The Conspiracy: The Next Stage
10th November 2009
(More Unlocking the Milonga articles.)
"If I had some duct tape, I could fix that." ~ MacGyver
Well for a start I think amending the description on Facebook has helped.
"You will be expected to dance in an anti-clockwise route around the dance floor, not overtake, and dance appropriately i.e. no drops or aerials etc. Practice moves are not to be done on the dance floor but to the side out of harms way."
Notably several people were using it as a Practica, including standing on the dancefloor discussing how to lead moves, but as far as I know, none of them were members.
However, the rest of the room were by and large able to adapt and flow along, despite these people completely blocking a lane. By contrast, at one point Ken and myself stepped outside by the stairs to discuss and demonstrate some interesting ideas of leading with two other dancers.
I think there are a few other factors at work too.
There seems to be a gradual awakening going on, for example Adrian and Amanada's recent experiment in floorcraft at 33 Portland Place.
If you think about how floor layout affects atmosphere, the nature of having the LGTN group based at one table, and the ease of asking to dance, means that people are more comfortable watching dances and having a drink (or piece of cake!) and a chat between dances.
Also, our LGTN group has been running for over a year now, so understandably the skill of the dancers in it has improved. What was particularly interesting last night was the amount of walking that was being done. It takes a certain degree of skill to do walking well.
But now that it is being done, people watching see it being done, and start to think "Hmmm, that looks really good". Whereas before all you'd see being done was show tango, so quite reasonably you'd think that show tango wass what you should do, and it self-perpetuated.
Not that show tango wasn't going on of course. Downstairs is still the Nuevo section after all. I led a couple of dances in the Nuevo shadow hold and had great fun doing so. But the drops, aerials, high boloes and whirlwinds on speed were noticeably absent. The worst I had to contend with was a few beginners who kept starting their sequences with a step back.
However, again, the simple fact that they were able to do so, demonstrates quite clearly that downstairs is finally beginning to work. After all if you're not crowding the couple in front, then it doesn't really matter if they step back.
In the whole evening I got three touches which were literally light brushes and didn't disturb me at all. My follower got clipped once by a guy who was a little too absorbed in his sequence and not whether there was actually room to complete it.
But it's definitely getting better.
Now if I could just find some duct tape...
- Christopher O'Shea, 10th November 2009