Category Archives: tango

What a Sunday

Posting long notes because this will help me remember. =) You can skip this if you want.

I woke up to a nice long Skype chat with my mom and dad. =) It was great catching up again and telling them about the stuff I've been up to.

I helped Brian Wilson buy groceries for the Graduate House Council barbecue this Monday. We bought 60+ liters of softdrinks and juice, 200 hamburger buns, 100 hotdog buns, and lots of condiments. I took pictures of the heaps and heaps of stuff at the cashier, and I'll post them soon.

Then it was off to Dufferin Grove for the Wireless Toronto launch. They've blanketed the park with wireless internet. I might need to replace the extended battery on the Fujitsu so that I can get good battery life again. It would be so nice to be able to work under the trees!

I had a fun chat with Craig of Kijiji about social software. He moved to Toronto from Montreal in order to work for Kijiji, a community classified ads system that emphasizes being able to meet people in person. It was great talking to him about the company and how people hear about the cool stuff.

I met Jutta because she was picking leaves off stinging nettles for use in a nettle pesto for an upcoming party - feeding 700 people! Wow. She was chatting with Andrew Kegney(?), who's into Wireless Toronto. We had a fun conversation about nettles. Andrew's story about running into a huge patch of stinging nettles was funny! =) Jutta introduced us to David of Clay+Paper Theatre and Georgie Donais of, two interesting projects I should definitely look into.

Another mental note: Check out Patrick Dinnen's blog post on electronic communication's suckiness.

After the Wireless Toronto thing, Jed Smith and I walked to Kensington Market to take part in the first Pedestrian Sunday for the year. I was supposed to attend samba practice with Jed, but I felt the pull of tango too strongly. ;) On the way to the park where we were to meet for samba practice, I saw that a tango club had arranged a circle of chairs on the concrete road. I also ran into Leigh Honeywell, who was waiting for the cooking demo at one of the booths.

A short distance down the road, I met Nana, the girl from the Queen's Park drum party who did totally awesome fire poi. Unfortunately, she absentmindedly left the poi in the park one day. I gave her my condolences on her loss and lent her the glowy poi (I still haven't found batteries!), giving her my telephone number so that she could get in touch with me just in case she needed to leave early.

Anyway, tango. Couldn't resist. Instead of going to samba practice, I walked back to the tango circle ad danced with Trevor Barrie, Peer Flach, and a few people I hadn't known: Renett(sp?, Peer's friend?), Richard, Ian, and... err... someone whose name I've forgotten. <sheepish grin>

Renett had taken a few tango lessons from Victor Hugo. Richard was an experienced dancer. Ian was completely new to it, but I managed to teach him a few basic steps. =) He reminded me that we'd met at a Python meeting or something like that, and that we were both in Toastmasters. When I heard that he's working on the Persuasion manual, I told him about my interest in sales and marketing. Now I have a study buddy! =)

When tango wound down, I wandered back to the samba group. We walked back to Kensington Market, not too far from the tango place. I should probably have stayed there, then! It was good that I rejoined the group, though. They had free food and beer at a restaurant near there.

I wasn't feeling particularly hungry and I really wanted to get my poi, so I trekked back to Graduate House and picked up my poi and my diabolo. =)

When I got back, the samba group was warming up, so I slipped into a Samba Elegua T-shirt (ack! it's large!) and played the tambo by mimicking the others. It was _tons_ of fun, just watching so much energy pour out of the crowd.

It was a little bit weird because this was hippie central and so a number of people were smoking marijuana. I'm not used to that and I probably will never be. I tried not to feel weirded out by it, but I have to confess being a teensy bit afraid of people who were drunk or high.

The drumming was good, though. =)

After our last set, silence returned to Kensington Market. I brought out my diabolo and started playing with it while waiting for the samba group to figure out what to do next. Jed picked it up and tried it out, too. I still can't quite believe that this was his first time with it, as he got the hang of it so quickly. (But hey, this is why I hang out with brilliant people, right?)

I switched to the cloth poi and played around with it, drawing a bit of an audience. I met a number of people interested in diabolo and poi: Alia (happy birthday!), Corin, David, Norman, Denis(?), and Ariel.

I also met Himy again, and he introduced me to Ismael. I should talk to them more about catalysts, activists, neigborhoods in Toronto... Himy's a walking atlas/history maven. Wow. =)

Himy, Jed and I called it a night at around 12, 1. We headed back in the direction of GH, and had an interesting conversation about homelessness and politics along the way. I hope Himy becomes a councilor! He'd do a great job. =)

It will be so hard to wake up tomorrow, but today was definitely worth it!

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Random Japanese sentence: 彼は猫を二匹飼っている。一匹は黒でもう一匹は白だ。 He keeps two cats: one is black, and the other white.

Tango thoughts

I was surprised to run into Victor Hugo, Carlos, and Israel - all from Tango Passion. I felt guilty about skipping tango! Once you stop, well, it's hard to get back on, and the last tango session I had didn't go so well. I enjoy dancing with people who, well, dance me, who care more about the conversation of rhythm and motion than about dancing a dance or showing their technique. As much as I appreciate people trying to teach me cool stuff on the dance floor - and there are some people who can do that well, adding one or two new tricks as part of our dance - I remember being rather frustrated by people who'd keep pushing me to do this one thing, or they'd try all sorts of advanced stuff and be frustrated when I don't quite follow.

Oh, and being told that I'm too intense, that I smile too much - I suppose that does make sense in tango's traditional poses, but I like focusing on people, not floors. I dance with my eyes, too. It's not that I'm getting my cues from them, but I like having the occasional connection. I can dance with my eyes closed, and I love that feeling of trust as well. Still... =b

It's a pity, as I really did enjoy the contact. Socially sanctioned, wouldn't be misinterpreted, safe... <laugh> It wasn't just that, either. It was really just being able to follow, to listen, to be the instrument that another person dances through...

Maybe I should try dancing again. After all, I still have my shoes...

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Said Thomas:

A good dance is like playing a good song, once you get into the groove your mind comes into the present and you just become the dance or song.

Random Japanese sentence: うちの猫って甘えん坊で、どこでも私のあと着いて来るのよね。 My cat is such a baby, she follows me around wherever I go.

End-of-class tango milonga on Monday

Announcement from Emily:

This Monday is our end-of-class Milonga! Dress will be semi-formal — so here's your chance to take a break from papers and studying, get dressed up, introduce your friends to the tango, and show off your dancing skills.

There will be tango demonstrations, a quick crash course for beginners, and you know the food will be good. You can bring your favourite snacks, too.

Monday, March 20th
FREE for club members, $3 for guests

Location: downstairs at the Wolfond Centre/Hillel — 36 Harbord Street, at Huron Street, between Spadina and St. George, a bit south of Bloor Street.

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E-Mail from Argentine Tango Club

Random Japanese sentence: 私は犬のほうが猫より好きです、何故なら犬のほうが猫より忠実ですから。 I like dogs better than cats, because the former are more faithful than the latter.

I could’ve danced all night…

... and in fact, I just did. Aside from a dinner break and a couple of dances that I skipped to snack on things or get water or chat with people, I must've danced for _eight_ _hours_ - from 6:30 until Matthew (the restaurant maitre'd, I guess) finally managed to get us to stop at 2:30.

Yes, my feet are killing me. I should seriously look into more support for my dancing shoes. They're marginally better than dancing barefoot (which I did at some point, to the regret of my toes), but I may need more cushioning.

Cushioning can only go so far, though. After all, I did dance for eight! hours!

Yes, there goes my exercise quota for the week. Hah. As if I'm going to be able to stay away from tango practica tomorrow, and the walk to Toastmasters on Tuesday... I should just figure out how to remove the athletic center from my fees. Or I should set aside time to go there and oh, use the exercise bikes...


Dancing was _tons_ of fun. I danced with a number of people, including a tango singer who performed at this show I saw last year. Dancing with a salsa teacher was particularly fun, as he kept introducing salsa tricks. Dips! Lifts! Vertical spins! (GWAAH!) It worked out very well, and Victor Hugo (the tango teacher and the DJ for this session) laughed and suggested that we practice for a show. A show!

As long as I don't neglect my studies and other things... =)

If I wake up late tomorrow, you know why.

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Hoping I recover full use of my legs by 7:00, or I won't be able to make it to the International Day of Tango celebration. It feels like I'm walking on swords. Walking on the balls of my feet is out of the question, which means I can't properly do the tango walk. My heeled shoes help a bit, although ochos - where I have to pivot around one foot - hurt like heck.

Note to self: next time, stretch before dancing energetically.


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