Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Connection & Musicality

The last workshop at Portland was with Murat and Michelle. He walked us through the pause, that chance in the music to reconnect. This put in to words what I felt when I danced in Argentina. It is an unbelievable thing to watch an entire floor dance together. Collisions are few and far between as the dancers hear the music and dance to it. Together. The pause is just that, the pause. Collect with feet together, ocho cortado, the cross. All are ways to reconnect with both your partner and the dance floor.

I've mentioned it before, but here in Victoria, we are in a race to get to the end of the dance first. We rush through moves, don't hear the melody of the music, only the rhythm—beat, beat, beat we move. Pause and listen and you hear a room of people. You hear the underlying melody of unity. Unity to each other, to the dance, to your partner and back out again. It builds an intense energy in a room. No longer are you dancing your own little dance in your own little world, you are dancing everyone's dance. You breathe in the synergy and it builds and builds and builds.

How do I bring this home without offending anyone? How do I tell my leads (including the wonderful dancers) to wait, to breathe in the pause. How to you create a room of such synergy? Once it starts, it will look after itself. But how to start it. Guess I'm going to have to learn to lead.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Portland Tango Festival

Ah, we are in Portland. Denise and I picked up Homi in Sidney and drove down on Thursday. The weather wasn't bad, but the wind around Seattle created an interesting driving experience. We pulled one of those quick changes once we arrived and headed straight to the milonga, which was already in progress. Fashionably late. Not that any one else would notice as so many others were as well. Both fashionable and late that is!

We would have danced until the bitter end, but I was pretty tired from driving, so we left at about 1:30 (close enough, eh!). Saturday was a workshop day. The first two were decent. I am back to hunching my shoulders again, something I had stopped doing after my first private lesson with Eduardo. I already sensed that I was doing it again, but to have the instructor point it out just reminded me.

The third workshop was a bust. The instructor was showing how to make linear moves into circular moves, something I'd learned with both Eduardo and Julio Balmaceda. He had so little "presence" compared to the first two. It could be the fact that he knew no English, and his assistant was one of those "put together" women that don't laugh much.

From workshops, Denise and I went to the afternoon practica. We met up with Gord and Alva and were invited for dinner. We were finalizing arrangements when Hans and Wendy showed up. There wasn't enough room in Gord's car for all of us, so we started walking up the street to pick up Hans's vehicle. And ran into Kitty, Vanessa and Dean. So we went for dinner with them instead.

The evening milonga was wonderful. Again, the bodies were fashionable and we were late. Ah, the dancing. When I wasn't dancing, watching all the beautiful footwork (and footwear) made the time pass very quickly. I danced with Richard from Seattle. Another one of those fleeting tango moments.

Connection. It is the heart of this dance. The last tangasm was with Valentine from New York. These moments are getting fewer and farther between. I'm closing off parts of myself so the ache inside isn't so bad, but after this I know I need a partner. There has to be the ability at home to dance regularly with a lead you connect with. I wonder if any of those young, attractive, dynamic dancers would be willing to come home with me? Hum, guess not. But I did find a pair of shoes willing to come home with me!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Novels and Such

I got the following email on Sunday:

Subject: An email from your imagination

We got this email today from your imagination. It was misaddressed to us, so we're sending it along to you. We hope it finds you well.

-----Original Message-----


This is your imagination. I know work, school, and general craziness have been keeping us apart lately. But there's something we need to do together this November.

It's called National Novel Writing Month. For it, we'll bash out a 50,000-word novel, from scratch, in 30 days. You and me. Writing a book. Together.

I need you to sign us up. Because I don't have any arms.


Your imagination

Apparently last year before heading to Argentina I was thinking of writing a book. I'd heard about NaNoWriMo before and must have signed up for it. And forgot about it. For a year. Aren't reminder emails wonderful. Just think, I could have gone on forever with my dancing and my quilting and never written that book. Writing is on my list of "things I've done in the past". Kind of like art.

It would be easy to ignore this, after all my life is very busy right now. I dance, am part of the Tango Pacifico board and all that includes and have a deadline for an art quilt in the middle of November. So I signed up for it. And told people at work I'm writing a book in November. Insert eye rolls and laughter here! OMG, I signed up online to write a novel in November. What AM I thinking! Good thing I'm not going to Argentina this year after all.

Portland Tango Festival

Eleven of us are heading to Portland this weekend. It will take us four vehicles and a train to do it, but I'm sure we will all arrive safely. Unlike everyone else, I'm going to combine pleasure with more pleasure and fabric shop as well. Portland has Fabric Depot, more than an acre of great fabric all in one place. I hope my car is big enough to bring it all back! There is also a showing of Gees Bend quilts that I'm hoping to be able to see as well.

Of course, with all the tango workshops, I might get distracted and forget fabric and wear my feet out instead. Ooh, guess I need to figure out which shoes to bring. Green, check. Zebra, check. Red? Hum, the Lolo Gerard are starting to feel a bit loose, but that might be okay and I always forget about the Tango Brujo custom made. A spin with them on the dance floor last night reminded me of how comfortable they are. Hum, I might not have room for the fabric because of the shoes.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


I had an epiphany yesterday. It was a bit awkward though, as a little old man in Starbucks said "Don't look so sad, it can't be that bad" and I started to cry. In public. I never cry and certainly not in public, so I practically ran to my car. No kleenex anywhere, not in my purse, my coat, the glove compartment. Thank God for shirt sleeves.

The night before Elizabeth had commented to me in passing that her dad and I still talked about one another the same way, were still so bitter. When I started to tell her I wasn't bitter, she snapped "You're not bitter, I get it. I get it," and walked away. Pondering this I couldn't help but wonder if I was still bitter.

The next morning in Starbucks, I was sitting and contemplating how frustrating it is to be thought to have said or done things that you didn't. How hurtful to have someone you care about accuse you of saying things you didn't say.

The breakup of my marriage was a horrible thing. Steph accused her father of sexual abuse, and social services removed him from the home. It took about that long for them to do it too. I heard later from my neighbour that he was telling everyone that Steph and I concocted the scheme in order to get him out of the house. His jump in logic was that because I was sexually abused I'd coached her on what to say to make the accusation stick. Six years later, and that still hurts. Deeply. Painfully. The result of this kind of branding is to try to encase my heart in ice. It was easier to appear bitter and angry than to hurt that much.

I've been a "victim" in the past. Been there, done that, burnt the t-shirt. So here it is, happening again in my life from yet another source. OMG, stop with trying to make me a scapegoat. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a couple of t-shirts I need to go burn.