[Tango-L] beginners and milonga

Carol Shepherd arborlaw at comcast.net
Fri Feb 15 12:57:50 EST 2008


When I learned D8CB tango from Ray Hogan and Amy Calio in Detroit 10 
years ago (open frame), after about 3-4 months, the next dance on the 
agenda was milonga.  Difficulty was very clearly presented as tango, 
milonga, vals.  We didn't even get to vals until level 3.

Milonga was introduced as 6CB paso basico and after some time we got a 
few variation steps, one titled along the lines of 'paso borracho' and 
something else I functionally describe as sideways traveling ochos. 
None of these were small steps, they were ballroom sized steps.  And 
milonga was characterized as always "one step per beat".  Maybe this was 
to simplify it for our rudimentary abilities but it was presented as a 
stylistic dictate that separated the look and feel of the dances.

Vals had the tiniest steps of all of them by far, and fast back ochos in 
3 were encouraged (but difficult, and treacherous on a crowded floor. 
Actually all of the milonga/vals we learned was treacherous on a crowded 
floor.  But incredibly exuberant and fun on a non-crowded floor.)


Crrtango at aol.com wrote:

> Traditionally, tango is taught first in its basic form, then as waltz, then 
> milonga because they are  progressively more difficult and variations on tango, 
> not the other way around (if taught correctly). The basic steps and elements 
> that one learns in tango are the foundation for the other two. Unfortunately 
> milonga is often not taught properly and students are heavily influenced by 
> performances they see instead of learning to dance it socially. Milonga is quite 
> a bit different from tango...it is not just faster tango. Although it is 
> rhythmic and fun it also is more subtle and has smaller and different steps, and 
> others that are rarely done, if at all, like crosses, which are common to 
> regular tango.   Theoretically, it sounds fun to start that way, but pedagogically 
> speaking it is a little like putting the cart before the horse. 
> cheers,
> Charles

Carol Ruth Shepherd
Arborlaw PLC
Ann Arbor MI USA
734 668 4646 v  734 786 1241 f

contract corporate counsel for creative companies

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