Tango by the Bay

Dear Diary,
"TANGO BY THE BAY" - This year's Tango By The Bay, produced by the Bay Area Argentine Tango Association ("BAATA"), was held at the Ramada Plaza Hotel's Crystal Ballroom on Market Street in San Francisco on Saturday, July 10. The Ball has been held at this location in prior years and then, as now, in a completely satisfying manner. Personally, I like this site very much. Very handily, a parking lot on the East side of the hotel accommodates many cars at a very reasonable rate.

The Ramada's two-story lobby and lounge are plush and elegant with light marble on floors and columns, vivid carpeting, wall mirrors, palms, and golden accents throughout. It has an almost Art Nouveau aura and elegance, particularly in the very spacious and comfortable lounges which are most inviting and intimate. The Ballroom is two-storied with a balcony completing the periphery of the rectangular room, affording overall, generous views of the dance floor. The dance floor itself is a wonderfully smooth wood floor bounded on the outer rim by columns which enclose large tables surrounding the room on three sides and a stage area at one end. A very generous and sumptuous buffet was offered to an appreciative crowd. The bar, however, offered only wines, beers, etc.; no hard liquors for any tequila lovers who happened to be present! The decorations were pure lovely; took me all evening to discover that the gorgeous lilies in water bowls were real and anchored to stay under water - a real, aromatic vision! The floral centerpieces were extravagant, colorful and elegant - beautifully done.

Once again this year, BAATA had contracted the New York/Buenos Aires Trio to play, as well as the addition of a violin player, who filled out the sound of the trio admirably. The sound system was very well-placed as the trio plus one came across loud and clear with more punch than was heard during Nora's Tango Week. The DJ'd music was excellent; not many people sat out many numbers.

Thanks to the BAATA Ball Committee for keeping attendance to a comfortable maximum. There was actually room to dance without constraint!! Everyone I spoke with commented on and appreciated such a luxury. The crowd itself was extremely elegant, well-behaved, intimate and friendly. I saw only one fellow in his casuals and sneakers - tsk, tsk. It was a particular pleasure to see some of the "old timers" of Bay Area tango. And an additional pleasure to have visitors from all over the U.S. who had come to attend Nora's Tango Week.

Our visitors and performers included the teachers from Nora's Tango Week: Nito & Elba, Orlando (Senor Suave) & Susanna, Gavito, who danced with Christy Cote, as Marcella was unable to attend the Ball, and El Indio & Mariana (Roberto & Guillermina were also unable to attend the Ball). And, yes, Gavito and Indio did their foot stomping challenge once again to the delight of the crowd. Some lovely wines and milonga tickets were raffled to several very lucky winners.

All in all, from my own experience and in speaking with many attendees, a totally wonderful evening which ended all too soon. Congratulations and a big, hearty Thank You to the BAATA Ball Committee, the musicians, dancers and attendees for another splendid Tango By The Bay!!

Watch for Elaine's next Dear Diary entry in the coming weeks....ISM

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