Saturday, April 5, 2008
Atlanta Tango Festival :: O horror, horror, horror!
Imagine making your hotel reservation for a festival weeks or months in advance, arriving to check in, and being told that the hotel was booked, and that you were being bumped to a hotel about five miles away from the festival venue. This happened to a friend, and although I have not confirmed this, she said that a large block of rooms was bumped.
Now there is the hassle of dealing with the shuttle - 20 minutes to get to the new hotel - 1 hour to get back to the venue for the welcome milonga. There is the hassle of not having the convenience of your room just minutes away - freshen up, take a power nap, just rest, whatever.
I haven't confirmed any of this with my friend Angel - one of the organizers - but I'm sure they are livid - this is not a good thing for a hotel to do - no matter what the reason.
The only saving grace is the rooms are now comp'd - as in free.
I didn't make my reservation soon enough. I'm staying "in a van", "down by the river".
THE ELEGANT MILONGA ::
TAKE THE FUCKING HAT OFF OF YOUR HEAD!!!
Two dickweeds were wearing fedoras at the "elegant" milonga last night. Any southern gentleman knows you take your fucking hat off when you come inside. The sun isn't shining at 3am inside, it's not raining or snowing inside, leave the hat at home or in your room.
Plus, if you know anything about tango, then you know the history of the fedora. Wearing it in a milonga just shows everyone what an idiot you are.
It shouldn't matter, I shouldn't care, but it irritates the shit out of me.
I stayed until the bitter end. It started out good, then I went into a slump, and it ended on a good note. I was having an off night in general. My walk was weird, everything was weird - internally - my issues.
THE A/C ::
The air conditioning was off for the first couple of hours or so. Here was Alex ::
Angel was very responsive in getting the hotel engineering staff to deal with it in short order.
Not a big deal.
THE FLOOR ::
Nice, smooth, 36" panels making 36" lanes. In spite of the organizers' announcement about using the "lanes" - most leaders disregarded this. Guys didn't seem to be able to stay in the middle of their lane, preferring, or defaulting to the edge of the lane.
I liked the organizers' choice of words - it's about "floorcraft discipline".
CASH BAR ::
I bummed two bucks to add to my four to buy a glass of wine. It's nice to have the cash bar in the ballroom, but not many people were drinking.
I would say it was "normal" for most festivals. The only thing I can suggest is that teachers need to spend a lot more time on floorcraft and navigation with beginners. Also, it would be nice if festival organizers produce some sort of flyer or pamphlet. Beyond that, you can't really do much unless you want to start policing the floor, which would not be good.
I frequently found myself trapped between a nuevo and one of the many idiot leaders. I think a lot of my floorcraft/navigation issuses (with other leaders) are my own issues resulting from dancing on a crowded floor. The better I get, the more I can navigate around the yahoos.
I found myself spending time in the corners - and herding certain guys to stay in their own lanes.
The reality is there will always be leaders who won't amount to JACK SQUAT with regards to floorcraft & navigation.
Par excellence...there were only a few times that I wasn't "moved" by a tanda...but overall a fantastic traditional mix...great cortinas...as good as it gets...I think it was Shorey Myers...
I noticed Robert Hauk got a haircut. Then I noticed a few women who got their hair cut. Then I noticed a lot of women with either really short hair, or bob type cuts. A couple of them told me they cut it because of tango - to make it easier to deal with on the dance floor.
THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER CATEGORY ::
I was talking to a friend who is new to tango about "stuff". I told her that for me, when a woman falls into my "happily ever after" category, that I am intimidated to the point of not or never asking her to dance. She pointed out to me that I am an idiot for doing this - although she conveyed this much more nicely than saying that I am an idiot.
Miss "Happily Ever After" smiled at me and said good night at the end of the night. I will dance with her tonight.
LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA ::
Florentino Ariza, in order to dull the pain of his unrequited love for Fermina Daza, began sleeping with large numbers of women. Six hundred and twenty seven or something like that. He kept a journal, numbering them, and entering a brief comment about each.
Rather than continue with the blog commonality of nick names like "Miss Happily Ever After", I'm going to use Florentino Ariza's method...
THE LADIES ::
#1 :: Thou shalt not covet thy new friend's partner...
#2 :: Young and beautiful...
#3 :: Her scent, like honey, is still with me this morning... a sweet kiss on her temple after walking her to her car...
#4 :: Trembles in my embrace... I like this one... I dreamt of her this morning...
#5 :: Pleasantly large breasted... in the natural sense...
#6 :: Saved me from myself in the end... noticed the salty taste of her perspiration after kissing her cheek... licked it from my lips on the way back to "the van", "down by the river"...
Six, maybe seven followers, nine or ten tandas. Not enough. Not enough for a man who very recently said "I just want to dance..."
NOTES TO SELF ::
It was an "off" night for you...your dance was "off", but don't let that get to you...dance more and sit less...don't let painful beauty scare you...think about the "one follower, one tanda" concept...drink less vino tinto...be more discerning, but dance more milonga...re-evaluate your "quality over quantity" approach...overcome your floorcraft, navigation and fedora issues..."it's not what happens to you, but how you CHOOSE to react to it..."...don't let your pig-like sweating propensity deter you from inviting...bring a towel...
Don't let the "horror, horror, horror" send the wrong message - that was only about the hotel issue - the horror of guests getting bumped, and the horror for the organizers - a "worst nightmare" scenario...
Overall, it was a great milonga. Atlanta puts on a great festival. It's a "warm and friendly" atmosphere. Everyone is smiling and chatting and having fun. Put it on your calendar and come on down!
P.S. To the leaders carrying on conversations whilst dancing - shut your YAPPER ...