There is nothing quite like walking into a milonga and having people cheer. Even if it is just because there is a follower shortage and you came without a leader.
Last night was night #1 of potentially four nights of tango. I am not complaining! I danced with only a handful of leaders, but it was a pleasant night. I got a lesson in second chances: I had been avoiding a leader because of what was an awful first encounter (on my end, don’t know what he thought about it). I wasn’t sure what to think when other followers whose opinions I respect said that they enjoyed dancing with him.
Because the numbers were relatively small last night, I ended up accepting a tanda with this leader. My biggest complaint before was his forceful lead. You know the situation: His right arm grips you tight and carries you where he wants you, sometimes pulling you off balance or not giving you the time to do what he seems to be asking of you. I felt that again last night, but somehow the dancing went much smoother. I relaxed a bit and played into the kind of big, showy dancing that he seems to prefer. And I had fun! I still don’t think I would choose him over other leaders I enjoy, but if I am in the right mood and have an open floor …
I also had some excellent dances with one of my favorite leaders. He was trying some new things that turned out quite nicely after making some initial adjustments. I like leaders who will experiment and play while we dance, while not making the entire dance feel like a test or game. Just throwing in something new to see how it goes, without giving up the overall musicality and mood. I also overheard someone making surprised and impressed remarks about a volcada we did.
The volcada in question came straight from a class with Homer and Cristina Ladas. Instead of the follower tracing a circle on the floor, the follower is lead to slide her foot straight out to the side and then back again (in this instance, into a cross). It has this wonderful rubber-bandy feeling. It is a kind of volcada that most people forgot after that workshop, but this leader still does it with me. Sparingly, with musicality, in tune with his style. I love it. Look at about 1:26 in this video to see what I am talking about:
Incidentally, if you look carefully you can see me in this video! 😉
Also, I apologize for not talking about the conditioning class I mentioned in my last post. I ended up not making it – a combination of not being able to make it somewhere so soon after work and also being just plain lazy. Maybe next week?