I am dancing again. I am amazed. I don't know why, but I am. When Sabrina told me that I would be dancing better in November than before the accident, I doubted her. How could I believe her when I could not even cross my legs? When I would fall with no warning? When my knee would cave in?
In the last 6 weeks I have been going out more than in the last 6 months combined. Back to my old haunts and a few new ones. At first I would sit at the table. Maybe I would dance 1 or 2 tandas. It was getting old having men ask me where Roberto was. Here many men do not invite a woman to dance if she is attached. Especially to someone like him.
The funny thing is Roberto never cared if I danced with anyone else, as long as they were good dancers. Sometimes when I wanted to irritate him I would dance with a bad dancer on purpose. If the men were foreigners and not good dancers, it didn't bother him. He figured people would think they were our students.
Now it seemed like no one was asking me to dance. When they did, I felt awkward. I could feel my balance and axis wobbling. My 10cm heels were too high. Back to Leo and Dar Cos for some that were 8. I long to wear my beautiful shoes from Leo, but right now I cannot. I asked her to either cut the heels down or to change them. She refused. "No." she told me. "Because when you are dancing again you will want them to be higher. You are a ballerina, that will never change."
Was the wobbling me? Them? Or both? Because I was not dancing with better dancers I could not tell. I was a little miserable. This accident has robbed me of so much...and now my dance. I needed a strong bailarin to dance with me outside of the milongas. How to find someone that was not connected with Roberto, that can dance, that knows the music, and does not have "intenciones malas" or other ideas.
Enter Daniel and Fernando. Both are friends of Carina. She told them about me and asked if they were interested in a practica with me. Daniel knows who I am and readily agreed. He wanted to help me. Fernando was a little more reticent.
First I met with Fernando. He is young, I am not sure how young, but young. Tall. Maybe a little too tall for me to dance with professionally. We met for coffee. He wanted to know all about my tango, who I danced with, who were my teachers, who I admired. What was my favorite music. He wanted a practice partner not a student.I guess I passed the test, we made plans to dance later in the week.
Daniel is a man in demand. Habla, habla, habla...until we finally set a time to meet. He teaches, dances, and does choreography. One of those handsome young guys who dance tango. Not a milonga guy, but he does show up at times.
I was still lacking confidence when Fernando and I had our practica. I put Di Sarli on. We went into an embrace. After 4 songs I realized, that the wobbling was not me in the milongas. My balance and axis were there. Maybe not like before, but they exist. My problem was the men I was dancing with. Before I could support weaker dancers, now I could not.
I tried different embraces, different footwork. This pibe was a delight to dance with. The transmission of the music between us was a joy. A surprise to him as well. He was a little confused. "Bailas bastante bien." he told me. (You dance well enough) "Gracias, pero no como antes. Quiero mejorar mi baile." I tell him. (Thanks but not like before, I want to improve my dancing.) From my description of my dancing he expected much worse. He admitted to me later, especially because I am American. He expected big sloppy steps, a poor embrace.
The last 10 minutes I put on a CD of Vals. I want to see if my cintura is there. The first vals I am tentative. I move my cintura, but not easily. The pain shoots up my back. Fernando sees it in my face. "Bien?" he asks. "Bien, quiero empujarlo." (Yes, I want to push it.) I feel I have to get past the pain. Maybe this is silly, but I feel this is why I am where I at now.
Then somewhere in the middle of the 4th vals, I lean back and then into my cintura to a giro. My heart leaps. It is there! I want to cry. Fernando has no idea what I am thinking. We dance two more valses and then the time is up. My student is coming for an English class.
With new confidence in my dance I go to the milongas. Now more men are asking me to dance. I enter into Niño Bien. I stop at the table of name brands to greet them. "Hola nena, hola linda" they greet me. Ricardo tells me "You are more beautiful each time I see you. Is it love or is it tango?" Everyone waits for my answer. I smile and say nothing. Ricardo asks again "Is it love or tango?" They are fishing, that I know. I wait a second "Enomorado con quien? vos?" I say to him. (In love with who? You?) He laughs "Then it must be the tango."