I truly believe that, with tango, there are times when you are tired but just need to grab your things and get to the milonga. Those are the times when the milonga will energize you. But there are other times when you are tired and need to listen to your body, when you have nothing to give and won’t be able to truly be present in the milonga.

I had both experiences yesterday.

I was tired before the alternative milonga, but I grabbed my shoes and headed over (with some coaxing) and had a blast! Our DJ was fabulous. I saw some people who I don’t think I had seen since last year’s festival, and the connection was great. I had two tandas of bliss, with the sort of gentle lead and playful torso and musicality that had me smiling the whole time. I enjoyed myself to the end. I love how alternative milongas can be permission to be fun and silly and playful, how they encourage different sorts of rhythmic play. (They can also lead to navigational nightmares, and I’m glad I missed the most busy point in the milonga.)

Then I was tired again before the evening milonga. This was the I-need-to-sleep, I-can-hardly-move-my-muscles kind of tired. But I pulled myself up and got dressed in the clothes and shoes I thought would most help me get in a dancing mood. As soon as I arrived, I knew it was a mistake. I could not put my heart into it. I wanted to cry – here I am, in this place with wonderful people and beautiful music and my favorite dance, and I can’t get myself to really be here. Shortly after I walked off the floor of my first and only dance of the night, I was called away to deal with organizational issues. And there it is. I am dreading all of today’s events because of these same organizational issues. These are the issues that are making me stressed, keeping me tired when I should be energized. I am struggling to enjoy this fabulous weekend because of it.

Where is my tango? I hope I will find it again at the last milonga, the one where I can just lose myself for hours on end.