20 jun 2008

SFTX kickoff at The Beat tonight (as opposed to the preliminary at CELLspace last night). Packed to the gills and stiflingly hot. Folks regularly stumbling out of the ballroom to get some respite in the fresh night air, appearing mushy and worn like steamed carrots. Got a few dances, tried to keep a light attitude but knew I was off my game. My entire dance completely falls apart in social situations, and the degree to which it crumbles is directly proportional to how packed the dance floor is, how uneven the flow is, and how familiar or unfamiliar my partner is. For many reasons I just tend to lose composure. I sometimes feel that for those who know my dance when I'm feeling relaxed and free I become a complete stranger when I get uncomfortable. It's that profound. I guess it's kind of the Cindy Brady syndrome, where she froze up in the game show when the "on air" light was on. At one point I stepped on someone in a back step. Felt bad about that but really did try to minimize the weight, and at least I was wearing my practice shoes with the foamy heels. Think I've developed a bad habit of taking a back step too often. Even though by all rights I should have the space if the couple behind me is respecting their distance, I shouldn't expect it as a matter of course, especially when the floor gets full. I'll try to keep this in mind.

Side note: I found an interesting article in Scientific American regarding dance and brain evolution, where they mapped out specific points of brain activity among tango dancers. It's probably best to read the article because I won't be able to summarize it justly. Also, in the print edition there is a fascinating side snippet regarding studies done with people with Parkinson's Disease who began dancing tango. Reading about it reminded me of the great Gavito, who danced wonderfully despite being afflicted with PD (the only real giveaway is his left hand). And also in the print edition there's a nice little picture with one of my favorite dancers (apparently, it's a pretty old picture because her partner is one she split from a while back).

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