are back from their festivals abroad and classes will begin again soon. These are the last days for my going to milongas. Classes are the alpha and omega of tango of course, milongas being a mere substitute.

It was packed yesterday. An orchestra and a demo, this sure brings lots of people. And here I was, stuck with a follower who had invited me and was unable to deal with the crowd. It’s not that difficult, it was possible to take large steps, the only thing she had to do was to keep moving around me, keeping her feet next mine. But this requires that you can dissociate hips and torso. She couln’t. Her back steps were behind her and not around me. She kept kicking people and doing unwanted weight shifts. I wasn’t feeling that I was dancing but merely moving her on the floor, counter-clockwise. It wouldn’t have mattered that much on a DI Sarli tanda because I don’t like his way; but the DJ was playing a Donato tanda. At the fourth song I recognized the first notes of El Adios, a piece that I like very much and decided that I would not spoil it with a bad follower so I excused myself.

I had a look around and found only one lady who could have followed properly, unfortunately she had been invited already and I felt jealous of her leader. Not because he was dancing with her and not me, but because he was dancing El adios and not me.

Later, after the demo, the DJ played a Color Tango tanda. Another favourite of mine. Once again I looked around and once again the only suitable follower was in another leader’s arms. Can’t blame her, why would she save dances for me when there are good leaders here? I blamed it on the 99% remaining ladies. Damnit, why do the follower stop taking classes once they’re “good enough”? Sometimes good enough is not enough. Color Tango is not an easy orchestra, the instruments aren’t all playing the same thing at the same time, you have choose to follow this one or this one. And you can even lead on one instrument and step and another. If you’re Gavito, that is.

Losing any hope of finding a follower who could dance Color Tango on a packed floor I took my coat and began to move out. I was at the doorstep when I felt a hand on my arm. I turned, a young lady was smiling to me. She looked vaguely familiar. In the darkness I hadn’t noticed she was there.

“May I have this dance?” she asked, “We danced here last year and it was nice.”
“I’m leaving” I replied, “I changed my shoes already. Maybe next year.”


Forget about the cabeceo. Yesterday I got all the invites I needed just by sitting with Droopy eyes a remote corner and waiting.

Plus, more than once (not yesterday though), the milonga hosts bring me candies.

Random invites

2007, July 10

My dances at saturday’s milonga went as follow:
I invited two girls whom I know from taking classes.
I got invited by two ladies who know me from taking classes.
Two ladies unknown to me but knowing my name invited me.
One lady unknown to me and not knowing me either invited me after (despite?) seeing me dancing. Just after that she danced with a teacher, so I suppose that she was looking for contrast and warmed up with me in order to appreciate even more her tanda with the professional.

There cannot be much suprises here. Very predictably the dances with the two girls were carbon copies from the other dances we had before (They know the limited range of patterns that I master, and they know when I do them and in which order). Idem for the dances with the two ladies (I know that they can’t follow what I’d like to lead so I do nothing; Gainesville profile). And the unknown lady had the bad dance she was seeking for.

Not wanting to let predictability prevail I made two random invites. What is great in tango, one of my first teachers said, is when two complete strangers, from different schools and a different style, meet in a milonga, dance, and it clicks. Twice I rolled the dice for a blind tanda, hoping for a possible click. What I had forgotten was that this Saturday milonga was a promotional, free event. And the probabilities that the dice brings me a tango goddess from another town/country were nil. What I got was two passers-by who were walking in the street and entered the place because they heared music and smelled some food.