Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A (tango) journey of a thousand li begins with a forward ocho...

How time flies!

I have been in Buenos Aires for eight days now and it feels as if I have just arrived. In many other ways, though, I have learnt so much, and, yet, not enough. I've been taking many lessons in two tango styles: traditional (milonga) and tango nueva and have been trying to figure out which one I liked more. I think I have an inkling, but, to be honest, when you nail it, everything feels good.

Like yesterday.

I had a lesson with Cherie and Ruben in the morning in the traditional style and, after a short period of stumbling and uncertainty brought on by Monday's inability to get the forward walk, everything fell into place. I could do the ocho basica, ocho cortado, changes in rhythm, and, most of all, stopped thinking and started listening to the man and to the music. It was awesome, and, as Cherie put it, I was knocking them out of the park!

Of course, I still made mistakes. I'm kind of okay with that, as, face it, if I were perfect, I wouldn't be doing this, would I? That's the whole point of learning!

After that, I had my tango nueva lesson at DNI and I was really worried I'd get things mixed up. As it turns out, some things became clearer in my mind. The posture is broadly similar, with my centre being forward, while my back is out and in a straight line (no arch), but the walks are so different! In the traditional style, the heel hardly ever comes down. In tango nueva, the heel is almost always down. I am still struggling with that a little, having been born and bred in the "ball of the feet" school of dance, but I am getting there!

Anyway, at the practica, my partner said I was much improved from Saturday when I first came in. My axis was good, I wasn't tense and my frame was... Well, it still needs work but he told me he had to work on his frame for a year when he started, so I shouldn't be discouraged.

And the dancing was great! I felt it too!

After that, I decided to go out to a milonga by myself. I had one dance all night, but, it's a start and I am getting to try out different leads and all that, so I felt like I was on fire, and... Yes, I think I really am getting hooked!

I should have known as, when I was walking around Boedo yesterday, having got to my lesson venue a little early, I thought to myself, "I would love to explore this place more next time." I'm already thinking of my next trip back!

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