This did not surprise me (the milonga had been sitting on her google calendar for several days by this point), but nonetheless I was terrified. I thought to myself, just give me a week off so that I can gather up the courage to attend a tango event with people I don't know. (It's crazy that after nearly 32 years on this beautiful planet I still manage to fool myself into thinking that being courageous becomes easier when you wait longer).
Anyway, some part of my brain that has been getting stronger over the last decade managed to ignore the terror and make me blurt out "sure, I'm going". Great. Thanks, brain. Now I was committed.
On the way there, I had some pretty amazing emotional flashbacks to junior high and high school, when I was full of hormones and confusion, and going to a dance seemed like both the most important and the most frightening thing in the world, and I desperately wanted this one intelligent gorgeous violin-playing story-writing girl to like me, and... well, that's the lead-in to another story, which some of you already know about.
Anyway, I managed to keep my courage and go. I spent a long time on the sidelines gawking at steps I'd never seen and feeling nervous. Then, to my great relief, the fabulous empty_fork dragged me onto the floor and we danced a set. She complimented me on not being as much of a disaster as some "experienced" tango dancers she has danced with. Which looks kind of like a backhanded compliment when I write it down, but actually came across in person as sweet and heartfelt. Some more sidelines sitting and then I danced two sets with tornadogrrrl, one with her leading and one with me leading. akatchoom was there too, but owing both to her popularity and my nervousness, we didn't get a chance to dance. (Next time!)
All told, I only spent about 1.5 hours at the milonga (officially a 3-hour event), and I probably only danced about 15-20 minutes of that. But it was wonderful. I feel kind of like I felt when I first started attending the juggling club here in Portland: awkward, out of place, and not very skilled, but having a blast and really wanting to do more.