Part 1 focuses on my feelings after ValenTango.
Part 2 & 3 is a detailed breakdown of my experience!
ValenTango has come and gone, and there is always this love and longing relationship once it is over. This is an overview of my ValenTango 2016 Experience, kind of a ValenTango 2016 Review. These feelings are of my own doing of course, not a fault of the festival. The festival has everything I could want and hope for in a festival. There are wonderful teachers, performances, big beautiful dance space, secondary dance space, welcoming people of all skill levels, great hosts, volunteers and greeters with smiles, DJs, live music, discussion groups, and plenty of dancing to be had. So there really is everything I could want, and I love it all, but at the end, I long for more out of it.
Something missing, or…
What is it that has me feeling unfulfilled? Is it because I went as a single male without a relationship? No, I’ve attended previously while in a relationship with my significant other and felt the same at the end. Is it the dancers, the people, the music, the number of activities… No, none of those, all were exactly what I was expecting and great. Maybe what was missing is I went there to dance, and didn’t attend any classes? That could have improved my experience, but I’m fairly sure squeezing more in I would have still be left longing for more.
It’s taken me a while to figure out what it is, and it’s not the festival that is lacking anything, it’s my own limits and why I dance. The festival is a big festival weekend, so many people, from different areas, energies, styles, intention, that makes it so diverse and wonderful. It’s this lack of focus I’m missing and was longing more for. It feels like a big tango party, that seems to not have that focused feeling around Valentine Day, which is usually about love and connection, which I feel is in the heart of Tango.
Large vs Small
ValenTango is a large festival, and that has it’s own challenges and that is where I’m always hoping for more. I’ve helped put together a local Festival, and it has a theme, the classes, the discussions, the music, the ambiance, morning yoga, the food area, all of it is focused towards the theme. When the smaller festival is over, I feel complete and happy with everything. Not because I was a part of putting it together (that helps), but because it’s exactly what it is advertised as. ValenTango I feel has some elements and decoration around Valentines Day, but it’s missing some of that focus. It’s hard to get that focus when you’re working on a scale that is 20x bigger than the little local festival.
What I feel ValenTango is missing is that added focus. It has all the elements and is a wonderful festival, I just wish it had something that made it more intimate around Valentines Day. Maybe a more melodic smaller Milonga, a free class focusing on connection types, the second dance space feeling more intimate, better decor in the lobby area. The Grande Ball decorations were stellar, wish that leaked out through more of the Festival. This is just what would bring this big festival into something even bigger and better in my opinion. Is it feasible with a festival of this size, with the time and volunteers… I don’t know, could not imagine what something of this size takes.
Is this a problem with ValenTango? Not at all, this is my own expectations and wishes bleeding through. At such a size, it’s perfect for what it has. It has something for everyone, from alternative, to live music, super fun mixers, beautiful people and dancers, teachers, and more! Many other festivals don’t have this extra pressure as their dates and titles and such don’t have this added holiday element and stigma added onto it like Valentines Day does. This is of course my own opinions leaking through.
ValenTango 2016 felt better than the years before, and is a wonderful festival. I suggest everyone to check it out, as it really does bring tango together in a wonderful place and managed by wonderful people.