1. Let go of expectations.
The best nights I have had dancing, were when I went to a milonga, free of any expectation. Of course, a milonga is where one goes to dance, however many people focus with tunnel vision on this aim, and end up having a terrible night. There are so many wonderful things the milonga has to offer: great music, a beautiful location, interesting people, and very often, fantastic wine ;-) Try going to a milonga, with the appreciation of these things, then the dancing becomes a magical treat on top of an already great night!
2. Wear comfortable clothing.
This may seem obvious, but wearing uncomfortable clothing can make the night go downhill really fast! We all want to look our best, but try to wear something that you feel comfortable in. Tango is a dance, you need to be able to move! Ladies, make sure you can take nice steps backwards. Men, make sure you can bend your arms without your shirt or jacket pulling or buckling. Try to wear breathable fabrics in the summer when it is hot, and make sure nothing is too tight or pulling anywhere. This may seem like obvious advice, but I could have avoided some uncomfortable evenings had I known the importance of comfortable clothing!
3. Take a friend… or make new ones!
The milonga can often feel daunting, and a little bit scary; especially if you are new to the tango scene, and or don’t know anybody. Remedy this by taking a friend with you. While the milonga is not the best place to have an intimate conversation, having someone to chat with, sit with, or have a drink with will already make the night a great one. No friends in tango? No problem! Talk to the people around you! It feels much nicer to make a genuine connection with someone new, than to feel like you are just waiting around for someone to respond to your cabeceo. Man or woman, don’t be afraid to make small talk with those around you. You never know, you may end up with a dear friend.
4. Be happy!
Sometimes the milonga is just the thing one needs to turn an “off” day into a fantastic one. However, there are also times that one simply is not in the mood to go out, or to talk to people, or to…smile. These things are all fine, but then is a milonga really the place you want to be? Happy people attract other happy people. Negative and sad people, well, not so much. Don’t get me wrong, I am not banning people from the milonga who are not happy, but when out dancing, the more you show a nice, welcoming expression on your face, the more people will want to get to know you, be near you, and yes, dance with you.
I have written about practice before. It is one of the best things you can do in order to have more fun at the milonga. The more I practice, the better I feel in my own body, and the better I can communicate with others in the dance. Even 5 minutes a day of tango exercises can reap benefits on the dance floor. Whether you do foot and leg strengthening exercises, balance challenging movements, or lapis, enrosque, and boleo drills, practicing off the dance floor will make your time on the dance floor more rewarding. Keep a lookout for my upcoming practice videos, with short exercises one can do anywhere! To stay informed about new posts, please subscribe to our newsletter here.