I think it was two years ago that I first went to Nearby City with tango friends to dance over New Year's.
(...Yes, I think it must have been, because last year I spent New Year's home with a disgusting cold, watching a marathon of The Thin Man movies on TV. At least someone in the house was terribly glamorous and witty and jet-setting, even if it was only the people on the screen!)
That year, the dancing on the Eve was not so good for me. It was a rowdy, mostly open-embrace group, and I didn't dance much. But I got to know my traveling companions better, I replaced my worn-out black winter coat with a beautiful red one (opening my mind to the idea that black was not the only choice for my winter outerwear), and the seeds of my eventual trip to Buenos Aires were planted with the encouragement of a friend--because the dancing at a different milonga, on New Year's Day, was marvelous. I had as many dances as I could handle with partners new and old, who remain some of my favorites in the area.
It was all strangely echoed this year. Again, the milonga on New Year's Eve was not a good one for me (for reasons beyond just the prevailing dance style, but let's skim over that). It was too viciously cold for my pretty red coat--had to wear the heavier long one (which, by the way, is also not black; yay, colors!)--but I wore my rather stunning red dress, so at least I looked quite fabulous, in spite of the difficult night.
(It has been said before by others, but apparently it always bears saying again... Gentlemen, when you are dancing with a lady at a social event--not at a class or a practica, where one is seeking to learn new things and practice the things that give one trouble--and she has difficulty with a particular step, it is good manners and considerate dancing not to keep repeating that step as though you are hoping she'll have a sudden breakthrough if you just do it again and again. She might, I suppose; she may be able to identify and correct the problem without help--if it really is a problem with her following ... But more likely she will find herself deeply embarrassed in public, when in fact she may be a very competent dancer, at an event where everyone's main concern should only be to enjoy themselves with lovely dances.
(I may write more about this later, because this is, unfortunately, also something that appears to repeat itself, with different partners and who-can-predict which steps. Also, I have some thoughts on the felicitous organization of special events at a milonga. But anyway.)
I was daunted to the point of considering staying home the next night, but I'm pretty stubborn and generally a believer in getting back up on the horse (or, in this case, the milonga) that threw you--and, besides, I knew this one was under the charge of different organizers, the same pair who had run the one that had gone so well for me two years ago, so I hoped it would again be better.
And it was. Once again, I had almost as many dances as I could handle from a number of lovely partners who, once again, made me feel wonderfully welcome. By the time I left, I was limping on tired, happy feet.
To anyone who may read this, I wish you a warm and lovely new year--with lots of beautiful dances!
Overcharging tourists is nothing new - The cost of admission to milongas increases once or twice a year without fail. About twelve years ago, there was one milonga charging a higher entrada to ...
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