The tango is manifested in the lyrics – many of the words used in the tango come from lunfardo (porteños’ slang); in the music – the large accordion provided the music from the Río de la Plata with that melancholic and somewhat sullen sound that characterizes tango today; and in the dance – which is seen in tango shows and practiced in milongas).
Buenos Aires in Argentina is full of tango houses with live orchestras and dancers. The most important places that offer live shows usually include dinner (with options in Argentine beef or international menus).
You may also go to the milongas, places where you dance tango. Many of them organize classes – given by specialized teachers – before the dancing. For beginners and more experienced dancers, the offer includes group or individual classes. Tango, milonga or vals.
Furthermore, there are dance lessons in many cultural centres. Tango lessons last between one and two hours. It is ideal to take four or five lessons. From the first lesson, teachers train beginners in the mastering of the basic steps: eight simple movements that may be learned in a few hours.
At what time
Many dancing couples share the milonga dance floor. To dance without bumping into each other, you should choose – either you get there early or leave late.
What to wear
It is necessary to have some of the following elements of the basic
An extra T-shirt or shirt, hairdressing (for a retouch), an extra pair of socks, make up (for a retouch), dancing shoes (in a bag), a pair of heelless shoes (to rest), talcum powder for the soles (in case the dance floor is not slippery enough).
For a man: How to invite a woman to dance
The milonguero has two options:
- Cabeceo (nodding). The man and the woman look at each other, and only if she continues to stare him out, he will very delicately nod to her.
- The boldest method: the milonguero approaches the table where the woman chosen is sitting and invites her to dance.
For a woman: What to do to be invited to dance
First, you’ve got to put on your dancing shoes. Then, sit looking at the dance floor with your legs slightly extended so that a man may stumble on your feet. This is how the encounter (and invitation) occurs.