A good week

On Monday I proclaimed I was on a roll. Things were going well and could only keep getting better. I walked up Av. Scalabrini Ortiz on Monday night to Salón Canning feeling cocky and pretty damn pleased with myself.

Expecting that it might be busy because of the bicentenary holiday weekend I had telephoned and made a reservation. When I arrived the host gave me a front row seat, although it was in a corner so not as good as it could have been. By about 00:30 the place was full, the first time I’ve seen it that busy since I arrived in April. There were lots of porteños and long term visitors in, very few obvious tourists. For the first 2 hours or so I had a really good time, my cabeceos were accepted and I danced reasonably well. The floor was never less than very crowded. There was the obligatory demonstration dance followed by the singing of the national anthem.

And then it was like someone had dropped Harry Potter’s cloak of invisibility over me. After a couple of hours with no dancing I gave up and left.

I didn’t go out to dance on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday nights. On Wednesday I went to El Beso. It was a very quiet night, only about 50 people with a slight excess of leaders. It wasn’t a good night for me. I danced one tanda and then most of the rest of the night became an exercise in frustration. I danced just 3 tandas in total.

My private lesson on Thursday with Maya went well. Lots more milonga and a little bit of tango.

On Saturday night I went to Los Consagrados again. I arrived just after 7pm and was given a second row seat half way down the leaders side of the floor. The guy in front of me left before 8pm so I effectively had a front row seat for most of the night. In contrast to Wednesday night I danced almost every tanda. In the 4 hours from 7pm until 11pm I think I sat out about 3 tandas, in each case through choice. I even danced a reasonable milonga tanda which included my favourite “la milonga que faltaba”. A certain person will be delighted!

In other news, I had a little sight-seeing outing on Wednesday to Calle Lanin. In the Barracas barrio of Buenos Aires, Calle Lanin is a short street where the house fronts have been decorated with tile mosaics. They’re quite colourful but not really in the same league as Caminito in Boca. Or maybe they’re just in a different league. There are some pictures in my sightseeing and Calle Lanin sets at Flickr.

Most remarkable of all this week, I actually made a little bit of an effort on the castellano front. It’s somewhat overdue since I’m nearly 2 months in and only have 4 months left here, but better late than never.

So overall, a good week. 

It’s a bank holiday weekend in the UK and the start of half-term. True to form the weather there wasn’t brilliant today. The forecasters predict better for Sunday and Monday, so for my friends back in the UK I hope they’re right.

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2 Responses to “A good week”

  1. jantango says:

    Wednesday at El Beso is listed as a milonga, but it is so short–10,30 to 2–after the class that it is a practica for the students. If you aren't one of them, you are invisible.

    The real milonga is Lujos on Thursday from 6 to 12,30 when milongueros are there to dance. Your patience will be tested even more, but at least you can observe the best while wearing a cloak of invisibility. It takes time become a familiar face in town. Knowing the language certainly helps. Observation will do more to improve your dancing than private classes.

  2. Mark says:

    Hi Janis, thanks for the comment and advice. I was at El Beso on Thursday a couple of weeks ago. Unsurprisingly I had a less than ideal seat in the corner but did actually dance a reasonable number of tandas. After a couple of months I hope I'm starting to become a familiar face in a couple of places. But for most nights of the week I haven't worked out which is my regular milonga yet. One thing's for sure; I won't bother with El Beso on a Tuesday again either. There were less than 40 people there last night and I danced just 1 tanda.

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