Journal 8 - December 28

Only 2 more days left on my trip...! More and more, I want to stay here to try things and work on my tango. I'm finally starting to see things!

Yesterday, I went to the Tango Brujo class with Michael. Gaston and Mariella were teaching the class. It was a class on a colgada where the lady's hips are facing outside. We started with this "trust" excercise. One person in the middle, and they fall, where the people surrounding him/her will catch and pass on to the other. It got us laughing and was a sort of fun game to play. Then we worked on the actual colgada. I've never really taken classes in colgadas and it's always been my weakness. During my trip so far, I've had different inputs about my colgadas, and they've widened my view on it. I guess there are different school of thoughts about this. The advice given from Gaston were, my axis foot direction, my own support in the embrace, and lifting up on the torso. I think it did help me a little. My views were to lower myself and it might have been making me too heavy. I'll have to experiment with different dancers. Since it was last class of the year, we got some sidra in the end. I think I've drunk sidra in different locations 3/4 times for the year end! :) It was a good class, I'll be sure to take some of the classes here next time I come here.

After class Michael and I stopped by an all you can eat parilla place in Abasto. It's 14 pesos per person, and there is a salad bar, dessert bar, and parilla. Oh boy--! We got 6/7 different kinds of meat to split, to try things out. Usually we would only order 1 portion of meat if we go to Parillas. Since we were 2 foreigners without much experience in eating all these different meats, we thought we'd give it a try at this all you can eat. So... by the time we finished eating, I think I had the most meat I've ever had...?! Normally I don't eat too much meat in LA. The good thing was that they're only seasoned by salt and therefore digests pretty well.

I left with a big bulge in my stomach and headed to Club Atletico de Fernandez Fierro on Sanchez de Bustamante in Abasto area. I met up with Dom who plays Bandoneon. This club was happening 2 years ago, and they had stopped it for awhile. It was back up again. The place is sort of like a big storage kind of place?? They had changed the setting inside a bit. It was packed with people!! I guess since it was their last performance of the year at their club. We stood in a somewhat aisle like place near the wall and watched them perform. It was an experience. I loved them back 2 years ago. Since then, they changed a big part of their members. They still had the rough/raw/passionate sound, but it was more round and whole now. I like them better now. It was amazing to see all 4 bandoneons breathing together. It was like the whole orchestra was breathing like a big passionate being. The sound stretches and bends and cuts sharp, unlike many orchestras that play on beat. I loved it. I got totally swept away by their strong wave of sound. I got a CD on the way out, can't wait to listen to it!!

After that, I stood at Cordoba to catch a bus. It was very chilly! I was wearing a tank and got goose bumps. It was as cold as LA would be on warmer nights in December. I got on the bus and watched the cross streets so I can jump off at Armenia. I successfully got off at the right bus stop and headed to La Viruta. It was Wednesday, so it is only a practica at La Viruta (which is really good) and ends a bit earlier. So at 1am when I arrived, the place was already filled with people. I didn't know where to sit so I was walking around the whole room when I bumped into Sergio (the beginner that I danced with last night in Caning, who's only been dancing since March) who invited me to sit at their table. I was glad to catch a table. It's not really comfortable sitting in La Viruta alone. I started dancing with Sergio, who danced really nice, like I've mentioned. He's a beginner but he listens very well to the music and his embrace is comfortable. The most important elements to dance the tango. I then danced with Damian, and then Michael. Now Michael is a very interesting dancer and I really enjoy dancing with him. He's very musical and is very flexible in his steps. They're not one way, and it's always different, and very creative- sometimes to the point where I almost forget that I'm doing tango? ;) But it's so much fun!!! We danced some and then decided to dance with others. I danced with someone who lead very very very softly and smoothly. I don't think I've danced with someone who lead so soft but very precisely. Then I danced a set of milongas with a milonguero. Then in the end, I danced with Gaby who does the Villa Malcolm practica. The last trip when I danced with Gaby, I had problems dancing with him because I wasn't used to dancing open. This time, things were different, and I very much enjoyed the dance! I was surprised to see that I had gotten better and was now able to dance with him in open. Lots of different sacadas and change of directions, he was swift and took long steps. He also gave me some more inputs on my colgadas...!

My feet hurt so I headed home around 4. It was a fun night, I got my tango fix.

Today I woke up and came to Callao Corrientes area. I went to Havanna cafe for my breakfast; licuado, ciabatella sandwich, alfajores. Havanna definitely has the best alfajores! I need to get some before I leave! Then I went to Neo Tango to see if they can fix my shoes so I don't bruise myself on the inner arch. I found out that they couldn't fix it but they told me that I should stop by a zapateria down the street. I left my shoes there, and then headed to Zivals the tango music store on the corner of Callao and Corrientes. I ended up staying there for about an hour listening to this music and that. I've gotten 9 CDs, some nuevo, some of cantantes, and 1 of pugliese collection...! Yey! I'm happy! More to listen to while stuck in LA traffic!

Now, I'll be heading to the zapateria to try if the alterations on the shoes are working, and then I'll head home to get ready to go to dinner with Vanessa (who came back into town! Yey!), Corina, and Fabian if he can make it after he finishes teaching. We'll then head straight to dancing!! Another tango night to come! ;)