Tango Cherries – La Latina 2014, Roma, Italy

Being able to write about La Latina is a big honor, somehow. I guess at no other european marathon the ratio of people who register to people being accepted is so poor. And yes, I now can understand that almost everybody wants to go there. Reading the participants list on Facebook gave me the impression that most of my international tango friends will be there, and I was looking forward to meeting them very much.

La Latina is a myth, a playground, a holiday camp, a tango marathon, an eating festival, a pleasure zone, a drinking fiesta, a 24/7 party, and much more.

Located in a nice hotel outside Rome, with a big pool, shady trees, lots of greens around, a huge dance floor (the biggest I ever have seen), and so many beautiful, awesome, talented dancers. Coming here for the first time, the whole mixture deeply impressed me.

Fortunately I did not arrive alone, but spent the night before in Rome with friends. So we arrived there the 4 of us, and this way I felt comfortable and safe. I imagine coming there alone could easily be a bit scary, just because of the huge amount of people (400 … or more).

The event is hosted by 4 marvelous guys who combine italian joy of life with swiss precision in organizing, offering kind hospitality, help, smiles, and everything one could need at every second of your stay. No question, the DJ’s were great, and the level of dancing was the highest I’ve seen so far in any event, and it was always pleasurable to sit and just watch.

For me the afternoons worked well, it was less crowded because people spread out to their rooms for a rest, to the pool for some sun and party, and to the dance floor. The light was brighter (which makes it easier to mirada dancers or respond to their cabeceos wearing my contact lenses), and so I have been blessed with tandas with some of my favorite dancers from all over europe. The nights I found a bit difficult – so many people, dimmed lights, a constant fast movement in the cortinas and often I watched fascinated the way the dancers left the dance floor and immediately formed new couples. Maybe I need more experience in such busy environments, or it’s just my inner self, but there were moments I felt lost, lost in the crowd, in beauty, in excitement.

As far as I understand a lot of my friends face this kind of personal highs and lows in a marathon as well, so no need to worry. Sometimes you just need to go and change your shoes, and everything changes around you, inside you, and a great night starts … I got to dance some exciting tandas with leaders I haven’t met before, but also managed to dance with friends I longed to dance with for quite a (long) while.

Joy is always round the corner, in La Latina.

I am very thankful that I could experience and enjoy this last edition of the event. It’s a milestone in european tango history. And if the tango gods offer everybody of us a share of melting tandas you will never forget in life per year, I might have used my share for this year in La Latina ….

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