Charleston Workshop Part II
Continuing from last week’s post, we left off on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday is the biggest day in workshops. There are usually 2-3 workshops during the day and a big milonga at night. During workshops, it is important to mingle and make connections with other people in other communities. The Charlestonians I met this weekend were very helpful in providing feedback at the practicas (a dance setting where it is okay to receive instruction).
Let’s move fast-forward to Saturday night, the biggest milonga of the weekend. When I first entered the room, I noticed all the women’s shoes. Some women wear very high heels, some wear a shorter heel. As a beginner and a tall person, I resorted to a shorter heel to start off with. I like having something to work towards and that is the ability to wear a higher heel at milongas. When I took my seat, I looked around to see if I could catch a leader’s glimpse. I matched eyes with a gentleman that was smart beyond compare and had been doing tango for about 10 years (and he was from my favorite community). I always get intimidated whenever I dance with a skilled dancer, but before I start dancing, I breathe. I breathe and melt into my partner. This is what I learned from Alicia Pons—the embrace. Leaders will tell you that they can tell it’s going to be a good tanda based on the embrace. I tend to think that having a good embrace in the beginning serves as good luck and provides confidence. Confidence- a tough thing to have as a beginner. But when you do start having confidence and believe in yourself, it seems as though you start progressing faster. As Helen Keller would say “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” I ended the tanda feeling vibrant and the night continued. You will have good and bad tandas at every milonga. But that’s ok. Because with the bad you learn your weaknesses, and when you can see where you lack you can start improving more. “There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.”- Aldous Huxley
So by the end of the weekend, I took a wealth of knowledge from one of the best maestros and maestras in tango. I will continue to go to their workshops in the years to come whenever they are in the area.
Until next time, live, breathe, and tango on xoxo Liz