Monday, September 24, 2007


The all night milonga

Saturday it was that time of the month, the 4th Satruday when the all nighter in Providence takes place. I was happy to see a much better attendance this month then what we had over the summer. Quite a few people from NY joined the party and this time Boston was better represented as well.

We made it there around 10 and we left around 2:30AM. I was kind of surprised at myself. At 2:30 there were still plenty of people dancing, most of them good dancers, yet that didn't stopped me from calling it a night. I wonder if my tango obsession is fading a bit. It doesn't feel like it, but I don't seem like I close the milongas anymore, I don't feel the need to attend every single one and on (rare) occasions I prefer to do something else. I've had a few good dances but the best one was with K, a girl from NY. She is really young, I don't thing she's 20 yet, but she is already a very good dancer. Somebody took a picture of us dancing on his camera phone, and it's a surprinsingly good shot. It doesn't happen often that both people look good. I usually look like a drooling idiot.

I also had a chance to dance with someone who is considered a fantastic dancer by the US community. I could not connect with her at all. And I mean, at all. It was the only time when I danced with a tango "god" when between each song I was hoping the cortina would come. I was not having a particularly bad night, so it was surprising. Good thing I didn't have that dance at the beginning of the night, it probably would've killed my mojo completely.


Sunday I went to a workshop at MIT taught by Daniela and Luis. I like them. They are attentive in class, they allow people to practice without interrupting every 30 seconds, like a lot of other instructors do. They go to each person and they (try to) correct whatever issue needs to be corrected. They also seem genuinely dedicated to make better dancers. The workshops where also about elements that are critical to the development of a good dancer. Embrace, connection, the dynamic of the dance. Unfortunately the attendance was light, I'm guessing because it's hard to sell the critical but "boring" stuff over the flashy colgada/volcada/jumps. I only attended one of the workshops, as I wasn't in a tango workshop disposition.


After the workshop, I went to the Sunday afternoon practica where I only stayed for 45 minutes or so. I just wasn't in the mood. I danced with a great dancer I had a fantastic (first) tanda with a week ago, but this time was remakably unremarkable. Funny how that happens. I then spent the rest of the time working with a new dancer. She just started and after watching her being manhandled by some of the "experienced" dancers in the community, I had to spend some time to try to undo some of the damage these people do. Why on earth these people feel compelled to try advanced figures (which themselves can't lead to save their lives) with a complete beginner is beyond me. Anyway, she shows promise.

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Women leading ...

There is a blogger who's postings I've been enjoying for a while, and at some point in her tango career, she started leading. Apparently that sparked a lot of mixed reactions, some of which I find odd. She was writing about people (mostly men) making nasty comments and getting weird reactions from women. And this is not happening in some god forsaken part of the country, but in a cosmopolitan, allegedly progressive city.

So, if any of these men are reading this, let me congratulate you. By making those comments you are without a doubt identifying yourself as the insecure, misogynistic assholes you are. Are you afraid that you will become obsolete, when enough women will learn to lead and the other women will prefer to dance with someone that actually knows how to dance? You should. Actually I have a bit of an advice for you, quit while you are ahead. THAT will show them and by depriving them of your sublime dancing skills, you will have your satisfaction. And we'll have a asshole free tango scene. Everybody wins.

Americans, particularly women, are taught from a young age to be "nice", to be politically correct, to avoid confrontation, which is rather amusing considering the position of US in the world. So it's likely that not many of these assholes are confronted, which only encourages them to keep at it. I on the other hand, am not American. I didn't get the "be nice" indoctrination. There are a few women leaders in my community I really like. Debbi, my girlfriend is learning to lead. If I ever hear about anyone giving any of them a hard time, I promise you, I will make it my mission in life to make your life so miserable in the tango community until you'll quit. I embarked on quite a few of these "missions" in my life and I have yet to fail in accomplishing any one of them. Don't say I didn't warn you.

So, my advice to you? Feel free not to like women leading.

Just shut the fuck up!


Monday, September 17, 2007

Saturday I went to a monthly milonga but I went late, as Deb was not feeling well and I didn't want to leave her home alone for the entire evening. I considered not going at all, but I was restless. Once I got there, it was just in time to catch the show. I hate shows at milongas. Particularly choreographed shows like this one. That didn't do a lot of good for my good spirits. I always prefer to see the tango "Gods" dancing socially. What I find interesting is that most visiting Argentine teachers almost never dance socially in the local milongas in the cities they teach. I've seen this in both Montreal and Boston. Anyway, after the show the music was ... well, I hated most of that as well. Weird songs, awkward sequencing, ear piercing loud cortinas, I cannot figure out to save my life why they insist on using this particular DJ. He's obviously not interested in DJing, most times he's nowhere to be found. He sets the computer and disappears. The volume is either too loud or too low, too much bass or too little, etc. Some tandas were OK though, and when one of those started, I went and asked Fernanda Cajide for a dance. She is one of the local instructors, the only Argentine instructor in Boston. I like her teaching style especially for beginner classes, and when people are asking for me to recommend a teacher, it's usually her I recommend. I danced with her before many times, and I always got this vibe that she was just indulging me. This time though she seemed like she was genuinely enjoying the dance and at the end of the tanda I had another first, she stayed for a second one. That never happened before. After that I danced a set with A and it was quite fun, although she was kind of wild, as she just danced with K, and they are really wild together. Danced the last song with a girl that just moved to Boston this week. She is a good dancer, but I had a hard time with the connection. That's why people dance tango more then one song, it's just not enough to adjust to the other person, unless you know them well. Was it worth the 45min round trip drive and the $12 admission price? I had some good dances but I'm not sure if they managed to offset my frustration with the music.

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Friday @ Naranja

The practica

Friday we went to Naranja milonga hosted by Tova & Carlos. For the most part I liked the music and I had a good time. We started the evening with the practica and I was trying to figure out a wrap when Carlos came to see if I needed help. For those unaware, before the milonga there is 1:30 of supervised practica. Tova & Carlos are very dedicated people and the entire time they went from person to person offering their help and advice, After Carlos effortlessly lead Deb through the wrap I was failing miserably to lead, he explained the mechanics and voila, 2 minutes later I was doing a ... rough version of it, but it was (sort of) working. Now I just need to practice it. Towards the end of the practica Tova came by and said, "You must be the only one I haven't danced with at this practica, want to dance?". Uhhh, duh! We danced a couple of tandas and it went better then the last time I danced with her. Can't tell if I got better or she dumbed it down for me.


During the actual milonga I danced with some local tangueras, some more advanced, some beginners. Speaking of beginners, there are a few beginners in the community that show promise and I'm glad to see that some of the better leads are keeping them busy. Lately I've been slacking off in my efforts to help the community grow and improve so I'll be trying to catch up. As a more experienced leader, it's always good to dance with people who are not too advanced. It helps refining the quality of the lead, it helps making it clear. Dancing with advanced dancers is obviously more fun, but the good ones are almost reading your mind, so I found that lately some of my leading got less clear, as it didn't need to be. Besides, I have to remember my gratitude to the people who danced with me when I was just starting, and try to pay it forward. Besides, sometimes when you dance with someone who's just starting, you can read from their face when they have a tango moment "Ahhh, that's how that's supposed to feel like!", and that alone is worth it.

A tango moment

Towards the end of the night, I've noticed a leader I've seen a few times during the last 6 months. He used to live in Boston but he moved abroad before I started tango and only came back a few times for business. He is an amazing leader, and this time I know this from first hand experience as I danced with him once in Providence. He lead me though a milonga set. Trust me, if a leader can lead me successfully though a milonga set, that makes him pretty much a miracle maker. In any event, this time he didn't show up alone, he showed up with his wife, which I never met before. I was hoping to get a chance to dance with her, but I was not holding my breath. She seemed the kind of dancer that would not sit too much. A bit later there was an alternative set being played and I look to my left and ... there she was, sitting down alone. Could not help but curse, as I have no desire to dance on alternative music, much less with somebody new, much less with somebody good. I was quite sure someone would ask her to dance before the alternative tanda was over but this time the tango gods were on my side and when the next traditional tanda started she was still there. So I went ahead and asked, she looked at me and for a second or two she looked like she was going to decline the invite, but she got up and off we went. After a clunky start, as I was trying to maneuver around a bunch of people who were talking on the dance floor, things got better and better and better. She is an awesome, awesome dancer. Did I mention awesome? Musicality, embrace, the whole "package". I was kind of hoping for another tanda, as she seemed like she had a good time, but ... it was announcement time! Grrrrrrr. But, she didn't go anywhere and after the announcement I got to dance another tanda with her. And it got even better then the first one. Well, I was happy, this was a "tango moment" and I didn't have one in a while. It was a good night. And they are moving to Boston, so I'm looking forward to dance with her again.

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Friday, September 14, 2007

"You should never ... You should always ..."

Recently I've read and heard in person a lot of ... wisdom about tango dancing. One blogger in particular has an affinity for buzz words/phrases, like "lead with the core" or "the right hand (of the follower) is useless in close embrace" and a myriad of other bits of advice which are advertised as absolutes, as in, you're committing some sort of tango sin if you dare to do otherwise.

For the very experienced and accomplished tango dancers, this is just noise they got used to, but for a beginner it's very confusing. Especially when these things come from people with authority, like for example an Argentine instructor who's been dancing for 263 years and was featured in 17 movies. Which reminds me, what's up with the habit of introducing a teacher and making a big deal out of how many movies they were featured in? Who the hell cares about that? How is acting in movies or performing on stage relevant to the skills required to teach salon tango? But I digress.

So, when an instructor you respect utters an immutable rule "You shall not use your left hand for anything" and then at the next workshop with another tango guru you're taught to use that hand to lead something people get confused. Who is right? Who is wrong? Not only that, but if you watch those people dance, you are likely to see them break all the rules themselves taught.

Here is my conclusion and advice, as it stands now, after a year an a half of intensive tango. It may change in the future. Others may disagree.

There are very few, if any, hard rules in tango. Shorey Myers, one of my "tango crushes", insists for me to hold my left hand in a very specific way, advice also given by many other instructors or dancers. Yet two of my favorite dancers from NY, both of them amazing dancers, they both expressed their strong preference for the way I was holding my left hand, which was almost the opposite of what the "rule" said. They found it cozy and intimate and told me I should not change it. Lately I've been experimenting with different hand positions, the one recommended by Shorey being one of them, and several dancers commented positively about the "new" embrace.

Teachers will often simplify things for people at the beginning of their tango career, knowing it will come a time when the "rule" will not longer make sense. What do you do then? It up to you. Personally, I try to accomodate the preferences of my partners unless that impedes my dancing. If it does, I'll do what works for me. Luckily humans are too "flawed" to follow the same rules all the time. It would be very boring to dance if everyone would have the same embrace, same technique, same feel to the dance.

But, yes, there are hard rules, but some of them are hardly tango rules. It's common sense. Although lately, the common sense doesn't seem so common anymore. For those who misplaced their common sense, here are some of the "hard" rules :

Don't hurt your partner or others. Don't make your partner uncomfortable. Don't be a bitch or an asshole. Remember that people have feelings. Don't take advantage of people. Don't stink. Don't be dirty. Pretty much all of these rules are taught in the kindergarten. If any of these rules are a surprise to you, you may want to seek help.

There are some "rules" that are more important then others when it comes to the actual dance, but I'm not going to go there today. I'll just cover one subject which I consider the most important "rule" there is when it comes to dancing tango. It's a simple rule to remember. Here it is :

Rule : Don't forget to dance.

Let me explain. Tango is dance. A dance, by definition is moving to the music. For a movement to be a dance, there must be a correlation between the music and the movement. The absolute simplest correlation between movement and music is walking on the (main) beat. Walking on the main beat is the simplest form of musicality there is. It's the very first step of very many, towards being musical. If you are executing figures without any relation to the music that is playing, regardless of the proficiency and precision you are executing them with, YOU ARE NOT DANCING. I get sometimes compliments on being a "musical dancer". Musical dancer. Just the fact that the term "musical dancer" was coined it's sad. It should be an tautology (antonym of oxymoron). It isn't. Please make it an tautology. Pretty please?


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Back from Montreal

Monday around 9:30AM we made back from Montreal. We drove back the whole night right after we left the l'Academie milonga at 2AM. Well, Deb did, as I was too tired. Yeah, we're nuts. We didn't want to miss l'Academie, as it's one of the best milongas in Montreal, and Deb had to be back Monday at noon to teach a class ... So, after she took a power nap, she went to work ... As I said, nuts! ;-)

I had a great time even though dancing wise I wasn't exactly "in the zone". I started the evening as usual, with Debbi and then sort of hung out to check out the dancers. As I was sitting down sipping from a glass of wine a tall woman came to ask me to dance. I usually don't dance with people I did not see dance before, but she looked like she had summoned all the courage she had to ask, and I know well how rejection feels, so off we went. I danced the whole tanda in open embrace. This sort of became my favorite way of starting to dance with someone. Start in open, preferably on a vals and then proceed accordingly depending on how it works. I still have a strong preference for close embrace, but only with people who are a) truly comfortable with it b) able to keep their balance on their own. Also, in the case of much taller followers like this one (more then 3-4 inch difference), close embrace is awkward.

After that I danced with S one of my favorite dancers from Montreal. Sadly, I was not very inspired and the added complication of navigation on a crowded floor didn't help. As I was talking with M, a local leader, he pointed to a girl and suggested I ask her to dance as she is quite good. She soon became available and I went to ask for a dance. Turns out, she is Romanian (as I am). Small world. And she is quite good, although I had some trouble adjusting to her rather energetic movements.

Later in the night I danced with E, a girl Marika introduced me to last year. She has a lovely embrace, very smooth and balanced walk and I wish I was more "in the zone" but, well, sometimes that doesn't happen. Then I ran into (another) E, whom I met at the neo tango festival in the spring. She is a lovely dancer as well, with a pleasant embrace and a passion for the dance. It's quite interesting how some people are able to put a kind of energy during the dance that screams "I really love dancing". By contrast, I know of a few followers who, while a lot more proficient, they feel analytical and soulless on the dance floor.

Towards the end of the night I've danced a few tandas with an older woman I danced with before. She is really good and she is one of my favorite dancers in Montreal.

I ended the night as usual, dancing with Deb and once I stopped dancing I realized how tired I was. It's funny how exhaustion and/or pain are reduced while dancing (tango).

Sunday before the l'Academie we rode the bicycles through the city, had some food and we kind of kept it low energy as we knew it was going to be a long light. We were already tired from the night before, at Tango Fabrika, which we left around 4AM.

Tango Fabrika had a special all nighter Saturday, and I was looking forward to it as Marika, one of the hosts is my first "tango crush". She is so sweet and such an amazing dancer. I got to dance with her 3 or 4 tandas ( I always lose count when I dance with her) in two installments and it was just as lovely as ever. A big surprise was to run into R, a favorite follower from Princeton who was in Paris for the last few months. Apparently she just got back from France and went to Montreal for a conference where we ran into each other. She is a great dancer and we had a few wonderful tandas. She invited me and Deb to stay with her during the Princeton tango fest and hopefully I'll find a way to make it. I don't have any vacation days left, so I'll see how "creative" I can get ;-)

One frustration during the milonga was the music. I like Bulent, he is a nice guy, but his musical taste is heavily inclined towards electronica/neo tango which I simply can't dance to. He is accommodating and more then once he played something I requested and this is after all a neo-tango shop so I guess his selection was appropriate for the venue. But it was disappointing to see some great dancers being available, hear the music start and having to pass, as it wasn't something I would like to dance to. Or even worst, dance with a great follower, just to hear the next tanda start and to have to excuse myself and let them go.

Saturday during the day we hung out with Caroline, who was so kind to host us for the weekend, we went for a bike ride, checked out some shops (well, Deb and Caroline did, I had a book to keep me company as they were trying out outfits). At Caroline's apartment there was an outdoor grey cat always hanging out on the porch, we named it the "Fat cat". The "fat cat" was kind of lazy, kind of fat and very aggressive in her pursuit of affection. She would come next to us and relentlessly seek attention. "You will pet me NOW" was the unspoken phrase that seemed to transpire from her antics. Cute.

We also had a picnic on the porch. The street Caroline lives on is quaint and quiet, and after getting the key ingredients for a picnic which was supposed to take place in a nearby park, we decided to have it on the porch instead. Cheese, fruit, olives, fresh bread and wine. Yum.

Friday night we went to Moka Danse. The space was just as cute as I remembered, and it got just as crowded as I remembered ;-). From 11PM to 1AM it was impossible for me to dance and have a good time, as I was spending all my energy trying not to bump into people. After 1AM it cleared up a bit and I got to dance a bit. Deb left early, as she was tired, I stayed until about 3AM. I had some good dances, none of them fantastic, mostly because everyone was tired by that time, but I had a good time. The music was quite good too.

In conclusion, it was a good trip. We got to see Caroline again, had some great dances, a lot of good dances, hung out in Montreal, had perfect weather. Looking forward for the next trip there.


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Planned obsolesence ...

I like to tinker with things, so when I saw an ad on craigslist for a front load washer with "a leak" for $20, I figure, what the hell. If I can make it work, it's a hell of a deal. And if not, well, I'll only be $20 out. The seller even delivered it so after breaking my back dragging the thing in the basement, I ran it and sure enough, it had a leak. The leak was caused by a gaping hole in the plastic tub that holds the drum. That could be glued back, but it was obviously a sign of something else gone bad.

So, I took the whole thing apart and I found the problem. The "spider", the support that holds the stainless steel tub it's all corroded to hell and it broke down. I looked up the issue on the net and it looks like it's a well known issue with a lot of front loading machines, particularly Frigidaire (or Kenmore, which is usually made by Frigidaire). These things have been made like this for years, and they still make them from the same material. So, anywhere between 3 -6 years into using the thing, it will break and during the final spin cycle it will sound like a plane is crashing in your basement (the pictures are not from my washer, as I could not download them from my camera ..., but the damage looks the same, it's just worse. Btw, the pictures are from a 2 year old washer).

What's "funny" is that in the manual they specify that they warrant the inner tube (the one that breaks down) for 25 years. So you say, well, then, they stand behind their product. Uhhh, sure, they warrant the part. Which has to be installed by an authorized Frigidaire technician after the problem is "diagnosed". Since changing the part requires taking the thing apart completely, the diagnosis ($80-$100) + the labor ($300-$400) will likely run you to 75% of the cost of a new one. And of course, it will fail again in 3-6 years. When it fails it may take other parts with it, as now you have a 20 lbs broken metal thing spinning at 1000 rpm. You would have to pay for thouse, as they are not in warranty after 1 or 2 years. I need to buy me some Frigidaire shares ...

So, enjoy your front load washer and the day you have it installed, start a savings account for the next one you'll be buying in a few years. I only paid $20 for mine, and I will try to fix it with some braces and epoxy, and I may get a few years out of it, but I cannot even imagine how pissed I would've been if I had paid full price for this piece of crap.

Here are a few other accounts :

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Labor day weekend in NYC

Since we were both sick the weekend of the LongaMilonga, Deb and I were looking forward to the New York trip this long weekend. So Saturday at the crack of dawn (well, more like 6:45AM) we jumped on the motorcycle and headed south. This time I decided to avoid I95 and I took I90 to I84 to 15 (the parkway). While it seems slightly longer, it is definitely a better way to get to NYC. The parkway is so much more tranquil then the I95. Except for the occasional dead skunk... Damn they stink!

We made to NYC around 11:30AM (got a call from work half way through the trip and spent at least 30 minutes on the phone) and went straight to the "La Práctica @ Dance Manhattan". While in theory a practica, many people seem to come here just to dance. I practiced with Deb for about an hour and then I danced a couple of tandas with S, a woman I met a while ago in Providence. She is a good dancer, but I could not find my balance with her in close embrace. I have to somehow improve my ability to ground myself as it seems like lately everyone but very few dancers are taking me off-balance in close embrace, which is why I've been dancing open lately quite a bit. I recently changed my posture to be more straight, I wonder if this is what is screwing up my ability to be stable on my feet.

At 2PM the practica was over and me, Deb, J, P, L and K went out to eat. J was on his way to the airport, heading to BsAs for 6 weeks. I should start taking some Spanish lessons ... We went to a Vietnamese restaurant, I had duck and ... it was pretty horrible. Stringy and chewy, I left most of it untouched. Normally I would've demanded something else, as it was not edible, but I didn't want to make L feel guilty since he chose the place. I also wasn't in a feisty mood.

From the restaurant we headed to the Central Park milonga. The initial plan was to go to the hotel and come back for the evening milonga, but the hotel was 35 miles away ($55 per night at a Holiday Inn in Stamford, CT sounded a lot better then the hotel prices in NYC) and I didn't feel like being on the road for at least 30min each way, probably more as it was a holiday weekend. So we went to the park instead. I was pretty tired already, and the night was young, so I decided I was not going to dance unless I would see someone I really wanted to dance with. After dancing with Deb a few tandas in the beginning, I mostly watched. I danced with P a couple of tandas, a former professional dancer which shows in her balance and ability to move to the music. While dancing in the park is quaint and romantic, the concrete floor is a pretty bad surface to dance on and floor craft is non existent. When P and I stopped dancing, a woman I didn't recognize came near us and P introduced her as I, her friend from Toronto and a great dancer which whom I should definitely dance. From the short conversation we had it seemed we actually met and even danced together in the spring, at the Nuevo tango festival. The fact that I didn't remember her at all seemed a bad sign, as I normally remember good dancers. Also, I don't normally ask someone to dance until I've seen them dance, it's usually the best for all involved, but I couldn't think of an elegant way of getting out of it so off we went. And I'm glad we did... She is a great dancer with a lovely embrace, musicality and following skills. Shortly after that, Deb and I left, as we were starving and wanted to grab a bite before heading to the "Noche de Tango @ Dance Studio 101"

After having some food, we made it to the milonga around 10PM. Good size space with great floors, a bar and some extra cheesy decor. It was also pretty well attended. After starting the evening with Deb as usual, I saw the woman from from Toronto and without many words off we went. With the help of a great floor and good music, we had a few fantastic tandas. She even hung out through a milonga tanda, which I didn't fumble too bad, but damn, I need to get better at milongas. After that, I thought I saw another dancer from NY I really love to dance with, D, and went to say hi. Only it wasn't her ... Ooops, well too late to back out now, so she got up and off we went. She is actually a very good dancer, but I had a hard time connecting with her. But sometimes that happens and I hope next time when we run into each other it will work out better. Then I ran into R, an amazing dancer from NY with whom I always enjoy dancing with. She has an amazing embrace, not to mention balance, following, musicality, etc. I was talking with her between tandas and I asked if there was one teacher in particular that she considered her mentor. Her response did not come as a surprise. Robin Thomas and Ney Melo. Robin seems to have been the catalyst that helped forming most of my favorite dancers in US, so, thanks Robin. You rock. Around 1AM we left as Deb was dead tired. I was kind of sorry to go, but I was pretty tired myself.

Sunday I was up at 8AM after only 4-5 hours of sleep. It's very difficult for me to sleep in. In the afternoon we went to Maria José's Práctica @ Stepping Out. The room is large and the floor is great, but there is hardly anyone there. Music was great though, so if you bring a partner with you, it's a perfect place to practice. Maria also said that soon she would extend the duration from 2 hours to 3, so that would make it even more attractive.

Then it was the Seaport milonga. There was a big concert near the main location, so until 9:30PM we went to the "rain" location, which is on Pier 17. But that place is small and it quickly became a zoo. Pedestrians who obliviously walked though the "dance floor", small children, etc. Then once we moved back to pier 16 it got better as far as space, but the floor on the pier is pretty horrific. It's an old deck, with all you'd expect, nail heads, splintered wood, uneven boards, etc. Deb had a great time, but I had a hard time getting in the "zone" while trying to minimize the damage to my own and my partner's knees and ankles, navigating around random obstacles included but not limited to dogs, bicycles, joggers, empty bottles, little kids, etc. But the real difficulty was the inability to pivot. I'm not experienced enough to limit my vocabulary (to exclude movements that required pivots for example) and still be able to relax enough to be able to connect to the music, to my partner and to have fun. So while I did dance with a few people, I didn't enjoy those dances as much as I would've enjoyed it on a decent floor.

We left "early" (around 1AM) again as we were spent. Again, I was sorry to leave, as towards the end of most milongas only the hardcore dancers are still standing and then you have the space to dance + good dancers. Besides, no matter how tired I get, I always have a hard time leaving a milonga.

So, was it worth the approx $200 hole in my wallet (hotel + gas + milonga costs)? Maybe. There are plenty of worst ways to spend money, and it may have been worth it if only to learn a few lessons :
- Try to avoid making trips to NYC while a major tango festival is happening someplace else. A lot of my favorite dancers in NYC were in Denver.
- Learn to better manage my resources. As in, make sure I'm not exhausted at midnight. Dance less, be more discerning, sleep more. While I did good at being discerning, the lack of sleep got to me.
- Bring some hard leather shoes for outdoor milongas. The dance sneakers were a bad choice.