Spent the weekend at Valentango here in Portland, Oregon dancing my feet off. I love to see how much tango has grown in just the few short years I’ve been dancing. Looking at videos of festivals two years ago and the average level was almost laughable to what is regularly seen today. So many amazing dancers, so much quality. Expressive musicality is the norm it seems. Biagi like Biagi, Di Sarli like Di Sarli…they’re different and you can see it.
There are always a few people that ‘get away’ during festivals. People you’ve never danced with and want to, or friends you haven’t seen in a while. Its hard not to have some kind of list in your head for the weekend.
I remember at one of my earliest festivals, the tanda ended and I stood on the floor looking for someone specific, because you have the best overall view of the room from the middle of the floor. As my eyes scanned the perimeter, the biggest cabaceo I’d ever seen shot out at me…she looked like a sprung jack in the box with a huge smile. I couldn’t ignore it and be polite, so I accepted and we danced and…it was bad. It wasn’t bad for her dancing or mine, but, in retrospect it was clearly bad because I wanted to dance with someone else. That happened a few more times until I said to myself, “Self: Get the fuck off of the floor when the tanda’s over!” Rule #1
This weekend there was a few tandas where I was determined to find a particular person who inevitably was always sitting while I danced and became invisible during the cortina. I found myself standing on the floor looking in earnest and of course would make eye contact with someone I’d not intended on dancing with, politely said yes and not had fun. It took a few ‘bad’ tandas for me to remember: Ahhhhhh…stop looking.
There’s a great movie with Bill Pullman, “The Zero Effect“. In it the main character is the world’s most accomplished private investigator. It is narrated by the charater in a sort of journal form, describing his principles for his work. At one point he make a special note about finding things. “When you’re looking for something specific, of all the things in the world, you’re looking for only one thing. Your chances of finding it aren’t very good. But if you’re looking for anything, then of all the things in the world, it could be many things. And your changes of finding it are very good.” Rule #2
I love that. I remembered that, let go of finding that specific woman and just enjoyed myself and lo, I had a great night again!
+ in other news:
For those of you that don’t know, I’ll be moving back to Houston come April. I’ve loved my time in Oregon and will be visiting many times a year. Look out for workshops in tango + yoga!