It has been a while since my last post, and I’m due many new ones to come, Including about running a practica and everything else involved around that and more in my local community. But this post is about the wonderful weekend I had out at McCloud California.
Burning Tango 2017!
A weekend in the middle of June, with the heat blasting down, in a small town a few hours away from what you could consider a bigger city on the West Coast of the Unite States, there is this little tango. In comparison to other major festivals, this can be considered little, but to any different festivals around, 300ish+ people isn’t a small feat for a Tango Festival Weekend. When the town that is hosting the festival only has about 1,100 residence, this big influx of people into this small town is a sight to behold. With the weather, camping, waterfalls, hiking and more, this festival lives up to it’s name: “Burning Tango”
Now if you’re used to dancing at bigger festivals, you’ll still find much of the pros and cons you would find anywhere else. The exception is the heat. The venue is a single dance floor, with swamp coolers, so as you dance around there are spots of reprieve from the heat, but they can be short lived, or long lived if the floor isn’t moving.
There is a back room with water, additional cooling, but this is a place, where you don’t wear a jacket if you’re dancing, but non the less, there were no shorts visible on the dance floor.
What else is there? Well with the single venue with a single floor, it’s pretty nice. You wouldn’t have expected something like this in this little town. You’ll find out that there are actually quite a few events that happen here year-round, from other dance events, to music, biker get togethers, and more! Even though it is a small town, it offers a lot to those looking for a slightly out of the way space, but still bringing good comfort.
There is good food, and if you don’t like the immediate faire, you can go to the nearest town and there is plenty available! Personally, I loved the local in town food, but I was staying one town over, which is a short 20-minute drive. Hotels are reasonably priced, with camping available plus house shares and other options if you are looking for them.
With hiking nearby, waterfalls, hot springs, beautiful weather, you know this is a great place.
What about the festival? There are big group classes, which surprised me on how many people attended. It was all included in the price, so that is great! With those sizes, and offerings on which classes, you know it was a more general class, and didn’t get into anything too advanced. I was surprised though there was more in-depth explanations for those that could utilize it. The classes were a good choice to attend, with plenty of people for networking potential as well.
Skill level of dancer though varies just like any festival, you have those that don’t respect lanes, those who bump (not many) and many great experiences. There are always a few people who stand out, both on the good or the bad spectrum, yet the festival kept itself moving. I was grateful to the group I attended with, as it added some extra youth into the mix, yet the age and skill range was solid. Some people don’t like the idea of mentioning age ranges, but I must say it was a nice mix all around for those for who it matters. I found myself quite comfortable.
How does this measure up to Portland Tangofest, Valentango, and others? I’d say the skill level is a little less, but on average you get more receptive dancers, so overall you’ll have a better time dancing with some new people. Will it all be great, no, but you need to network and get to know someone, and maybe not always accept every dance that comes your way.