[Tango-L] Beginners and milongas

Ilene Marder imhmedia at yahoo.com
Thu Feb 14 11:59:20 EST 2008

the way I understnd it, in years past, beginners in BsAs went to 
milongas to sit and watch, listen to the music, have something to eat, 
socialize with family and friends. They did not dance until they felt 
they had "earned" the right to be on the milonga floor...i.e. could 
dance well. (The lighting in ba milonga is still usually much brighter 
than in US, in large part because it enables people to watch the dancers 
on the floor.)  They might not have taken lessons, but danced with 
family and friends at home until they were at least proficient. It's 
apparent to me that dancers in BsAs had/have more respect for the dance, 
the codes, the culture and they don't just barge onto the floor as so 
many do here, regardless of their experience. (In BsAs, or I think good 
dancers everywhere also seem not to mind dancing just a tanda or two if 
it is with the right person...here, some dancers feel they have to dance 
all night and that will definitely water down the experience).
Again, a big difference- our fast food culture... and the American quest 
for immediate gratification.

I think you'll find that beginners  are very welcome at milongas...they 
usually are the first on the floor at the beginning and usually don't 
stay late, so here, as in BsAs, the best dancers  come late. as for the 
elite feeling...well, good dancers always want to dance with good 

'Mash wrote:

>After such a response to my "breaking the paso basico" post I wanted to ask something else.
>Simply; are beginner dancers not actually welcome at Milongas?
>Is there some unspoken rule that a beginner should go off and reach a level before visiting a Milonga. Is this what was done in the past or was the milonga orginially more a social gathering where the young and old would just come together informally and dance/learn no matter what the skill level?
>Is the Milonga of today different from what it was originally, is this "elite club" feeling something new?
>Tango-L mailing list
>Tango-L at mit.edu

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