You can’t deny the popularity of the Argentine Tango. Because of high demand, Tango dancers are always looking for venues where it’s danced. Have no fear, because many cities and suburbs have at least one Argentine Tango milonga nearby. In case you’re not familiar with it, a milonga is a social event that focuses on three dances: Tango, Vals, and Milonga.
Milongas have a set of codes or rules to follow.
“Tango Etiquette Part 2: Dance Floor Etiquette”
CLINT RAUSCHER & SHELLEY BROOKS, based out of Atlanta, GA
“Our classes primarily focus on the social style of Argentine Tango, with the goal of our students being able to attend any milonga (Tango dance party) anywhere in the world from Atlanta to Buenos Aires and dance comfortably.“
Here are the 4 skills that are covered:
- Dance floor etiquette
- Navigational skills, known as floorcraft
- Partnering skills
I like this post because it’s very thorough and entertaining. For example, it includes a funny video showing Argentine Tango milonga do’s and don’ts. In addition, don’t miss the Q’s and A’s which include this important tip:
Q: “Someone offered me a breath mint, but I did not want it.. should I have accepted?”
A: “Yes. They probably offered for a very good reason… never refuse a breath mint.”
“Tango Dancing at a Milonga: 10 Things Before You Go”
“Anna Borshch is a ballroom dance champion and Arthur Murray Dance Studio owner with her husband, Anton. When she’s not contributing articles here on Arthur Murray Live, Anna’s making funny YouTube videos with her Arthur Murray Ajax staff.”
The reason I like this post is that it emphasizes that preparation is key. To help get you ready, Anna covers everything from what to wear to an Argentine Tango milonga (for both men and women) to the most delicate way to refuse a dance.
Some things that you must know are:
What is a Tanda?
A tanda is a series of 3 or 4 songs that you will dance with one person. That is, unless you say, “Thank you”.
When to say, “Thank you.”
Only say this to your partner if you no longer wish to dance with him or her. It means, “I’ve had enough.”
This post even suggests the best time for you to leave the milonga so that you’re feeling good about the event.
Anna also says, “Remember, you can have an unforgettable night at your very first milonga if you follow these guidelines closely. This is why I recommend studying everything suggested very diligently. Start preparing at least three months in advance.”
“Tango Etiquette and Floorcraft”
“My name is Maika and I’m the creator of this website…The primary mission of this website is to celebrate the San Francisco Tango community, support everyone that is involved and share it with the world.”
This post is filled with really good, down-to-earth tips. Actually, I wouldn’t call them tips. That’s because tips sound like suggestions. These are rules. Very important rules that you’ve got to follow or you won’t be welcome back. This is serious stuff, so pay attention.
There’s a list here of what to expect at a milonga, as well as, charts and cartoon examples of how things can go wrong. A chart that I really like is Dance Flow in Tango.
Some things are just common sense.
“Practicas are for practicing what you learned in a class or workshop. You are allowed to stop and discuss the movements and try out new moves as long as you do this in the center or off to the side of the dance floor.”
“Milongas are for dancing with new and old friends, experiencing tango bliss and socializing. No teaching or practicing is allowed at milongas.”
Learn how Argentine, American, and International style Tango all work together to make you a better dancer. Its all in the Dance Safari post, “Become a Better Ballroom Dancer – Master the Tango.”
Now, it’s time to try it out for yourself. To begin with, ask your instructor to get you started. Or, go to some group classes. You can even YouTube it. Whatever! I guarantee you’ll fall in love! Next, spend some time with these posts and you’ll fill in the blanks about what it’s like to go to a milonga. Lastly, please don’t forget to practice. Remember, preparation is key.
I only know a pinch of Argentine, but I know enough to know that I would love learning more. Unfortunately, Cincinnati’s Argentine Tango studio is on the other side of town, and my wife is not as interesting in Argentine as I am. Oh well.
Cincinnati, huh? I spent 4 years as the Dance Director there from 2011-15 at the Dare To Dance Studio in Blue Ash. I don’t know if that’s convenient for you, but the studio owner, Marco Mechelke, recently hired a good friend of mine from Florida. His name is Luigi and he’s been dancing forever. Started out in shows, on cruise ships, etc. Been doing ballroom for many years, but recently, I’d say in the last 2-3 years he’s taken a shine to Argentine Tango and was running a milonga in SW Fl.
Let me know if you want to check him out. His enthusiasm will win your wife over, guaranteed. By the way, he’s a grown man in his 40’s, not some kid that just getting going.
Thanks for the recommendation and I know Dare to Dance. Small world!!!
It looks like I’ll have to leave this one for another time, Barbara; we are currently learning the Latin style (as in Dancesport) – Cha-Cha-Cha, Rumba, Jive, Paso Doble and probably touch on Tango! We had our first technique class on Wednesday eve. I’ve been swiveling my hips ever since! And stretching, stretching and stretching. 🙂
One, however, never knows what joys are waiting just around the corner.. 😉 😉
Never say Never!
Hey Carolyn, I sent this reply last Saturday but it didn’t go through. I always appreciate your comments.
Oh, Carolyn. Isn’t it wonderful, this business of dancing? And to get to do it with your sweetheart is just the best. Keep moving forward towards your goals. If anyone can do it, it’s you!
Have a great day.