I started off my week with a burst of joy. Antonio had been telling me he had a surprise for me, and I felt like I knew what it was. Sure enough, when I arrived at the studio he told me to close my eyes, and when I opened them my new friend Angeles that I met at the South American Open Competition was here from Argentina! Angeles is a beautiful person inside and out and an extraordinary dancer who was in the states performing with her Tango troop. Have you ever had an experience where you meet someone and there is an instant connection? That was my first impression meeting Angeles, the first day I met her we embraced as if we were old friends. We had a nice time catching up although her English has improved so much more than my Spanish! We had a fun time talking together before my class over coffee, and with the help of Google translate our communication was seamless. Like all of the students from Colavita Studio, I admire her attention to technique and flawless execution when she dances, so I felt nervous at first as she watched me rehearse.  She was so pleasant and encouraging I had nothing to fear.  Our time together was short but I am looking forward to her next visit!

As Antonio and I Work on choreography I have to remember to cross in the back during the second part of the open fan. During this time I realized the one thing I didn’t talk about in my Showcase video was how hard it was to learn this choreography compared to my other dances, this choreography was set to the phrasing of the music and there are absolutely no counts!! Because of this even though I knew the steps in my routine as we started to set it to music I was completely lost. Antonio and I wind up singing the lyrics so I can connect the music to the choreography.
Later that week having trouble getting into position after the Ronde. Mario observed my struggles and showed me I was dancing too far away and need to come in closer. As I try to follow Mario’s advice I slam my nose into Antonio’s shoulder and Mario can’t contain his laughter. Between the Ronde and these dips throughout the routine, I have my work cut out for me. I am having some anxiety and am not as confident, but Antonio isn’t hearing it! Antonio tells me “I need you to bring it!” Even though at this moment I feel like I don’t know my left foot from my right I know from working together for over two years that he sees potential beyond the limitations of my mind.

This Friday is the party!! Maxi is teaching Rumba and I get to be one of Maxi’s assistants which I always enjoy. I get to practice the special arms Maxi taught me which add dramatic flair to my dancing. The students from the college of North Georgia ballroom club are back this month, and they always bring a fresh new perspective and fill the studio with excitement. There are several new students from Daza Dance tonight and I have an opportunity to spend time getting to know them and dance with them, sharing in the joy of the party and making first time party goers feel welcome.
When we took our usual break I was excited to win a class! This was extra special and meaningful today because I celebrated my birthday along with a few other students that I was just getting to know. Later that evening Antonio also shared some beautiful words about me in competition. He also shared some inspiring words about Colet Falvey who won Best Newcomer at the North Carolina Classic.

Of all the times I danced that evening the most memorable was dancing with Antonio Hero by Mariah Carey, a song he sent to me early in my journey to encourage me to step out beyond my fears. Fear used to be a controlling force in my life, but being able to express myself through dancing and being my true self-has completely transformed me through moments of pure clear joy.
That Saturday morning I wake up for an early morning class with Maxi. When I arrive at the studio I am a bit grumpy and need coffee but Maxi is already bubbling over with smiles and his excitement and joy are contagious; it isn’t long before I start smiling and giggling. We start to work and my head is spinning as I try to work out this last combination. We finally reach the end of the routine and Maxi gives me the biggest hug! Even though I don’t have it perfect if feels so sweet to be in this place.

My Life lesson this week is to “bring it”!! As I strive to be unashamed, bold and fearless in the execution of steps I need to treat life the same way. This routine is helping me gain confidence, the feisty nature of Tango is infusing into my personality.  I feel like smiling and putting my hands on my hips like they do in those cheerleading movies and saying   “Bring it? It’s been brought!”

By: Kamaria George (11/03/2017)