How to enjoy a milonga

I started making a list of factors that affect my dancing, in an effort to identify what things I can control to make my night better. These are only the first handful of things that came to mind:

  • 3″ Comme Il Fauts. It may sound silly, but I danced five night in a row last weekend and noticed that the best nights involved those shoes. They feel more solid and stable, and they fit my feet very well. I still like my other shoes, but I am noticing that the investment in CIFs is worth it for smooth, balanced dancing.
  • Clothes that match my mood. I always dance best when I am in touch with how I am feeling, and allow my clothes to reflect that. Sometimes I like to dress with frills and lace, and sometimes I want to walk in with no effort as to how I look. If I try to change my mood by dressing up, I inevitably just feel awkward.
  • Walking off the floor between tandas. Sometimes I feel on a roll and want to dance two tandas in a row with someone, but I always feel better walking off the floor and then making a fresh decision to dance with that leader again … rather than standing on the floor and just hoping that the next tanda is conducive to that second tanda. In any case, as of late I almost just prefer to avoid dancing two tandas in a row. We can always reconnect later.
  • Saying “no” when it doesn’t feel right. Even with friends and leaders I like, it doesn’t always feel right to accept an invitation—whether it is the music, my mood, his timing, or something else entirely. Turning down many invitations last night, even though I only danced a handful of times over several hours, probably saved me from aggravating an injury last night … and that’s just an extreme example.
  • Allowing myself to get going at my own speed. Some nights that means jumping right in and starting to dance nonstop, while other nights it means sitting and talking for most of an hour.

Most of it has to do with being in touch with how I feel, and respecting that. Anything else that you find is a factor you can control that affects how much you enjoy a milonga?


2 thoughts on “How to enjoy a milonga

  1. My dear,

    Many times I politely turn down tandas because dancing with certain ladies doesn’t feel good. Whether they are to weighted on the floor or just take off without needing a lead, it becomes an attack on my body! 🙂 Never feel you have to explain why you object to dancing, either. Know what I mean?

    Panayiotis Pete Karabetis
    The Tango Notebook

    I would love to know what you think of my latest post:
    Social Tango Smashes Dating Boundaries

  2. For me talking a moment to really relax and center before a milonga helps me to enjoy myself more. My schedule is crazy and most times I find myself running from work, to the train station, to NYC, and showing up frazzled at a milonga. Now I take time to go home, relax, (if I’m really stressed I’ll go through a few yoga poses), and really calm down and change gears.

    Those moments of pause pre-milonga enable me to relax and allow me to engage with any partners that ask me to dance…

    And yes, I ALWAYS bring my favorite shoes with me too!!! =)

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