Journal 3: August 23, 2013

Day 3~4: What a day...!

Last night, being high from adrenaline and completely fatigued, we made it to the old "Nino Bien" (not sure what it is called now), to see Sebastian Achaval & Roxana Suarez perform. We would have gladly been sleeping if it weren't that they were such a rarity back home, and that they are one of our favorite youtube idols. Beautiful tango connection, smooth, and organic. Puro Tango! What inspiration!

But,... uy.... this morning was tough. 2 days of stage competition and the stress build-up in my body was apparent. My neck/shoulders were achy and stiff, my body felt like it was hit by a truck. Uh oh~... not a good sign. Another early morning for us, waking up at 10am which is 6am in Los Angeles. Hot shower, a cup of mate, and some oral Traumeel to heal some of the muscle soreness, maybe just slightly better. Once again, for half hour plus, sitting on the floor of the hotel room stretching while I put on my stage/performance make-up. Then we rush out the door carrying our outfits for the salon semi-final competition. We walk out onto the streets trying to catch an empty taxi. And with the crazy taxi driving we get to the venue in no time. As Laurent says "There's 2 things that the Argentineans have mastered: Tango and Driving".

Salon semi-finals is 100 couples. 10 rounds, 10 couples each round. 3 songs are played for each round, which we don't know what they will play, until it is our round to go out. Salon is improvised tango, about connection, the embrace, the walk, the flow, floor craft and the musical interpretation. Back stage waiting room is quite a chaos with dancers changing, doing make-up, stretching, dancing, trying to stay warm (it's pretty cold there), chatting, taking photos, press crew doing interviews, and staff running around collecting the dancers for each round. Some couples dance together as they warm-up, some meditating together, some couples in serious discussion, and others just busily trying to get ready. A screen showing what's happening on stage, calling attention here and then, some watching intently. Everyone is friendly, occasionally passing smiles at each other when we meet eyes, hugs & hellos if we know each other, usually minding our own business but also courteous to the other dancers. There's tension in the air and lots of excitement.

We made it out there in Ronda 10. The last round of the semi-finals. Our songs were, Melodia del Corazaon, El Flete, Una Emocion. All great songs! I was hoping for some DiSarli or Pugliese but can't complain! I was a bit on the nervous side, thankfully, Laurent was grounded and in control, I could just rely on his energy. Usually, I am aware of my surroundings and what my body is doing, but I felt like I was in a daze. The floor was on the slippery side for me, and a part of my mind was constantly focusing on grounding and finding the floor. I wouldn't say, that it was my best dancing, but I can feel that Laurent was present, and he mentioned how he felt very present and aware. It was one of those dances where I couldn't quite say how it went. It felt alright, but not particularly bad or good, some moments better than others, and some moments where I could lose myself into the dance and just flow. I was happy, and more so happy that Laurent felt pretty good. Once again, the interesting part about partner dancing, it takes 2 and the dynamics change each time.

37 couples made it to the finals, and yes, we made it!!!!! YAY! The great thing is that Brian and Yuliana made it, too!!!!! Which makes it 2 couples from Los Angeles! Another couple who currently live in BsAs registered as USA also made it to the finals. That makes 3 from the US. What fun! It's a competition, but the good kind. So happy to have our friends together! Finals on Monday will be so much fun. At this point, we plan to just dance our hearts out! What an experience. I'm enthralled, surprised, happy and excited. Once again, my dream since 2004, to compete again in the mundial and go to the finals, is coming true! Much thanks to all who have supported us so far!!!!!

Tonight we perform at Confiteria Ideal with Andrea & Gato. We thank them for their organization and support with the US Championships and our trip to BsAs. Performance tonight should be around 12:30am. Excited to perform in this legendary milonga!