This year, 2017, has been different than I expected for my Tango Voyage. To start, I was hoping to get a little more travelling in and hopefully go to Europe for a bit. That didn’t quite go as planned as I’ve actually stayed stateside the whole time. Had to deal with evicting bad renters which cost me a bit, get new renters, delays, get a new place for myself to setup as a main base, took over the local Tango Practica, a solid full time job, teaching tango through the university tango club and elsewhere, started up photography, and more. Much has happened this year, and this website was put on the wayside through everything, but now focusing more and more on getting this blog done weekly as the goal, but bi-weekly minimum!
Nothing always goes as planned, but it didn’t prevent me from continue with different tango aspirations. The local Ashland Tango Practica was in need of a hand over to someone new, and I took up the responsibility of hosting/managing the practica. Over this year I’ve finally got to the point that I’m happy with how everything is going for the practica, going through many changes every month, and is almost like it is on auto-pilot as I have my system down.
I am continuing the practica through this next year, and since things are running smoothly, when I do travel and such, I can hand things off to someone for the week or two I’m away, easily. There will still be changes and improvements as this has been my biggest ongoing project taking much of my time and focus for this year!
Outside of hosting/taking over the Ashland Tango Practica, I have gone to a few festivals this past year. I attended ValenTango, Burning Tango, Portland TangoFest, and Connect Tango Festival. Due to life hangups as mentioned above, I didn’t really spread out as much as I wanted, even for being in the states. There are more I wish to do this next year, but that is what I’ve done this past year. I haven’t finished the write up about Portland TangoFest yet, but it is coming, otherwise I’ve written about the others, so you can get my impressions.
In addition to the practica and festivals, this year I’ve gotten into teaching quite a bit more! Working with the SOU Tango Club, invited and started teaching tango weekly up in Grants Pass, adding some teaching time before the practica, and some private lessons for some people who have requested it. Teaching Tango really opens up your thoughts into your own dance, how to better explain and project your vision of tango and what you feel is important to many different skill levels. Just like my own dance, how I’m teaching is always evolving.
Photography and Music?!
Not directly related to Tango, but heavily influenced, is my start into more photography. Due to my job, I suggested we get an actual camera as using a cell phone camera doesn’t work great for what my work needs me to do. Having a good camera makes a big difference, and as an added benefit, I have full use/access of this camera for my own personal use. Taking photos with it now almost where ever I go, from local events to festivals. I’ve been doing pictures at a lot of fun events around town which can be found through my personal Facebook albums, and taken it out when I go dancing a festivals. Getting some good lenses, working with movement, manual focus, low light, smiles, and editing… a LOT of editing, has been something that has taken off.
In addition to Tango Photography, I’ve been looking into more music. Yes more music to DJ, so expanding my Tango Collection, but more of my alternative music collection that I feel is really fun to dance Tango too. Finding alternative music that goes together in tandas is a much tougher endeavor than with traditional music, but slowly but surely the collection is growing.
Getting back into playing music has also been a small focus this year. Bought a guitar and started learning how to play, with the goal to do some Tango Guitar and a few other things, but that went to the back burner after I got the nice camera. Was also invited to join as a Viola player in a tango group, but I haven’t played in years. Could get back into that, so we shall see how 2018 fairs with my time. The time for me to get to a place I’m happy with on my Viola playing, would take me completely away from photography. Much of the spare time I have had, has gone into taking photos and editing said photos. To play the Viola again or to learn the guitar is on my list for the next year, but photography I want to keep as something ongoing, second to dancing Tango.
The year has been busy, with the next year having a few more surprises on its way. Looking into more festivals, both stateside as well as abroad. Still wanting to go to Europe, but that might be on hold another year unless things really move forward. Keeping charge of the local practica, moving into more teaching opportunities, further pursuing of music and photography, and I’m sure something new will take some of my focus. This Voyage has been amazing, and looking forward to what it has in store for 2018 and beyond!