Wednesday, June 30, 2010

June 24-30

Saturday, June 25, 2010
The Late Shift Milonga.
I got there late, so skipped the lesson. Before going in, I peeked through the window and saw that though it was only a very lightly attended milonga, the Leader quality was high and I would have enjoyed dancing with 90% of the Leaders there. As for the Followers, it was a blissfully drama-free group. So I figured it would be pretty much impossible not to have a good time. And I was right. Despite the low turnout, I had a truly excellent time. There were many visitors, so lots of fun new people to dance with. Communities represented included Turkey, New Orleans, Boston, and Los Angeles. One thing that surprised me was that the milonga ended early (1:15 a.m.; normally it's 2:00 a.m.) because of low attendance. I suppose that was OK, although I personally would have happily stayed until the end. I did hear a lot of chatter among the other attendees that they were contemplating heading over the bridge to the All-Nighter at the Beat (which goes until ~5:00 a.m.).

Sunday, June 26, 2010
Studio Gracia Milonga with lesson beforehand by Negracha y Diego Lanau. The lesson focused on enrosques and sacadas. The figure was a simple one, side step (Leaders left, Follower's right) to front cross step (Follower's left, Leader's right) into Americana. Then Leader leads Follower do to counterclockwise molinete while he does a quick left foot enrosque to a left foot lapice, to a left foot parada on the open side of the embrace. Leader should rotate his chest the entire time he takes her around. She steps over with her right foot back out to resolution. Then we changed the ending, eliminating the Leader's left foot parada, and instead doing a Leader's left foot back sacada of the Follower's trailing right foot on her left foot forward (front cross) step. It was an OK class. The milonga itself was fun. It wasn't crowded, but it wasn't sparse either. It had a nice number of people so that we had lots of room to dance and floor craft was generally not a problem. There were significantly more Followers than Leaders, but the Leaders were all of the charming, social, community-building school, and it seemed like everyone had a good time and the all the Followers got to dance with reasonable regularity. It had been a while since I had gone to this milonga, and I really appreciated how Natasha has maintained the food quality and quantity throughout this economy. One new surprising thing that happened was as I left the milonga, the security guard made sure I made it to my car by escorting me to it half a block away. I felt very touched by this very nice thing that tango organizers are doing for us (hiring a security guard). This particular guard does the security at the following milongas: CELLspace (Wed), Verdi Club (Thur), Late Shift (Sat), Studio Gracia (Sun), so for the most part we are familiar faces to him (and some of us he knows by name).

At the milonga, one visiting couple from Calgary, Canada, commented on the high level of dancers. "Where are there beginners? Everyone here looks great!" I told them our area has many excellent local teachers, and also many excellent visiting maestros. They heartily agreed that it showed. :o) They were also impressed by how many lead-follow exchange couples they've seen on the dance floor during their visit to Bay Area milongas.

It should shape up to be a fun couple of weeks dancewise since it seems there are so many visitors to the area because of Nora's Tango Week and the Queer Tango Festival.

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