Wednesday, February 10, 2010

February 4-10

Saturday, February 6, 2010
There are some days when you know you just shouldn’t go dancing, but you go ahead and do it anyway. :::sigh::: Saturday was such a day. I had turned my left ankle earlier in the day. It was quick, sharp turn, but I didn’t hear any tearing. So after getting home ASAP, I took some arnica and iced it, then compressed it, and then rested it (though I didn’t elevate it). Feeling no pain, I decided to go to the Late Shift.

The Late Shift Milonga with lesson beforehand by David and Mariana. The lesson began with some basic footwork, pivoting and balance exercises. Then since there were many beginners in the class, everyone – men and women - worked on forward ochos. After that, we did a simple sequence of the 8CB to 5 (cross), into two forward ochos. From here, we turned the second ocho into a regular Follower’s forward volcada of her left leg, as her right leg is the stable, strong, supporting leg. I was surprised that maestros decided to teach this concept to a class with so many beginners in it, but it seemed to go over OK well enough. The lesson itself was not that heavily attended, and like I said, had many beginners.

The milonga started out a bit slow with a few more leaders than Followers. It filled up as the night progressed, but still had more leaders than followers (which made for a great time for the followers, but perhaps not such a great time for the leaders). I got to dance with one leader who I hadn’t danced with in at least a year (not because we hadn’t seen each other at milongas, but because I just fell off his radar screen). We danced three tandas (but no two in a row). He will likely become one of my favorite vals dancers since he definitely gives his partner a feeling of flying, gliding, and spinning during valses. Up to this point, I was having a fun time.

11:30 p.m. rolled around, and I started to bonk. Then I had a tanda where a follower stepped directly back onto the top my left foot, nearly piercing it with her stiletto. I pulled my foot back quickly in pain, only to kick my right foot inner anklebone with my left stiletto. :::sigh::: I hung up my dancing shoes for the evening after that, as I was just in too much pain to dance, with a couple of large, purple and pink bruises and broken skin on my left foot and right ankle. Like I said, there are just some days where you get all these signs (in my case turning my ankle earlier in the day), and you push ahead anyway only to get injured even more.

After that, I sat for a while, happy to talk to some tanguero friends. A bunch of people came from CCSF as the after party to the semester milonga that same night.

Christy Cote and George Garcia did an impromptu performance of milonga that was quite fun. Since there were so many maestros at this milonga, I was thinking out loud to my buddy that it would have been nice for all of them to get up and a do a performance together like they do at festivals with all-maestros dances of tango, vals, and milonga. It would give our local maestros another platform to show off their expertise and perhaps pick up some more students (group and private) in the meantime (and what local teacher wouldn’t want that?). This could especially be done on a night when it was the usual local teachers/organizers David and Mariana teaching (instead of a guest teacher couple, who would usually do a performance).

Sunday, February 7, 2010
Outdoor Tango at Land’s End.
It had been several years since I had been to Land’s End, and I could remember when it was just a gravel lot. Things have changed drastically for the better since then. The parking lot is now tiered and paved with spaces clearly marked, and there are port-o-potties (bring your own hand sanitizer!). The milonga takes place at the foot of the Land’s End trailhead at the far western part of the parking lot, just above the old Sutro Baths. The portable rolled linoleum floor, about 10 feet by 30 feet, is laid on top of the granite / cement tile floor. Being an outdoor milonga on a Sunday afternoon means that dresswise anything goes, though it behooves dancers to wear layers and definitely bring a jacket, sunscreen, sunglasses, and water / snacks if they are planning on staying the whole time. People are OK with wearing hats, though that means you will be dancing in open embrace. Personally, I would leave my stilettos and Sunday best at home, but that’s just me; I am sure there are lots of folks in the tango community who like to really dress up, anywhere, anyway, anyplace, anyhow and they are certainly welcome to. It is a beautiful spot above the beach and surf, surrounded by professionally maintained landscaping, though it can get very windy and chilly toward the end of the day as the sun goes down. On this particular Superbowl Sunday, there were only a few dancers. Still, I had a good time since I had a chance to dance a lot with the host, Maestro Ivan Shvartz. One of his other students was there, so we had time to play around experimenting (such as with Maestro leading the two of us at the same time, or all three of us dancing together). Many non-tango people in the area to hike or sightsee stopped to watch us and applaud, making it a good place for those who want to get their performance or practice groove on, or if they want to experiment being a DJ as attendees are encouraged to bring their own ipod/mp3s/tandas. It was a bit chilly on this day; I am sure it is a lovely place to go in the Fall or on an unseasonably warm Summer day. Afterwards, tangueros can grab a drink at the Cliff House or Beach Chalet. Public transitwise, the 38 Geary - Point Lobos gets you reasonably close. It’s a free parking lot, but can get crowded on popular sunny days. Still, there is street parking nearby or more free at the lot further down at Ocean beach (a 5-minute walk away).

No comments: