As a virgin, I had no idea what El Corte was all about when I first heard of it, it sounded exotic, naughty, like the eighth forgotten sin, and that interested me, but I was blinded by only one comment from someone.
"Dancing for 36 hours..." That got my attention. I was in Munich in December of 1999 and didn't realize I needed to reserve for the New Year's Marathon ( reserve for a milonga? What a silly idea, how popular can this place be?...).
Luckily a friend of a friend wasn't going, and sold me her ticket.
I arrived early on Dec. 31st and Eric greeted me boisterously, with enthusiastic kisses and an amazing memory (but how could it have been "memory" if we hadn't actually met yet?). I had made Komala's aquiantance on an earlier occasion, and I had still to meet Stefan.
The place was enchanting, with interesting niches, ladders, and tubes, nice art, hot tea, and dusty beds, a shower from an exhibitionist's wildest dreams, and a table reconstructed possibly from the pages of Da Vinci's "unsuccessful experiments" journal.
All in all El Corte, upon first glance, made me realize what was possible -- it changed the way I defined the words "dance studio" (read 'hippie tango commune'). It catalyzed in me the inspiration to open a "studio" with similar intent in Portland.
That night (and following day, night, and day again...) the dancing was tangasmic,
the tea always hot, the liverwurst always liver, and I left after the week's dancing was done with the tango-junky's needle still in my arm wanting more.