Dear Tango lovers,
A few weeks ago we had one of our regular monthly milongas at Weybridge and the next day we received a message from one of the couples who attended. Apart from saying how much they enjoyed it, they wanted to bring to our attention the fact that another couple had been causing an obstruction on the dancefloor and, in effect a queue had developed behind them. They had felt that it was ‘impolite’ to overtake and so had brought it to our attention. We welcomed their message but it also highlighted to us a common misconception that seems to be prevalent in many milongas at present. So, both myself and Leo feel it is time to clarify the situation in OUR milongas. As you all probably know Leo comes from a Tango family in Buenos Aires and his father was also a milonga organiser, so Leo and I run milongas in this country the traditional way. This means that the only rules we have are:
1. Dancers go anti-clockwise around the dancefloor.
2. It is perfectly acceptable for dancers to overtake other dancers to maintain the flow around the floor as long as it is on the leftside of the man.
3. Be respectful to all other people on and round the dancefloor.
4. Use the cabaceo as much as possible as it is a more friendly and less intrusive way to ask someone to dance.
That’s pretty much it. This way, the dance should be able to flow around the floor quite naturally.
Here are a few other points we would like to highlight as well:
At another milonga one of our students was told they should not take a step backwards. Stepping backwards is perfectly acceptable but use common sense! Obviously giant backwards steps would be rather stupid as you may well step on someone, but a small step taken within the circle of the couples embrace is normal.
Dancing in the centre of the dancefloor – this is also perfectly acceptable as long as it is anti-clockwise.
There is no ‘lane system’ in the milonga we are not dancing on the M25! Just use your common sense to maintain the flow of the floor. This does however require floorcraft on the part of the man.
For the ladies, whilst boleos are beautiful to do and to watch, it is not acceptable to do them in close proximity of other people, again, exercise a little common sense.
Finally we have read many posts about the ‘invitation only’ milongas that seem to be springing up everywhere at the moment. Most of the reasons for their existence seems to be qualified by peoples desire for ‘good floorcraft’ and so it is deemed acceptable to create a hierarchy system that includes and excludes people. We believe that this is damaging to the Tango community which is why we encourage dancers of all levels and ability to attend our milongas. Dancers need to develop their ability without being dictated to and controlled by ‘rules’ that actually restrict the dancers development. We will continue to run our milongas in the ‘traditional’ way and thank the Tango community for their continued support.
Love Leo and Tracey.
30 July 2014
From Tracey Tyack-King’s Facebook page
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