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Dance Tango! Pages

See more...To dance Tango is to belong to a society: the milonga

Tango is a partner dance that is based on the embrace.

Therefore, from the moment that we lose the embrace it stops being Tango. All these intricate footwork that we see is secondary. The real challenge of Tango is to be able to dance while keeping embraced. Also, you must know that all the movements we do in tango are not just designed to keep the embrace. but to produce it. Tango starts when we embrace and continues with movements that make us to embrace each other.

It is a social dance. To dance Tango is to belong to a society that exists in the milonga.

Milonga is not just a dance floor. Milonga is like a temple. You ought to know and respect the rituals of the milonga because a collective created it. It is not a rigid set of rules, but you have to agree to listen and pay attention to those who already have spent their whole lives there. Over time you will see that it all makes perfect sense, but you are not going to understand it right away. To understand it you must think as a dancer. To be able to think as a dancer you need to become a dancer first, and that takes a lot of time.

Not just any place that assigns itself the name of the milonga is a milonga. A milonga is a milonga if a big chunk of its participants are educated enough in the subtleties of the milonga and the dance.

The milonga is like a family or a country in many aspects. If you are new, you will be respected as a “baby” in the family, but you ought to understand and consider that you, as a “newborn baby”, won’t be able to do everything the “adults” do. Same as an immigrant in a new country, you first have to demonstrate your acceptance of the ideals of your new country, your desire to become a part of it. For sure, you will incorporate your own particularities, same as a new person in a family would, but you will start where everybody starts.

If a place gathers a lot of new dancers and a very little amount or none of the senior “family” members, it is not a milonga in reality. Milonga is not a place where anything goes and where the kids play without their parents watching, otherwise it is just a kids’ playground.

It is understandable that Tango, being rooted in the most profound characteristics of human being[1], makes many people think that Tango is whatever their body would do, feel and express when they embrace their partner and move to the cadence of their favorite music. It is true up to a certain level. But Tango also exists outside them, outside their own body, and outside their lifetime.

If you are attracted to Tango, if you feel Tango, if you love Tango, its music, if you ARE Tango; then you belong to the family.


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Page title Most recent update Last edited by
About Dance Tango! August 21, 2012 12:31 PM Marcelo S.

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