Ana Maria's class at Canning; I always enjoy these classes. Two hours with a break, it's relaxed, nothing difficult. There's a lot of initial emphasis on walking, and it's valuable practice, as it's easier to notice and correct bad habits in class than while dancing in a milonga. Part class, part practica. In particular, this evening I pick up on what Ana Maria says about flexing the knee before stepping, a slight lift of the flexed knee which results in the foot coming down firmly without the hardness of the heel hitting the floor as in normal walking. I think this is clearly visible in any clip of Ricardo Vidort's walk, and I think also in El Flaco's walk in the video of Muma above. Like stamping, but a lot more gentle; putting the foot down firmly perhaps. I think it's something all the older dancers do, and to some extent the younger ones too. I've been aware of it for a long time and I find that in walking it results in a clearer lead, but the problem is getting it to feed through into social dancing, making a new habit. It completely eradicates that old bad habit of stepping forward with a bent knee; something Cacho Dante pointed out to me last time I was here.
My last evening at Canning; and it's a really good evening when the castellano, the cabeceo and the tango all work well, good memories of meeting a succession of friendly local partners on the floor. There's no experience quite like this: the moment of agreement in a look at a distance, the embrace between strangers, the dance, the brief conversations. In general, I've never found the people of any city quite as welcoming as BsAs, and these brief encounters, and the embrace, and the dance make evenings that are worth coming back here for. But it's taken a few weeks to get this far.
I know Canning only from Mondays and Fridays and both evenings are a good mix of young and old, mainly local people and some visitors as well. It feels like a powerhouse of meeting. Unfortunately it's also turned into a bit of a photo opportunity, and on Fridays there's at least some poor dancing. But most evenings at El Beso can feel just a bit unforgiving by comparison.