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Monday, February 08, 2010

From Alto Palermo to a Tango Studio

Sept 17/09

Estoy mojada! That's spanish for "I'm wet!". When it rains it pours here in BA! I've just come back from walking in the rain after talking the Subte all the way back from Palermo after taking a private tango lesson with Eduardo Saucedo and Marisa Quiroga. I'll tell you all about that in the moment after catching you up on my day.

It was my day off today, I don't have to teach English. So I had scheduled a private lesson with Eduardo Saucedo. My adventure today would take me into an area of BA called Palermo. The area is known for it's restaurants, parks, and shopping centres. Today I would experience a little bit of modern day Argentina with a tango twist.

Having a little bit of time before my lesson, I made my way to one of BA's premier modern art museums named Malba (the name not to be confused with "Malbec" which is an Argentinean red wine). The moment I walked through those doors, it was love at first sight. Definitely a very temporary design, the museum showcased modern art by up and coming latin-american and hispanic artists. I managed to get a few shots of the museum before I found out that I wasn't supposed to take any pictures at all. Oh well, at least the shot of a wooden bench unravelling is going to make an awesome facebook profile photo.....

After I was finished there, I still had a little time to kill so I headed towards Palermo Alto, Palermo's premier shopping destination. Walking in there made one's jaw drop. Argentina is definitely not in the dark ages when it comes to fashion! All around me were stores with designer brands just like you would find in any main street in New York. Coupled alongside these big name brands were hip clothing stores for the modern women by home grown Argentine designers.

One in particular is called Rapsodia and I had read about their stores in my guidebook but this is the first time I had ever seen and been in one. And I must say that within minutes of walking into the store, I was quickly becoming a fan. Normally I'm not into shopping, fashion, and clothing but it is a rare moment when you click with a certain designer. And this was one of those moments. Rapsodia is unique in that it was created for women who love music, art, and travel and are looking for modern clothing with a bohemian twist. Perfect for a girl like me!

I quickly proceeded to tell the girl what my body type is and what my needs were and it wasn't too long before I found myself with a pile of clothing in the fitting room as I tried on Rapsodia for the very first time ever. It wasn't too long before I found a set of jeans and a top that I am very close to falling in love so I had the girl write down what it was and it's price. The jeans would be $448 and the top would be $328 ARS. $776 pesos which would equal $200 CDN if I decided that I AM truly madly in love. Or maybe I should save that money for more private lessons with Eduardo. Hmmmmmm..............

Speaking of Eduardo, after my fitting it was then time for me to go for my class. Kikki gave me some directions on how to get to the new studio and it wasn't long before I found myself having a lovely chat with Kikki at their brand new place just a block away. And although I didn't get a chance to know Kikki or Eduardo while they visited Victoria every year, I count myself richly blessed to have this opportunity now.

Kikki has been simply wonderful. She has such a wonderful nurturing and generous spirit about her. Even during the busyness of getting ready for Eduardo's group class on Tuesday, she still found time to take a few moments to check in with me to see who I was doing and to make sure I was adjusting well to the city. I assured her that other than a few bumps in the road, everything was fine and she has made it clear that the doors or her heart are open to me if I needed any help during my time here.

Soon it came time for the lesson. It constantly amazes me that here we have these two world renown tango masters who are totally professional and totally down to earth at the same time. Before the lesson, Marisa and I had a brief chat. When we first met a year ago during a milonga, english was a language that was very new to her and all I had was my broken spanish. All the work I did during this past year to learn spanish made it worth it when we got to have a little chat and catch up on how things have been. And it looks like she's grasped more of the english language during this past year as well.

One of the ultimate perks about learning a new language is being able to have open doors to friendships with other people that you otherwise might not have that opportunity. Gladys is one of those people. She is friendly and sweet spirited and every nite that I'm at her place teaching english and dining together, we can be sure that our talks are none other than stimulating. I haven't had alot of time to get to know Marisa but there is something about this woman. that I really enjoy seeing her, being around her and talking with her.

Have you ever met someone who at just the right moments can be quiet, and gentle natured and observant at times but at other times is full of energy and life with plenty of interesting things to say? From the few conversations I've had with her, I think Marisa is a fantastic balance of both and is no doubt in my mind is another one who is worth learning another language just to be able to get to know.

Then the lesson began and it was time for an in depth evaluation of my tango skills. Taking a deep breath, Eduardo turned on some music and we did a simple walk to see where I was at. The results of the tango lesson bore much fruit in my life. At the beginning of the lesson my tango walk was definitely more on the rough side and by the end of that hour, it had become obvious that under the guidance of both of them, those rough edges started smoothen out just a little bit. It took only 1 hr with Eduardo and Marisa for me to seeing the results I needed, results that would normally take 4-6 weeks or more with regular group instruction. And it helps that I'm with people that I love being with!

For those of you in our tango community, I don't need to tell you that Eduardo is one of the most big-hearted people you will ever know. Whether he is doing his group class or doing a private lesson, he is not only caring but also a tremendous amount of fun to be around. Even when he is correcting my technique, he does it in such a caring, down to earth manner that makes learning fun. His mission and message of love, hope, the embracement of life and putting out positive vibrations into our world are evident in his character and person whether he is on the dance floor or off of it.

The lesson finished beautifully and after the lesson was over, I got to have another lovely chat with the three of them. The combination of their three distinct personalities blending together in harmony when they are all together makes me want to not wait too long before booking my very next tango lesson...........

After kisses good-bye, it time to hop back on the Subte to go back to the residence. Somehow, even though I had to stomp through the rain soaked streets of BA, the journey home didn't seem so long. In a big city, where things can feel somewhat cold and foreign, there is nothing that warms you up in no time like a fantastic set of people who's hearts are open to you at all times.

Amorous Alpacas

Amorous Alpacas