Journal 2: August 22, 2013

Day 2~3: So we were able to reunite with Tomas and Gimena again last night! Our amazing friends and mentors, who we missed so much after they left LA. We got a quick coaching to prepare for competition and went out to a nice Parilla dinner. Like old times with passionate talk about tango and just hanging out. Good times! We decided against going out to a milonga since we were quite exhausted and needed to get some rest.

We woke up this morning at 9am, which is 6am Los Angeles time. Too early for tangueros! With bodies half asleep we arrived to compete for the 2nd day of stage preliminaries. Today, at least, we were more prepared. Competition requires physical preparedness but most of all mental preparedness. "Let go of tension. Be grounded. Be relaxed. Have full strength. Keep supple. Be super alert. Relax. Breathe. Focus..." and on and on it goes in my head. Surrounded by swarms of professional stage dancers looking sharp for who it seems that it is part of their skin to be in stage make-up and costumes, we stretch and wait our turn in the waiting room. Finally, we got out there to dance one more time. This time, we felt like we were more in control. I can feel the floor. I can feel the music. I can feel my body. We danced, and I felt like we were finally able to dance. If yesterday was 20%, today was at least 75% of what we are capable of. I feel very grateful and blessed that we had this opportunity to present our dance and be out there sharing the stage with all these talented, super amazing, dancers. Such a great experience!

What touched me was, after we performed, we undressed and were out in the crowd. 4 teenage girls came up to ask for some autographs and also commented how my dress was "relinda"! Knowing how many amazing dancers are out there on that stage, one after another, I was impressed that there would be people that actually remembered me/us. I felt so honored, that at least, we inspired some people.

After a morning of hard work, we went to celebrate at Cafe Tortoni, the oldest cafe in Buenos Aires, where history and culture unfolded over the years. After lunch, of course, we indulged in sweets, I had to have their famous chocolate con churros. Yummmmm.

Now, we relax to prepare ourselves for this evening. We are invited to a reception for the champions of the subcompetitions around the world, it will be exciting to meet the other dancers. Then we get to see our friends Tomas Gimena, Brian Yuliana dance their numbers on stage. And then, to see Sebastian Achaval and Roxana Suarez perform tonight...! Another exciting evening awaits us!