When I took up A.T and went to my first practicas and milongas I also began to count the number of dances I had, vaguely expecting that once some big, round number would be achieved (say, 1000 tandas) then I would know for sure that my days in beginner's hell are over.
After a while I stopped adding numbers, because there was nothing much to add. As a matter of fact I had forgotten the file until today, when I found this "practise.xls" in my c:\tango directory. I'll be giving it a try again.
Today's snapshot is 342:621(183)
number of milongas or practicas attended : number of tandas danced (with unknown ladies)
There are things that your hands can do on their own, without any help by the brain, which allows your mind to wander around. For instance, letting your hands drive your Hummer while your brain tries to figure whether you have enough beer left in the fridge.
And so, five minutes before the tango class, my hands were busy, managing my feet and entering them in my tango shoes while my mind was trying to remember what last week sequence was about. After a while though, my mind noticed that my hands, having finished with the left foot, now looked uncertain and puzzled, aimlessly fluttering around the right foot. "What's your problem, hands?" my mind thought. The problem was actually with the shoe. A nice, black, shiny tango shoe. But undoubtedly a left-foot
This is what happens when you have four pairs of tango shoes, all of them black, shiny and with heels, and all of them secured in separate bags but in the same closet. My mind came out with two unsatisfactory solutions:
- trying to enter by force the right foot into the shoe
- leaving the dance studio, and back home
Given a bit more time my mind would have found a third solution, namely attending the class in casual street shoes, but my hands suddenly felt something else in the shoe bag. Something with a heel, something which felt like a shoe! Here my mind was useful after all, for a little prayer to the pagan gods of tango. Hey, what if from the bag, comes another, third left-foot shoe
This day the pagan gods of tango were in good mood and what my hands found in the bag was a good, solid right-foot shoe. Thanks again.
I hopped from milonga to milonga yesterday, attending three on the same evening. Not because I'm suddenly liking milongas but by sense of duty.
The first one was given to help a couple of old teachers
(See the post)
who are having a hard time now as he never really recovered and can't teach any more. I duly paid and left after 20 minutes. Unknown faces, older people, messy dance-floor, indifferent music, nowhere to sit as it was crowded.
The second one was the place where my partner #4, the one who did not sign-up for any class this season, wanted to meet me to be shown all the great things I had - she figured - learned in October with my three other partners. Too bad she did not come, she would have been here for a surprise... (One pattern in one month!). Younger people, unknown faces again except two leaders who kept dancing all the time. One is good, and knows it. The other is bad, and doesn't know it. Being bad and knowing it is a less favourable combination, unfortunately for me.
I left after one hour, to attend a third milonga hosted by a couple of teachers with whom I learned at the beginning, and who announced two days ago that they'll split before the end of the year, so I wanted to be there for what might be their last milonga (and also to try and get additional info about the why, the how...). Here at last the faces were familiar, as we were all pupils or former pupils. Only couples or lone leaders though, and as midnight came I was contemplating the great achievement (even for me) of three milongas without one single dance, when the maestro came to me and asked me to invite a "gifted beginner" (six weeks of classes). I duly did, took all her corrections about my bad lead with a smile, and quickly left at the end of the tanda to reach a fourth milong... Well no, it was midnight, time for bed.