Through Tango Melodia Maria and Guillermo encourage their students to respect and embrace the traditional and cultural elements of Tango. Consequently, the social side of this dance culture is an important part of the fun/learning experience. Their students are invited to Milongas, special Tango socials. A Milonga is a regular event where Tango dancers meet. Not only can they drink and dance but it’s the ideal place to socialise as they can meet up with old friends and even make some new ones.
The Tango was born when lonely immigrants from Europe sought female company to make them feel closer to home. Although Tango began in Argentina it has developed through a mixture of European influences. These include Italian, Spanish and German along with African influences which had already been brought to Argentina by the slaves. Nowadays, the Milonga is part of the daily routine of many Argentineans. It is a popular source of entertainment seven days a week, at any time of day. Argentinians might go out shopping and pop into a place for a break and dance three Tangos.
At traditional Argentinian Milongas there are a number of rules. However, these aren’t necessarily followed everywhere, especially in Europe. Normally, there are sets of three or four dances called Tanda that the couple dance together. They have to stop the moment they hear an irrelevant, non Tango piece of music. This is called a Courtina. This is done to make people dance with different partners. It also allows them to have a break from someone they do not want to dance with continually.
It is always the man who asks a woman to dance. Or he may wave at her. Traditionally, if he dances more than one Tanda with the same person it means that they are an item or attracted to each other.
Nowadays, things are much more relaxed, particularly in Europe. We still try to keep the Tandas because they give fluency to the night by allowing people to dance with different partners. They also help things to run smoothly around the structure of the music. This is because a Tanda will contain three to four songs of the same type of dance such as the Waltz, Tango, or Milonga. These are the three main types of Tango. They differ in rhythm, style and mood. Dancers choose which Tanda they want to dance to and with whom.
Tango Melodia run Milongas at various venues in Newcastle and other areas.