A milonga is a place/club where people interested in Tango gather to socially dance the Argentine Tango. "Los codigos" or the codes to be followed in a milonga are steeped in tradition and have evolved over the past century and a bit. Most of the codes are simply about being nice to each other and building a beautiful community of people who enjoy dancing with freedom. Some examples are:
- Leaders walk the follower onto the dance floor and off the floor back to their seat.
- Invite the partner to dance using cabeceo(see below) to respectfully give them the freedom of choice.
- Dance in anti clockwise direction following the line of dance without overtaking and keep your distance from couple ahead.
Here are some terms to whet your appetite to come and visit our Practica or a milonga soon.
Cabeceo literally means "the nod of the head". In a milonga context, this is how a leader discretely invites a partner to come and dance with them. The follower then accepts the invite by holding the look. The leader then walks up to the follower to start dancing. The process associated with this is so subtle that it can be done without anyone else noticing and there are no hurt egos when no agreement is reached.
In a milonga, songs are played in sets. Each set is called a Tanda. There will typically be 4 or 3 songs within a tanda. The songs within each tanda will have a similar rhythm and feel within them. This allows people to choose their favourite tandas to dance to or simply sit out/socialise in the milonga during the tanda.
Cortina or simply the curtain is the non Tango music that is played at the end of every Tanda. This is usually for under a minute and during this time leaders walk the followers back to their seats and everyone gets ready to initiate the cabeceo for the next Tanda!
Hope to see you in a Milonga for a Tanda soon and hope we agree on the Tanda using Cabaceo