I had a fabulous time in Phoenix!
I want to send a huge thank you to our host for the weekend, the various milonga organizers, and all of the dancers who made us both feel incredibly welcome. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and I immediately found myself talking with leaders and followers alike, getting many lovely dances, and exchanging contact information before we left.
We arrived Thursday evening for the milonga at Layalena Restaurant in Tempe. First off, come early for a very tasty dinner! I had chicken and steak kabobs, yum. Murat and Michelle had just come into the area (headed up to Flagstaff the next day), so we had dinner with them. They also performed later in the evening – I love their style and musicality! I got to hear snippets of the evening’s music on the way over, so it was great to hear it all again in full and see the energy at the milonga. I saw some people I had met and danced with before, which was a nice surprise.
On Saturday we went out again, this time to the milonga at Dance FX. What a great space! The floor was very nice and big, with windows all along three of the walls. It felt open and airy. They had a raffle, and I managed to win a bottle of Malena wine – a very tango-appropriate wine (and from one of my favorite places in the world!). I was meant to be there.
We had to go home yesterday, but we decided to stick around for the Sunday afternoon milonga at Inza Coffee in Scottsdale. A very relaxed, casual place – perfect for the middle of a weekend afternoon. (Why don’t we have a regular afternoon milonga at home?) I was planning on leaving early to get home at a reasonable hour, but since when have I ever stuck to plans like those? As usual, I stayed until the end. By the third milonga of the weekend, I recognized many faces and was having a lot of fun.
It was so refreshing to get out and dance somewhere else. (Not to mention getting out of town and being able to relax, go with the flow, have fun and enjoy myself in general!) I love my local scene, but to be able to spend a weekend with entirely different dancers, different milongas … it’s exciting! And it makes me look forward even more to seeing my usual leaders and catching up on what I missed here. I was incredibly flattered by the compliments in Phoenix – many people who were surprised that I had only been dancing for a year and who invited me to dance at each milonga. I also had a very fun time aside from dancing – seeing Taliesin West, going out to Canyon Lake on the Apache Trail, seeing a beautiful new baby, eating great organic mostly-vegetarian Persian food, having late-night chats over wine and champagne … it was quite a trip.