Thursday, November 5, 2009

October 29 - November 4

Saturday, October 31, 2009.

The Late Shift Milonga with lesson beforehand by Mariano Bielak & Paula Gurini.
The two patterns taught were simple ones. 8CB to 5 (to big Follower exaggerated cross), with Leader’s right foot back cross at point of Follower cross. To clockwise molinete of Follower right foot forward (Leader left foot sacada), and Follower side step (Leader right leg sacada), out to resolution. There was much technical detail. The second pattern was a counter clockwise molinete, and on her left foot back cross step, Leader leads her to do a right foot back boleo, to clockwise molinete, out to resolution. Maestra made a point of talking about the different types of boleos, and that for this pattern, it was a more of a sharp straight back boleo, but only after the point of pivot, so that the Follower’s boleoing leg remains near the dancers, on the close side of the embrace. It is important also for the Follower to let her foot return completely to the floor after the boleo before pivoting back around, rather than kept up as it goes around behind them and taking out the dancers in front of them. It was a good lesson. I found the teachers to be very effective, with a balanced presentation of Leader and Follower technique. Both Maestros are fluent in English. Their performance during the milonga was very pretty. The Costume Party was fun. Being in costume in my opinion equalizes everyone, and it seemed like we were all more lighthearted and happy. Kudos to the organizers for putting in a decorative spooky Halloween tree in the middle of the dance floor, as it improved floor crafting vastly. The food and water were more ample than usual. Chelsea won the costume contest with Wonder Woman, with Christy coming in close behind as Bat Girl. The other costumes ranged from ridiculous to sublime, with only a sprinkling of the truly bizarre. But I was happy that so many people made the effort. It was especially amusing to see people who are normally bald with hair. Some costumes were so good I could barely recognize the person and had to do a double take before my brain registered who they were. It has been many years since I’ve celebrated Halloween in the San Francisco Bay Area (I usually spend it in Yonkers at the Castle, but was unable to this year because of a freak tornado in the middle of summer…thank you global warming), but I was totally impressed how the tango community really went all out with their costumes. Kudos to you (us!) all!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

CCSF Classes with Chelsea Eng. In Follower’s Technique,
we began with our usual walking, floor (which was much more challenging this week, concentrating on our core muscles), and barre exercises to improve our balance, speed, coordination, disassociation, and strength, among other things. At the barre, we continued our work on boleos. Afterwards, we did exercises in trios on ganchos to get the shape of the foot right and engage our entire leg in the process. In Advanced, we linked boleos (front to back and back to front), on the close and open sides, with and contra. They were both very good classes, as usual, with ample time to drill, which we all needed.

Come Join Me!!!

A very belated invitation to join me this year at Fandango de Tango in Austin. It is an AWESOME festival! And truly a festival for the most single of singletons since it occurs over Thanksgiving weekend, at time when a lot of single folks are with the family. So if you don’t have family you want to hang out over roast turkey with, come to Austin!! I, Pablo, Jr. Scout Extraordinaire, Amy, Jenkin, and local maestra Christy Cote (teaching with Facundo Posadas) will also be there! In the past Darrel and Linda have joined me (dunno if they will this year; I speculate they will have a different roomies other than me this time around ;o) )… The Omni is an excellent venue, and you never have to leave the hotel if you don’t want to. There is a free shuttle to/from the airport, and Wal-Mart is within walking distance if you are extremely frugal and don’t want to partake in the hotel food (which is also quite reasonable, and some dishes – like the beef salad at the bar – quite delicious) or want to cut your teeth on Black Friday bargains. Flights are cheapest through Southwest, though you can use your miles too if you have enough of them. Bring a swimsuit to enjoy the hot tub after the workshops and a hearty appetite for the Texas-sized meals, including the Thanksgiving brunch buffet!!

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