Tag Archives: Atilla

Lucky Bob

Well the last three weeks have been some of my best for tango. The vagaries of my rota means that it moves forward one day every week. So when we hit the Wilmslow stepping out milonga on a Thursday I was overjoyed to find Tango Stafford had a milonga on the following Friday. I was late finding out and almost missed it, but we arrived there with friends and had a great time.

Dragging friends with us has become our trademark although the group we managed for Wilmslow was not repeated. The third week on the run we had a milonga to go to, this time it was Stokies on a Saturday night. We only managed to drag one extra woman along but that did not detract from our enjoyment.

For the great nights we have had, I must offer my thanks, to Atilla for Wilmslow, Pauline and Geoff for Stafford, and last but not least Essie Joe and Nath for Stokies. To manage three milongas in three weeks is something of a record for me, but, of course, we have had our regular practicas to look forward to.
Unfortunately for the next couple of weeks we are away, so the tango has to stop for us, but we will be back with a bang on 14th October.
We are off walking, trying to get into shape for our marathon walk next year. So we are having a week in the lakes, and hopefully a return to The Sandstone Trail. Where we expect to not only walk the trail but with luck and a following wind, walk to and from it. Wish me luck, I’ll need it.
On the subject of getting fit, I cycled home this morning in the light rain and I am starting to quite enjoy it. The trouble is this will probably be the last time I cycle to work. I refuse to loose any more sleep than I have to, so I only cycle when I am on nights. Five in the morning is just too early. I only have eleven night shifts to go and I suspect when I return from holiday the weather will be too inclement for me to cycle in. So there it is, the end of another era.

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Old Freinds

Pressure of work is delaying my posts, so let me apologise for the lateness of my posting before I start. There are a number of posts due but they must wait until I have time.

The drive to Pant is mainly large straight roads, the first part dual carriageway until we join the A5. This section past Gobowen and Oswestry is where the A453 and A5 are the same road, and as such is usually heavily trafficked. I was not in a hurry, we had left in good time and I was free to enjoy the trip even though we had travelled this way earlier in the day when we had danced in the street. After Oswestry the A5 splits away and the A483 becomes a more picturesque country road. Pant is only about three miles further on, an old English village with fine old houses hanging precariously from the hillside, next to more modern abodes that have been built with little regard to cost. A modern single story community centre sits to the left of the road next to an old fashioned red telephone box and opposite the well stocked village shop. In the foyer is a memorial to the war dead that makes the place look more like a cemetery, but the place is otherwise bright and welcoming. From the windows you can look out to the hill opposite where someone has carved owls and other statues out of old trees. Sharon was busy preparing the room when we arrived, we were early and able to help sort the food, fill the tea urn and set the tables. Others were arriving while we were busy and all waded in to help.

Sharon still had to man the desk as people were arriving and wanted to pay, so I was surprised to hear some familiar voices from the front. I peered out through the hatch and there at the desk was Atilla our old teacher (old as in from the past not aged) and Margret one of my favourite partners from Wilmslow. They soon came to help in the kitchen, always a favourite spot, and we had a chance to catch up on old times. Margret is now helping with the class, and she tells us has finally persuaded her husband to take up tango. I was glad of this news for two reasons; firstly we always need more leaders, but purely selfishly I did not want to loose Margret, as we loose so many women because there husbands got fed up of them being out every night on there own.

When the music started I danced the first tanda with Viv, as is only right and proper, but this was going to be a busy night for me. So many women, so little time, just as well it would not give me time to go back into the kitchen. (still trying to loose weight)

The next tanda I determined to dance with Atilla. I have an irrational fear of dancing with her, I suppose because she was teacher for so long and I feel all the time that I must be doing something wrong. I need not worry she knows the place for teaching is not the milonga and would never pull me up while on the dance floor, but still my insecurity makes me worry.

Atilla accepted my invitation graciously and stood up as I came to her table. She is of Chinese origin. Although she has the look she is very tall and stands well over me even without her heels. Early thirties about six foot slim and elegant, she is striking and cannot enter anywhere unobserved, even when she is not known, but here she is known as the best tango teacher in the northwest and I know if I lead anything and she does not follow it is my fault.

We dance a wonderful tanda (well for me, I cannot speak for her) but soon it is over, and I congratulate myself on overcoming my foolish fears. Next I chose Margret, she also is very tall, I have never understood why the best men are short and fat while the best women are tall and slim, maybe it is just my perception. Flowing shoulder length brown hair, slim with an ever present warm smile, we dance off across the floor. Very soon though she is complaining, It seems that she can hardly stand the floor is too slippery. She is happier after scraping her shoes and we finish the tanda with a flourish.

As the night wore on I hardly sat down, I of course returned to my wife often, why again not many men chose to dance with her I do not know, but I had too many women with whom I had to dance. I suspect I smelled like an old tramp by the end, I was sweating so much but no one complained.

When we finally left the kitchen was full, so we were able to leave the domestics to others this time. I was exhausted but happy and thankful to have danced again with some old friends, and appreciative that they had travelled so far for us. Atilla asked if we would be at any of her weekends, but unfortunately all of them are on weekends when I am working, such is the life of a frustrated Milonguero. We may yet meet again in the winter though, heres hoping.

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Atilla

I am feeling extremely lucky of late, after what seemed to be years of dearth, suddenly there are Tango venues cropping up all over.

Despite my admiration of Atilla’s teaching methods I have been unable to attend any of her classes of late, the distance and time involved of getting to Wilmslow meant that for most of the time it was just not worth my while. I have a grouse to go with this as well, why are the workshops always when I am working? but more of this later.

After that preamble, Atilla took over The Groves Wednesday class this week. So for one week only we abandoned our usual Wednesday dance and attended The Groves.

It was really nice to meet Atilla again after so long, after all the greetings we were soon into the class. We were all asked to do a warm up dance, and I was amazed at the range of skill levels. How Atilla was going to run this class was going to be a revelation.

It was necessary to keep it simple as we had first timers in the class and even some of those who had been coming a while were still unable to grasp the basics. The class consisted of conitas and half giros, but with enough variation to keep the rest of us interested.

What happened to the hour? as usual Atilla’s class passed in a flash, and we were into the practica part of the night.

The ability to pitch a class across so many levels and keep us all interested can only be put down to her vast experience. I look forward to her next visit in a fortnight.

A new experience for me as well, I finally danced with Atilla. I do not know why but I have been too nervous to dance with her. One of those totally irrational fears that bug our lives, anyway she did not eat me, and for me anyway it was a pleasant experience.

There is an up coming weekend of workshops starting Friday 27thFebruary. This will be with Rodolfo and Miho, and again I am working the whole weekend, Thursday and Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. I could start to believe it was on purpose, except I know it is just the way it goes. Three years ago I did not miss one weekend. Those of you who followed my old blog on AOL will remember that I have not seen Miho since we met in Salon Canning in September and Rodolfo even longer.

Miho was returning for the last Wilmslow Tango weekend while I was in Buenos Aires. It is a shame that I keep missing them as I find Rudolfo not only a great teacher but also he keeps us all amused while we learn (maybe that is his secret).

They will be at The Roundhouse Theatre on Monday 2ndMarch for the usual Manchester Monday Class. I hope to catch up with them there. I must apologise beforehand  to Sharon for missing her class that night, but as I  am working all weekend this will be my first opportunity to catch up.

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Tango with Sven

As I have previously published, my posture when tango dancing is terrible.  I hope my use of the present tense is now a mistake. The class we took part in on Saturday with Sven and Atilla I think has finally cured me.

This miracle was brought about by the unusual teaching methods of Sven Froese. One of the unusual things he had us doing was walking around the room, just like a beginners class but the ladies would join the men, whilst the men would not break step,then leave again to join another man.

He also made a point of leading with the solar plexus. You cannot do this and tuck the woman under your arm, believe me. The world has now lost it’s number one underarm dancer, I really am cured.

We spent some time in the second class doing crosses in cross system and uncrossing. While Viv had done this before, I had not, at least not in a formal class. However I was not letting this distract me from my main aim which was not to improve my posture. So I must apologise to those ladies who wanted to do what was being taught, as once again I chose to ignore most of what was being said. If I got nothing else from the weekend it was worth it just for that improvement in posture.

After the class we had to freeze our ears off in Wilmslow for three hours, as the legion wanted the room at Three thirty and the evening dance was not due to start until seven thirty. I did enjoy my fish, chips and peas at the Bollin Fee, although the peas were cold. Still you can’t complain at two meals for £7.10  We arrived early which gave us plenty of time to get ready, not that I needed much time to shave , change my shirt, and put on my mask.

What can I say about the dance, the Christmas masked ball. As far as I could tell everyone thoroughly enjoyed it. The masks did not stay all night as I think most people got a little too hot. Live music was supplied by “Frambuesas con Nata” who as usual brought the house down. Viv managed to stay incognito, while her joke shop wig was mistaken for a new hair do.

Finally I must mention the demo given by Atilla and Sven, the standard of dancing was superb as always. They gave a demonstration of pure salon tango, all improvised.  It goes to show that good dancers do not need heavy choreographed routines, like “strictly” or the tourista rubbish that is starting to creep in in some of the salons.

I forgot my camera again I am afraid, but I am hoping some kind person who was there will donate a few pics for me. Any offers??

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