Thursday, September 2, 2010

August 19 - September 1

Friday, August 20, 2010
MUSE Milonga at City Dance Annex, with lesson beforehand by David & Mariana.
I sat out the lesson since it was otherwise perfectly balanced with Leaders and Followers. The topic focused on the back volcada with a forward step for Follower, and also included the no-hip rotation tight back cross step with no lean (they called this a mini volcada but there was no off-axis to it). The lesson was good. The milonga was fantastic. It was more crowded than it had been, and the Leader quality was excellent. Maestros were very good sports, spending a little while social dancing with us all. Jr. Scout Extraordinaire was there, and she gave me a very nice present (a way cool kitchen toy...oops. I mean tool). I was planning on leaving before the last milonga tanda, but Mix Mistress Z, who did a fine job spinning the tunes, and Jose convinced me to stay to dance with a local tanguero (they called him "milonguero" -- but I respectfully beg to differ...). We did, and were rewarded with applause. So I guess that was my YouTube moment (though no one was filming). The Leaders were all incredibly charming, and I got three offers of walks back to my car at the end of the evening. :o) I accepted from El Jefe. It was a really fantastic evening. I totally believe in this milonga and want it to be a success, so I will be volunteering for it in the future.

Sunday, August 22, 2010
Gabriel Misse y Natalia Hills workshops @ Alberto's.
They were good lessons (on technique and figures in close embrace). Gabriel Misse is an excellent teacher on the Leader side of the equation. I just totally flaked on my notes.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Negracha y Diego Milonga Argentina @ Lake Merritt Dance Center…sort of… Parking was very difficult (meaning I had to park a whopping one block away) since there were four different dance events at the Lake Merritt Dance Center on this night. Walking into the facility, I saw the schedule of events, and could not resist checking them all out. Event No. 1.: Ballroom dance party in the main gorgeous ballroom with mostly seniors. Event No. 2.: The Smokin’ Hot Lesbian fundraiser dance for the Humane Society with mostly smokin’ hot lesbians. Event No. 3.: The very crowded Salsa party hosted by (and lesson taught by) Juan. Event No. 4.: Negracha y Diego’s milonga. As much as I adore Negracha y Diego, when I arrived around 9:30 p.m., there were significantly more followers than leaders at their milonga. So rather than warm the bench for a good part of the night, I decided to go to the other LMDC event that tickled my fancy the most. And that event was…drum roll please…the ballroom dance party with mostly seniors (though I was sorely tempted by the Smokin' Hot Lesbian party)! I think they, too, were a little shocked that I decided to go to their party. Unfortunately, I only had my insensibly-high-for-ballroom tango stilettos, but I decided to give it a go anyway. The leaders took it easy on me, since I prefaced nearly every dance with a new leader with the disclosure that my ballroom was quite rusty. They were all super nice and understanding. I had an excellent time. It was a very strange sensation, which is always how I feel when I dance at other social partner dances, where we are done after one song. It seems almost uncivilized, like we can’t wait to get away from each other after one song, starkly in contrast to spending an entire tanda with one person and getting to know them on a dance level during that time. There was also this almost sort of personal mental anguish with trying to reach back into the far crevices of my brain, trying to remember how to dance nightclub two-step, rumba, and fox trot. Thank God they didn’t play any Quick Step, because I would have messed that up for sure (even though I used to be decent at Quick Step). My East Cost Swing and Waltz are still respectable, and thankfully, the live band played quite a few of them. But all too soon, the night was over (the ballroom dance party goes from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.). After that, I decided to make my way back upstairs to peek in at Negracha y Diego’s milonga. I saw the last 3 seconds of a milonga performance by visiting maestros Tomas Galvan & Gimena Herrera, which looked good. I decided not to join in on the fun of the milonga though since there were still substantially more Followers than Leaders. And quite frankly, I was mentally and physically exhausted from trying to remember all the ballroom dances, and dancing them in insensibly high shoes. The thought crossed my mind to stop in at Tango Magdelana, where the milonga was scheduled to go to 3:00 a.m., but I just kept driving on Grand Avenue, and back onto the freeway as soon as I saw the theatre.

Come Join Me!

September 3 - MUSE milonga @ City Dance Annex. I'll be at the door. :o)

What am I excited about these days?

September 11 workshop with Gabriela Condrea. 4-hour workshop on Learn to Listen, Learn to Play, for the bargain price of $25 prepaid. Location TBA. I have no idea who she is (other than what's on her web site), but what excites me is that she is a Dinzelito!!! Those few group privates I had with Los Dinzel in 2007 completely changed the way I danced. And they were the ones who started me on my note-taking tango journey. :o) I am hopeful that Gabriela will teach something along the lines of what Los Dinzel teach, and in their style of teaching.

Here's what the listing says:

Improvisation in Argentine Tango
Level: Intermediate-Advanced

Feel rather than think, see possibilities rather than sequences, seize each moment of every tango, and play. This workshop will help you leave your plans behind you and focus on the moment before you - on yourself and your partner and the conversation that is tango that you create together. LEARN to LISTEN to each other; LEARN to PLAY.

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