Dancing in Huelva
It’s been some time since we danced, so we set off across the border to Spain to join a little community near Huelva for their monthly Milonga. We struggled with returning to Spanish in our heads and unwittingly overstayed our welcome in a café, having forgotten the change of time zone. So we turned up a little late to a Milonga in a cultural centre. I was dying to dance but the music just wouldn’t let me! It was a very strange mix of the schmaltzy and bombastic, in sets of 3 Tangos, followed by 2 Vals and then 2 Milongas. At about 1am, the DJ left, someone else took over, the music changed to D’Agostino and the group fell into a proper Tango groove with a nice Ronda too. Ah, the magic of good music! We had a few Tandas left of more traditional, if still a bit mixed up music.
The people were very nice. It reminded me of how special it is to have a small community of dancers. Everyone knows everyone, and the dancing is only one aspect of the whole story. We hear that the first DJ was a newbie in the world of DJing and that the club has some people wanting things one way and others wanting things another way. As the scene is small, everyone has to be heard, one simply cannot afford to fall out in such a small group. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? It almost made me nostalgic for the good old times of dancing in the Pavilion in Totnes, to the smell of chip fat and with people crossing the dance floor to get to their fitness classes. Or dancing in the United Free Church Hall… and of course there were the times in Staverton, with water running down the walls. We had music playing just like this, all scrambled up and even with some pop music thrown in, not just for cortinas! I also remember our first guest dancer from Belgium, a very unassuming man called Walter who made all the women go starry eyed and wobbly legged and the men all jealous of his influence. Some even considered growing a ponytail like him…
And now look what Totnes Tango has grown into! If we have made it this far, there is hope for every Tango community in this world, no matter how small the location!
Related only by free association, here are some beautiful photos of ‘dancing’ cork oaks, taken in the woods near Faro. Underneath the Oaks we found the most aromatic thyme ever.
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