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Tango Events

  • 25.11.2017 - Milonga mezi hvězdami
    Hvězdárna a planetárium Brno, Kraví hora 522/2, Brno, Česko

  • 06.01.2018 - Milonga v Místogalerii
    Kounicova 23, Brno

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Tango etiquette on the dancefloor

When the word ´Milonga´ is mentioned  (referring to a tango dance event), there are several rules to be considered and respected. Although at first they might seem rather complicated and somewhat restrictive to you, as a beginner of tango, soon enough you will come to realize that they in fact make milonga and dance itself more pleasant and enjoyable experience. It is due to the existence of these rules that it is possible to find a dance partner even in a loud environment and to find out whether he/she is willing to dance with you or not. However, most importantly do these rules enable you to predict the movement of the other dance couples and hence you can devote yourself to mutual experience of music and of the dance. As the number of dance couples on the dancefloor increases, one eventually finds out that without these rules the milonga would not be possible.

 

The music (tanda, cortina)
The course of a milonga is subdivided into musical sets commonly known as "tandas". A "tanda" is a set of 3 to 4 compositions of similar musical genre (tango, vals, milonga). Custom dictates to dance throughout the whole tanda with one partner. Tandas are separated by "cortinas". A cortina (curtain in english) is a short musical break of a different genre (other than tango, such as rock, pop, jazz...) of approximately 1 minute. It is the apropriate moment for changing  of the dance partners or refreshing yourself etc.

Invitation to the dance (mirada y cabeceo)
Once we feel like dancing, we ought to start with a proper invitation to dance. Man should be the one to ask the lady out. In tango, the invitation to dance is different to the one seen in ballroom dancing, for instance. We use eye contact and a nod of the head (mirada = look, cabeceo = nod of the head). We can establish eye contact over the whole dance hall. Therefore, should we want to dance with one partner in particular, we start off with making an eye-contact with him/her and subsequently confirm with a nod. We meet either on the dancefloor or the gentleman comes to the lady and accompanies her  there.

What to avoid when inviting someone to dance:
- forcing oneself into a conversation
- dragging the lady to the dancefloor without inviting her

Recommendations for the ladies:
Ladies, if you feel like dancing, you HAVE TO show enthusiasm to dance.
Ideally, it is recommended to sit facing the dancefloor, observe your surrounding and respond to the looks of dancers trying to make an eye contact with you (mirada) and thus inviting you to dance with them. A smile will certainly cause no harm :-).
If you should sit with your back towards the dancefloor, talk vividly with a friend of yours, look at your cellphone, read a leaflet or frown upon the whole world, then believe it or not, your chances of being asked to dance are rather poor.
 

Starting to dance
We both confirmed the invitation to dance with a nod and came to the dancefloor. The music starts to play and we want to dance, but... how to do it? How to start dancing correctly?

Movement around the dancefloor (los códigos en la milonga)
Even moving along the dancefloor has its rules that resemble the ones we know from when we drive a car in specific lanes.

  1. We dance in an anti-clockwise fashion.
  2. The dance should start at the edge of the dancefloor, preferably in the corner - just like when we are entering a highway.
  3. Never overtake on the right side - we stick to the rule, that we avoid the blind spot of the partner in front of us.
  4. Maintain safe distance from the couple ahead of you.
  5. No steps back.
  6. No stopping for a chat in the middle of the dancefloor.
  7. At a busy milonga with numerous dance couples no possibly dangerous elements involving kicking and lifting feet from the  floor should be performed.
  8. The man is responsible for the whole couple. If we crash into another couple, both of us should appologize.
  9. We respect the other dance couples around us and we are tolerant towards the beginners. Everyone of us was a beginner at one point after all.


letáček - tango etiketa na parketě

 

 

 

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