I made it through almost two of Daniela Arcuri's classes before my ankle gave out. It wasn't too bad - sore and weak - but if I continued dancing on it, especially through milonga class, I'd be unable to dance later. So I gave up 2/3 of the way through molinete class. The molinete class *alone* was worth the price of all three workshops! Daniela taught everyone (leaders and followers) how to lead molinetes three ways, as well as how to follow them. She emphasized recognizing where and when the lead is felt and how to position feet to lead it more smoothly. While this made me appreciate more how much is involved in leading the step, it also made me very grateful to be a follower. I thought my brain was going to melt from too much information.
Daniela's first class of the day, a yoga inspired tango exercise class (which I had already taken twice!), still makes me feel like totally inept Daniel Larusso at the beginning of Karate Kid. I caught myself wondering if I was going to have to stand in a modified tango/yoga eagle pose on fence post after class. This class will make you sweat! We all held the instructed position while she walked from person to person checking alignment and posture. I was so grateful that the class was small because it took less time to check on each one of us. By the time she finished with the last person in the row and returned to the center of the room, no matter what position I was in, I was quivering from exertion to maintain it. At the end of that class I was already getting tired, but my muscles were warm and relaxed. If you can only go to one of the series of three workshops Daniela does on the occasional Saturdays - do that one. It makes everything else so much easier. I was still feeling the effect of the stretching at the milonga 7 hours later.
Unfortunately, thanks to my ankle, I missed the milonga class (which would have been my second milonga class from Daniela.) My milonga, I'm told, has already improved a bit since the last workshop (and additional class from Esquina Tango's Monica Caivano and Gustavo Simplis) - which is a relief. It's probably due, in large part, to the fact that I don't dance milongas in a state of abject terror. I'm sure that's helpful. Panicky milongas aren't fun for anyone. Weirdly, I've been told by three partners on 3 different nights that I'm much more natural and "on the music" during milongas than I during a lot of the tango tandas I dance. I have no explanation for that. Maybe I just don't have time to over-think everything? Anyway, even though I still have butterflies when I'm asked to dance milongas, I at least get out there and do my level best, rather than becoming suddenly obsessed with my shoe strap avoiding anyone's cabeceo.
Now I'm off to practice ochos with my printer.
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