On my travels to Buenos Aires I meet many tango tourists. I realized that they spend their whole tango time in the modern Milongas/Practicas, which do not very much alter from those milogas in their home town. No dress code, no sitting order. No codigos apply. Easy peasy. They feel totally comfortable in the milonga as that’s what they know.✌️✌️Once they visit traditional Milongas of Buenos Aires they usually get uncomfortable with what they witness. So why? 🤔😲😟
They might think, so why should I put all this annoying stuff on me, when I just have my best fun in La Viruta?
Good question, thus the answer is that they choose to mingle in the circle of Palermo – Villa Crespo. No wonder that area is high touristic.
How to find pleasure?
Understandable, the easiest way to find pleasure is to celebrate what you know best.
There are tourist visiting Bali, spending their holiday in tourist centers with sunbathing, good dinner and parties and having their best time in the year.
For sure they do 1 full day tour ” to know the island” where they catch a blink of balinese life and culture, where they really do have a knack of putting their foot in it.
It’s a choice to dig deeper into the traditional milongas of Buenos Aires.
Are you, as a Tango traveler, who is visiting the source of Argentine Tango in its birthplace, ignorant of the cultural and historical habitat ?
Sure, it is your choice. But for those who want to dig a bit deeper, continuously it will bring your understanding and interpretation of tango to another level. You will find pleasure dancing under totally different conditions.
Well, here i give you some hints why you are usually disappointed dancing in traditional Milongas of Buenos Aires.
#Turn off Nr 1 :
You cannot get to the dance floor. This really is a turn off.
You think you are perfectly prepared as you understand how the cabeceo thing works, but then you find out, nobody looks at you. 😫😫😫
Especially for male visitors, it is a big challenge to find pleasure dancing.
Why? Well, at first male westerners who are not prepared, do not know how to behave properly.
Why Argentine ladies do not respond to your invitation?
How does an Argentine lady want to dance with someone who might embarrass her in front of her friends?
It is necessary to know how to move and mingle, how to invite, what to talk and all the dos and don’ts. Last but not least, how to embrace nicely and not pushing her around, respecting her axis.
Ladies are watching the dancers and chose, same like their male counterparts do. They are quite selective. You need to proof yourself that it is worth to dance with you.
It is not that Argentine ladies are picky, certainly it ‘s about the lack of skills the visitor “Milonguero” shows.
Female visitors have better cards but still, a big amount of patience and experience is needed.
#Turn off Nr 2:
You think you have to twist yourself into a behavior pattern you disagree with totally. You do not want to turn into a macho.
To accept milonga codigos does not mean that you have to accept all machismo culture, no way.
Why Accepting Milonga Codigos?
Codigos are there, amongst others, to regulate the social dance floor.
Sadly you do not know the rules thus you put your foot in their mouth. That makes you feel awkward.
The beauty of traditional Argentine tango danced socially in the Milongas of Buenos Aires is, that it teaches you in a very natural way the positive aspects of a machismo society.
Now I probably will receive some thumbs down. 😂
You might think what i am saying is controversial. But look, there is no wrong doing applying good manners.
Here, I will focus on the benefits of the traditional argentine tango culture for your tango.
The Benefits of traditional argentine tango culture.
- The sophisticated art of invitation.
- A good body posture with attitude.
- The charming way a man talk to a woman.
- The high hygiene standards of the dancers.
- The elegant appearance of the dancers.
- The most comfortable embrace during the dance.
- The respectful way to express gratitude after the dance.
- The sharing from the heart.
#My tip for you:
Take a taxi-dancer to accompany you dancing in traditional milongas of Buenos Aires the first couple of nights.
He/she will explain to you how everything works. But you need to ask. They won’t tell you if you are not asking, as they think they are just there to dance with you.
Once they understand that you like to know more about their culture, they will happily give you a private introduction in Argentine tango culture.
Furthermore, you will have someone well-trained to dance in the milonga, where dancers can witness that you know how do dance properly. Respecting the line of dance and other couples, move smoothly with a soft close embrace and not embarrassing anyone who accepts your invitation.
To be a good dancer is one part, good manners are the other.
Same like Bali admirers, who have found a connection with the people and their culture, you will find fulfillment in participating in the comprehensive puzzle of Argentine tango culture.😊