Tango has changed in Buenos Aires and as well all over the world. Today we know about the traditional milonga, the alternative milonga, the non – tango milonga and the practica. The cultural differences in each country and the way of life has influenced the tango scene a lot. As a result for a tango dancer it is sometimes quite confusing.
Many people do not even know, that actually there are rules excisting.
It seems like a positive development, that Tango has produced modern tribes and interpretations far away from the original. That is possibly the reason, why Tango could grow fast.
Most noteworthy it is necessary to label milongas accordingly, that visitors know what to expect.
In order not to mislead your customers, dear Milonga organisers, kindly give correct information about your Milonga. When you call it a “traditional Milonga” kindly follow the rules.
- 👉 The music is 100% traditional.
Argentine Tangos, Milongas and Valses.
- 👉 The music is arranged in tandas of 3 or 4 songs where all themes are from the same orchestra. A cortina ( a different kind of music) will seperate each tanda.
- 👉 3 Tandas of Tango , 1 Tanda of Vals
3 Tandas Tango, 1Tanda Milonga, and so on.
- 👉 Later in the evening they cn be a „Tanda“ of different music like: Chacarera, Zamba, Rock, Cumbia or Salsa, according to the people” taste and local habits.
- 👉 With the beginning of the cortina, all dancers leave the dancefloor to sit down for choosing another partner.
- 👉 The DJ anounces the last tanda. The last song of the night is always “La Cumparsita” . A sign for everyone in the room for the ultimate finish of the night.
- 👉 There is proper seating in a traditional milonga.
- 👉 People invite by Cabeceo & Mirada.
- 👉 The venue is not to dark to allow Mirada/Cabeceo.
- 👉 Leaders know how to navigate on the dancefloor. ( How to get into the dance floor, how to keep in the line, not to stand and talk and block the flow, not take over the couple in front…)
- 👉 People dance in a way that is appropriate for a social dancefloor not to disturb other couples.
The Don’t dos..
- ❌ Do not play Non-Tango, Electro-Tango or Non-argentine Tangos except for cortinas.
- ❌ Tangos that were recorded for Tango shows or for listening are not suitable for social dancing, therefore please do not use those in a traditional milonga. There are thousands of Tango pieces but please understand that only few are suitable for a milonga.
- ❌ Avoid standing in front of seated dancers, disturbing their Cabeceo.
- ❌ Never invite verbally, nor asking the lady asking the lady from behind by tipping on her shoulder or stretching out your hand towards her.
- ❌ No teaching on the dance floor. Furthermore, please do not show off to the follower tricks and figures, she does not know how to do.
- ❌ The dancers do never break the embrace.
- ❌ Please avoid high voleos, or any other movement that could disturb or harm the other dancers.
🌍 There may be slight differences in the interpretation of these rules accordingly to local customs and tastes. Generally, as a milonga organizer and DJ please act as close as possible to these rules, otherwise do not call it a “traditional Milonga”, because this would mislead visiting dancers.
See some interesting articles connected to the topic:
Read what Maestra Milena Plebs says to differences in Tango.
Read what Maestro Gonzalo Robinson says to the codigos.
Read my article respecting cultural backgrounds…
Read my article how to enjoy traditional milongas in Buenos Aires