Just the beginning of many more to come

Last night was a blast. Personally it was a milestone. Neeraj and I performed for many tango friends who came out dancing at the Benefit Milonga for Refugees. Not only did we volunteer to support a good cause, but what many people didn't know was that I celebrated my own 3rd tangoversary.

Exactly 3 years ago, I first discovered there was this thing called Argentine Tango that exists. I began to explore the social tango world roughly around fall/winter 2014. That's when I truly felt I finally began to understand it

Three years may not feel long for many people, but I've grown so much in tango that it felt like a life time to me. I've had some highlights of my tango growth like the 2014 USA championship and again 2015. I've also had some serious down time like the end of last year where I was so heartbroken and disappointed that I almost quit. Glad I didn't thanks to all my beloved tango friends. But anyways, I took training towards a goal as an efficient way to get better. And it worked for me so well. Meanwhile going social dancing locally and nationally also broadened my horizon like nothing else.

Fast forward to earlier this year, Neeraj and I realized we enjoy dancing with each other socially and share similar thought that performing and teaching are great ways to improve one's dancing, so we started practicing and teaching together since late February, even though we haven't got any plan when to perform yet.

Then the Friday three weeks ago, our good friend Emily approached us with an opportunity to perform at a charity event to benefit the Middle Eastern refugees. We discussed and decided to do it literally during my 1hr driving from south bay to San Francisco for teaching our usual Friday practice class.

One week later, we decided on the songs we wanted to perform to and started dancing to them repeatedly. Neeraj convinced me to dance to 'Ilusion Azul' by De Angelis to show respect to one of his favorite couples Sebastian Arce & Mariana Montes, and I got him to pick one of my favorite D'Arienzo songs, 'Yapeyu'. Since this would be our debut performance, to minimize the nerve-wrecking, we decided to choreograph the vals to ease things in, then improvise to the tango. Then the rest was easy as you can tell from the videos below :D We actually spent the past two weekends choreographing and practicing, rinse and repeat, until the hour before our performance time.

I don't know about you but we both are quite happy how things turned out. Thank you Neeraj for being an awesome partner who put up with my crazy criticism and trust in my talent and potential. Well this is just the beginning of many more fun to come. We will simply keep calm and tango on ;) Wait and see.

Neeraj Korde & Xiaomin Jiang performing at the Benefit Milonga for Refugees in San Francisco on June 4th, 2016, 'Ilusion Azul' by Alfredo de Angelis
Neeraj Korde & Xiaomin Jiang improvised performance at the Benefit Milonga for Refugees in San Francisco on June 4th, 2016, 'Yapeyu' by Juan D'Arienzo