Thursday, March 3, 2011

February 24 - March 2

Sunday, February 27, 2011
Free Practica at Bollyhood.
On a whim, I decided to go to this since I had heard that it was very popular -- "The place to be" on Sunday afternoon. So after a very full morning of hiking, getting a cut from my Toni and Guy trained stylist, delicious lunch surrounded by the gorgeous men of the Castro at Curry Boyzz (where the Rasamalai is divine), I decided to make my way over since it was only about a five-minute drive away. The parking gods must have been smiling on me, because I found an easy spot a mere half block away. When I got to Bollyhood, the "practica" was in full swing. It was packed, though rumor has it that it was less packed than in previous weeks. If that's the case, then Glenn has a nice little thing going on here. In fact, at one point he said "Hey, this is a practica but nobody is practicing. Everyone looks like they are dancing." Then Mayumi piped in "We are practicing dancing in the line of dance." Everyone cracked up. The mood was light, casual and relaxed. It was cold outside, but extremely warm and humid inside because of all the moving bodies. If you ask me, I think Glenn should charge admission ($5), rename the practica a milonga, and take it to 5:00 p.m., and that Bollyhood should strictly adhere to Business & Professions Code section 25665, lest run the risk of a visit/suspension/fines/or worse from ABC minions.

Cafe Cocomo Milonga with lesson beforehand by Santiago Croce and Amy Lincoln. I missed the class, though I should have made more of an effort to attend it since it was the same entry fee ($20) regardless of whether or not one took the lesson on this night. It looked like a fun lesson with walking, changing from inside to outside, a calesita with Follower foot forward adornment, to pivot around to stop in a Leader parada, for her to have time to do some type of adorno before her pasada. Word on the madera earlier in the day at Bollyhood was that Cafe Cocomo was the place to be later on that night, and they were certainly right. Cafe Cocomo was packed. Milonga floorcraft was difficult because of the crowded condition, but the Leaders did a reasonable job keeping things safe and not too bumpy or jostley, and the Followers were reasonably sane about not doing any high or crazy boleos. Santiago and Amy later did two demo dances, along with Gato y Andrea, and Facundo y Christy, the first with their usual partners, and the second with different partners. There was a tres leches cake for Fernando's birthday, and a birthday vals for all the February babies, which seemed a bit unruly with so many people walking on and off the dance floor, but very festive in its inclusivity. Seth Asarnow y Su Sexteto Tipoco played well, as usual. I only stayed for one set though, as I started to bonk and didn't feel like eating Tres Leche cake and artisanal cheese to alleviate it. Plus I had already had my fill of many excellent tandas, including a milonga one with "Who's Jay?", who, lucky for us San Francisco tangueras, decided to be at Cafe Cocomo instead of Alberto's, more in his neck of the woods on this particular Sunday night. Unfortunately, I had to miss the second Seth Sexteto set. The milonga was taken an hour later, so it ended at 1:00 a.m. instead of the usual midnight.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011
CellSpace ALT milonga with lesson beforehand by Jenny and Tatum Nolan.
The lesson was a good one, and with more Leaders than Followers in both the Intermediate and Beginner classes, it was lucky that this intermediate lesson focused on the Leader side of things. We worked on going into and out of cross and parallel system walking, using either an extra step or one less step, going inside and outside partner. We did lots of drills. Then we turned it so that the Leader does a left foot front cross step, right foot side step, left foot front cross step, etc., while the Follower does a series of back ochos, the effect of which the Leader walks around the Follower. It concluded with the Leader freeing the right foot of the Follower, and then leading it to hook back cross against her left foot, and the left foot coming forward and out around to the left side to step back. It was a good lesson. The milonga was fun since it was well attended enough for most people to have a good time. Though it was full, it was not obnoxiously crowded. The Followers were happily kept busy by the ample Leaders. Floorcraft could have been better, but it wasn't horrible. Tolga and Mix Mistress Z did a fine job spinning with a focus on international alt tunes in between the traditional tandas.

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