The Top 5 Mistakes In Tango Milongas


The Top 5 Mistakes In Tango Milongas

Mistake # 1 – Tandas

At a milonga, music is played in sets called “tandas.” Usually, three or four songs are played by the same orchestra followed by the “cortina” (the curtain) which signals the end of the “tanda”. If you ask someone to dance and they accept, it is assumed that it will be for the entire “tanda”. You must walk your dance partner back to their table.

Under no circumstances should you correct your partner while on the dance floor.

Mistake # 2 – Cortinas

Cortinas are an interesting little detail at a milonga. A cortina is unique to each DJ. Some will select one cortina for an evening and some will use a different one for each tanda. Some are humorous; some are grating on the ears; some are simply beautiful music. In any case, the cortina is supposed to be a piece of music that people know not to dance to. It’s your signal to smile, say thank you and (possibly) change partners


Mistake # 3 – Saying: Thank you

Accepting a Dance or Saying “No, thank you”

Accepting a dance is as simple as saying “yes.” You can do this with your eyes—be on the look out for people who ask the Argentine way—or by accepting a direct invitation.

It is also perfectly acceptable to say, “No, thank you.” If you accept a dance remember it will probably last for the remainder of the tanda that is playing—three or four songs if you start at the beginning. If either one of you decides that one or two dances are enough, however, either person can simply say “thank you” and begin leaving the dance floor. Once you say “thank you” to someone in a polite manner, the dance with that person is over.


Mistake # 4 – Asking For A Dance

How Someone Asks for a Dance 
In Argentina, men ask women to dance with a look—a certain glance, movement of the head toward the dance floor or smile that says, “Dance with me?”  This can take place from far across the room if the right eyes are caught. If a woman wants to accept a dance with a man, she smiles back and (most important) keeps looking at him while he approaches her. The slightest glance away is usually interpreted as meaning “I’ve changed my mind and don’t want to dance.” This system is very wonderful and full of pitfalls. What if the asker is looking at the woman behind you?  Did you really see a “yes” or a “maybe?”

Because we are caught up in this Argentine art form, the practice of asking people to dance with the eyes is also followed to some extent. In many areas of the world, however, you may ask someone to dance directly or with your best Argentine eyes. As in the dance, practice makes perfect.


Mistake # 5- Talking & Dance Lane

Tango is danced in lanes that keep moving and the more experienced dancers tend to stay toward the outside. Tango is a traveling dance; the line of dance is counter clockwise.

One must maintain common dance flow when dancing at the outer perimeter; if you find yourself interrupting the dance flow, move toward the center to let others pass.

Customarily, talking is inappropriate while dancing tango.

You can talk between songs or when off the dance floor. If you must talk on the floor, keep it to a minimum. It is especially inappropriate to talk on the floor while a live band is performing.

Tango Community:

There is a feeling of community and inclusion in the Hudson Valley Tango population. There is always room for new members to come onto the Tango dance floor. Tango dances are taking place all over the Hudson Valley, the world, and the Tri-State area.

So what are you waiting for, call Dojo Dance Studio today:

Phone: (845) 475-6006-

Their studio is at 464 Main Street, Beacon, N.Y.

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