That was the first time I think I've ever danced with any degree of success to alternative music. Dancing to things other than classic dance tangos just usually doesn't feel right to me, somehow--like that music, and the movements of tango, don't complement each other.
Plus, with the unpredictability of a lot of alternative music, and the fact that I have a really hard time executing a lot of the big, showy moves that people like to do to this music (volcadas, my bane! I think I've only ever done a volcada right once or twice so far in my tango life), and especially in slow motion, the way it often seems to go, it takes a really good, sensitive leader for me to be able to dance even [something akin to] comfortably to it.
So I normally avoid it very carefully. But this time, when one of my favorite partners bounded over to me immediately when he arrived, and asked me to dance, I didn't even seem to realize it was a non-traditional tanda. I didn't think at all. I just laughed and said "Of course!" And off we went!
And somehow it worked. Probably we've both improved since the last time I danced to non-traditional music, with him or with anyone. And I've been dancing more with him lately than I had in a while, so maybe he has a better feel for what I can and can't do.
(But hope does indeed spring eternal--he tried a few volcadas, in spite of all my past incompetence at them. I think I may have managed one of them a little less horribly than usual, though. Maybe this is like a measuring tool for him--he'll know he can lead volcadas really well when he can finally lead me successfully in one.)
All in all, it was surprisingly good. I was pleased with his leading and my following, and our combined musicality. And since it seemed like making progress at overcoming what has been a serious block for me, it was satisfying even beyond the level of an ordinary good dance. I still don't think I'll be doing a lot of this, or with just any partner, but maybe I won't avoid it so assiduously in the future.
There is definitely a lesson here for me, with other recent pleasant surprises... Amazing what can happen when you give it a chance to, no?
Which is your technique — gazing or staring? - Over the years, several milongueros viejos have told me how important subtlety was when inviting a woman to dance if she refused him by looking in another ...
3 weeks ago