Tango Etiquette at a Milonga

Tango etiquette flyer

This is mostly for Floor Craft and is VERY good, except for #3. Don’t pass on the Left (or Right). If the line is stopped, just dance in place, do turns, etc., until the line is moving again. You should have plenty of turns and figures in your vocabulary for when the LOD (Line of Dance) is stopped. In a crowded milonga you should be able to dance on four tile squares (= a square meter or a square yard). So that means lots of different left and right turns, ochos, ocho cortado etc., etc, etc,.

More on good Floor Craft

More on actual Etiquette at the milonga and how you ask for a dance and how to socialize properly.

Abrazos! El Stevito de Gainesville


8 Responses to “Tango Etiquette at a Milonga”

  1. David Groisser Says:

    Another source for many of the same rules is
    http://www.inscenes.com/etiquette.htm . It seems to well-regarded by many people who give advice on tango etiquette; if you do a Google search on “Argentine tango etiquette” you’ll find that many of the top hits refer back to this site. There is nothing in the inscenes.com article that disagrees with the “tango etiquette flyer” or “more on good floorcraft” website posted here (on the gainesvilletango website), but there are a few points made more emphatically in the inscenes.com article that, if observed by *all* our dancers, would eliminate some of the problems that arise in our local milongas. It takes only one or two leaders who disregard these points to make the milonga much less pleasant for everyone else. The inscenes.com article has a “do not copy” restriction, so I can’t quote it here, so I’ll just draw attention to a few of the rules there some Gainesville tangueros seem not to be aware of:

    –The part of point #5 that’s in boldface.
    –Point #8, especially the first sentence.
    –The last sentence of point #1, especially the proscriptions that begin with “stopping in the outside lane” and “stepping backward”.

  2. David Groisser Says:

    Also, from the “more on good floor craft” link: “Never zigzag”,
    and from the “Tango etiquette flyer”: “… all the space in front of you belongs to you!”

    Combining these: If you (a leader) have stepped from the outside lane to a more inside lane in order to do a step, you do not retain the right to the outside-lane space that would have been yours had you not moved out of that lane. (This applies even if, in your mind, the move was temporary. That’s what “never zigzag” means.) The couple(s) that were behind you before you moved out of the outside lane, and are continuing to move straight down that lane in LOD, now have the right to that space. It is not their obligation to wait for you to zig-zag back into the outside lane. (However, if you are a frequent zig-zagger, other leaders may learn to anticipate the danger you pose, and hang back to avoid putting their partners in harm’s way.)

    Some other items from the “floor craft” and “tango etiquette flyer” links that bear repeating:

    “Look before backing up. Never step backwards against traffic blindly.”

    “No parking. … If the other dancers have begun to dance and you wish to continue your conversation, simply step off the floor so you don’t obstruct them.”

    “Do not dance in between dance lines”

    “The space behind you is NOT yours!”

  3. openhorizonsteve Says:

    The organizers of Tango Pavadita insist on proper etiquette at the milonga.
    ~El Stevito

  4. Dave Ronson Says:

    Been dancing for only one year. My problem is not being discipline to less experience leaders on the dance floor. I want to move faster to the music especially the milonga. I feel that I am held back. What should I do?

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