Tilly and I had a wonderful time exploring, DJ’ing and teaching in Taiwan. Unfortunately we did not get a lot of pictures however we are headed back to Taiwan in 2016 and we will take lots of photos. Taipei is an amazing city with great food and amazing public transportation. The tango scene is quite nice with hard working organizers and diligent students. With three separate venues and four (that I know of) Tango studios, the scene there is growing quickly. One thing that Tilly and I observed in the Taiwan tango scene is that the dancers of almost any skill level were very clean dancers. If you ask Tilly what the dancers were like she would use the word “safe,” which is a very good word! You see, when we were at the Taiwan Tango Marathon Tilly’s best dances came from people who started dancing in Asia. The dances that were not as good were with dancers who all learned in the U.S. After talking about it we came to the conclusion that dancers in the U.S. are not often happy with just learning to walk, have a nice embrace, listen to the music, and do some simple figures like paradas. If we could get dancers to accept these things and perfect these things I feel that cliques in tango would be much less prevalent. More people would dance with each other at all levels (like in many other dance styles).
Tilly and I had a fantastic time teaching in Xi’an and Guangzhou. Being both of ours first time to China we were so amazed at everything. These two cities were huge. Xi’an is known for being the start of the silk road and it is home to the famous terracotta warriors. Xi’an shoes it’s age but at the same time present a new side of itself. With the old bell towers and walls around the city you can immediately feel the history. Outside of the wall surrounding the city are new large buildings freshly constructed and empty.
Guangzhou was a much different city. Being China’s third largest city Guangzhou is massive but to my surprise it was extremely green. Palm trees and tropical plants lined the streets. Everything felt so new. One day I decided to wander off the beaten path and walked down a back alley for quite a ways. I finally felt the city. The roots of the city were in the back alleys. The buildings were so close together that if you looked up to the sky you would just see a small opening. The alley’s were quite dark and filled with hair salons, clothing stores, and corner markets that I felt only locals would shop at. These alley’s weren’t for the tourists. I got lots of looks as I wondered down the street. About a mile or so in I came across a clearing of the buildings and found a beautiful temple with a large pond housing hundreds of coi fish. Teaching in Guangzhou was so much fun. The community, as with all of the communities that we experienced in Asia were super friendly and welcoming.