Tag Archives: Leeds

A Hectic Weekend

From the beginning of the year it has looked like this was to be a very flat weekend. The number of social clubs stopping their weekend dances is growing, the reasons are many, but the ageing population of these events along with the unwillingness of the punters to support the bar, has made many unviable. Committees are looking for better ways to raise revenue, and unless we attract more people into social dancing, and get them to spend at the bar these dances will finish.

Suddenly, at least for this week though, things changed, the untimely death of Frank Smith and his memorial dance, along with finding out about The Salsa Inferno party, and getting a place at Sharon’s workshop and salon, it changed from a flat weekend to something quite frantic.

As I have already reported on Thursday at Shrewsbury, I will start with the Friday workshop with Hayden. The main theme was about changing weight and of course playing with the weight. We would get a lot out of this, as it gives me something more to play with while trying to interpret the music. Somehow though for me it became more about giros, let me explain; among my many faults, I fall back onto my heels when I rotate, and of course I was doing this again.

It looks to me always as if the woman is moving into my space; this cannot be the fault of the woman as every one does it with me.  Both Sharon and Hayden looked at my giro but some how the answer was not obvious.  Later when we were working on something else I had one of those eureka moments, it was me stepping into the ladies space, how I have never noticed this before I do not know, now hopefully another of my longstanding faults is finally vanquished.

There was time for a nearly three hours practice later, and I was able to try some rapid weight changes to a milonga beat, and practice my now perfected giros. We could do with more people coming for the after class Salon but I am sure in time word will get out there, and we will get more than just a couple of women adding to the twelve already there.

We arrived home shortly before midnight, and I had a chance to catch up on some sleep. The continuing run of late nights was starting to tell, so I allowed myself an indulgent lie in the next morning.

During the day I had a call from Steve asking if there was any dancing on anywhere. There was no social dancing that I knew of, except that I had heard that Salsa Inferno had a party at Theatre Clwyd. We made arrangements to pick Steve up and decided to go to an event of which we knew little and expected to know no one there.

The first person we saw when we arrived was James from Chester tango and Salsa. As we sat down, more and more people arrived that we knew. There were people from Tango Bangor, Chester, Liverpool, and people we had not seen for years. Salsa Dan was there with his wife, I managed a dance with her along with a few women who know me from tango. Most would not believe that I was no good at salsa; I soon put them right on that.

We had a fabulous night, hardly any dancing, but loads of catching up; even Gilbert was there, an old school friend of our daughter’s. I admit to having some sneaky fun videoing him trying to salsa. I have no intention of showing this here; it is for my daughter’s amusement only.

After the dance we finished up at Steve’s, and as usual did not leave until late. We needed to be up by ten to have time to travel to Prestbury, so again I had not enough sleep.

So Sunday morning up, showered and ready we set off for Prestbury and Frank’s memorial dance. We got a little lost as we turned too early for the satnav but as we U turned to go back, there in front of us was the Longfield Suite, I guess you could say that it found us.

The room itself was beautiful, it had a gleaming wooden floor, polished to perfection and of a size I have rarely seen. At the far end a huge stage already set with the instruments of Frambuesas, slow tango music had wafted us from the bottom of the stairs and now I was ready to dance.

Again, although not unexpectedly this time, there were numerous people from my past, we sat with Ann and Les, but I spent more time catching up with others around the room than dancing.

I had a lovely dance with Carol from Leeds the first I think we have had outside Buenos Aires. The tanda was Pugliese and while Carol loves his music and knows him well, I find it difficult to dance to so I promised Carol another dance later. To my shame I never made it, I hope she will forgive me, and I have told her we will dance again in BsAS.

The list of people we met is huge so I will not mention all of them, but I must mention Attilla, her last dance I think before her impending delivery, we wish her well, and though it was short I enjoyed my dance, a second milonga would have been too much with less than three weeks to go, so I had to let her sit down.

Frank would have been pleased I think, that we gave him such a good send off. I cannot finish without sending my thanks to the organisers, Frank’s family, Frambuesas, and anyone who helped, and not forgetting everyone who turned up. All these people know each other through him, and just seeing how many people now tango in the UK because of him is an inspiration.

As a footnote there were donations collected for the British Heart foundation, when I know how much they raised I will let you know.

After the milonga, of course, we still had our usual Sunday evening salsa class with Clan Cuban, just to finish off the weekend.

Then it was off to bed again so that I could be up for work in the morning at five.

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Filed under milonga, Tango

Same old thing

We started the day with domestic issues, we had to fetch the washing, and there were a few things we needed. First stop was the locoturio to try and ring our daughter, who of course was not in. Next we passed the furniture shop and drove the poor guy in there insane while we argued about what we would put alongside our sofa. Viv also wanted some coasters , so we set off for the shop where she thought they were, without any luck.

After we had picked up the washing, we stopped in another shop and found some coasters although not what we wanted, at this price we thought we may as well get them anyway. We looked in a shop called Petish Bazaar and found exactly what we wanted, but then Viv changed her mind and we bought orange ones instead, woman’s prerogative.

Back at base we had a sandwich and a rethink, deciding that one of the bedside tables we already had would be perfect for he side of the sofa. Off we headed again to the furniture shop. “Uno esto mesa de luz” said I, but then we had an argument about which handle to have. Luckily I won and we got the right handle, but of course the shop had no spares. They had to remove one from another piece, but all ended well and it now looks well in our living area.

We  returned yet again to El Arraque, a little later , and fully expecting that it would be very busy. By now we are welcomed as old friends by Carlito who shows us to a table at our usual spot.There are fewer people than Monday , which surprises us, as we are later we expected more. We had been told that the DJ was very good on Monday, that, and the fact that it was a holiday was probably the reason it was so crowded then. 

Again we enjoyed the dancing here, Viv is starting to like the early milongas and eating afterwards. We talked about Carol, who we knew to be in Buenos Aires but we had seen her only the once. Deciding that we had had enough and feeling very hungry, we decided one more Tanda and we would go, just then Carol arrived. I admit to being surprised as in less than an hour the place would close, but I think she had plans to move on to another milonga. She is flying home tomrrow, so again I did not get to dance with her. It looks like I will have to travel all the way to Leeds if I am ever  to get that dance.

We returned again to Puente Cuore (I hope this time I have spelled it correctly).  At night the staff are different, and this gives the place a different feel. We should have had an enjoyable meal but ended up dissapointed. The food as always was good, but the service was lacking. Whenever we have steak here now we always share, this is not uncommon here, but no one had told our waiter. Firstly there was no bife de lomo, so we had to have bife de chorizo, then when we asked for one to share, it was a case of only one?

We started with a salad, the waiter brought only one plate, I had to ask for another. The steak and the chips were served on one plate cafeteria style, without the usual show of cutting it in half for us, he just plonked it on the table

By now we were getting fed up, we finished with a desert and coffee, but the moment was gone. The bill of just  under £20 will seem low to anyone in the UK  but it was expensive for here, some how I do not think we will be back here at night. Something I have noticed in the big restaurants on Corrientes, is the poor service, whether this is normal or, just because they think we are touristas and will not be back, I do not know, but I never found this attitude around Scalabrini or in any of the smaller parillas. Perhaps they knew we were English and just wanted to make us feel at home.


Filed under Argentina, Dance Venues and Schools, milonga