so, do you do the jumps and kicks?

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A very talented, outspoken, colleague of mine asked me this a while back during a break we had in one of our morning of meetings for musicians that teach teachers how to teach music. Well, that was a very interesting question, but one that really makes most Argentine social tango dancers laugh, and laugh out loud.

My immediate response was “No…Bob…let’s just think about this a moment, how could we all (tango social dancers) circumnavigate the dance floor safely with others doing that at the same time?”

Hmmm, his look of surprise and concern was quickly forthcoming. “You are right Isabella, how could that happen?”

What a brilliant and quick mind he had. Immediately he understood that in a social context, jumps and kicks just cannot happen.

This begs the question “What does happen on the tango social dance floor?”

Here is a very recent video taken in one of the more famous places.

Many people that dance regularly in the dancehalls (milongas) in Buenos Aires, (milongueros and milongueras) just say that ‘life’ happens there.

In the milongas, people socialize, listen to tango music from the Golden Age (1940’s), dance a soft intimate style of tango that mainly plays with walks and turns moving in spirals that is respectful of all the participants.

Often people have bottles of champagne on their little tables in buckets of ice, tall glasses of Fernet-Branca and Coke, or plastic bottles of water with accompanying glasses. The table often includes mints and even hand santizer nowadays.

Upon entering the milonga people pay an entrance fee (minimal) and are escorted to a seat assigned by the milonga organizer. Oftentimes the ladies are seated on one side of the room and gentleman on the other. This facilitates the non-verbal invitations to dance of looking and nodding (mirar, cabeceo).

People are there to have a great time and they make every effort to be well-dressed and perfumed.

The Argentine tango social dance scene is full of passion and sparkles.

This alternate world thrives, it pulses and keeps everyone part of it desiring more.

Please also see “The end of a beautiful evening”


7 thoughts on “so, do you do the jumps and kicks?

    joanfrankham said:
    March 8, 2016 at 9:34 pm

    What a wonderful way to spend an evening, even watching is so enjoyable.

    Practica El Beso responded:
    March 9, 2016 at 12:15 am

    You are so right! The people watching and palpable vibe even make a great evening for the non-dancers out there.

    Practica El Beso responded:
    March 9, 2016 at 12:37 am

    Here is the youtube link

    da AL said:
    February 26, 2017 at 10:29 am

    Tango is fabulously drama filled- what a great post!

    I’ve never danced in Buenos Aires, so I appreciate learning about what it’s like to dance there.

    Jumps and kicks seem to pertain more to ballroom and performance dance so I’m not partial to them.

      Practica El Beso responded:
      February 26, 2017 at 1:38 pm

      Thanks so much for stopping by and such kind words!

      You are absolutely right…tango is “fabulously drama filled”.
      The intimacy of the close embrace style of tango dancing in Buenos Aires is totally intoxicating and brings with that a huge amount of emotions. Envision hugging someone closely and moving with them ‘inside the music’ for twelve minutes or so.
      Simply fabulous.

        da AL said:
        February 28, 2017 at 12:46 am

        Yes – though preferable that they can dance half decently.

    Practica El Beso responded:
    February 28, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    Luckily we all have the privilege to choose who we want to dance with.

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