Milonga is the place where Tango, Vals and “Milonga” are danced ( Milonga being a variation of Tango). “Milongueros” go dancing very often visiting more than one dancing floor every night. Some milongas are elegant others are simple and informal. Most of them have incorporated Tango schools. The fun starts at around 23.00hs and goes on till the early morning hours. At some of these places you will find more elderly people, who have been dancing for over 40 years, others cater more for young people and yet others have a mixed-age public. Most of these places today throw in a little tropical music, folk or rock ‘n roll as well.
Differences between Milonga and Tango:
the times in both Milonga and Tango are 2/4 but the 8 semiquavers in milonga are distributed 3+3+2 whereas tango is more “square”. Also the milonga lyrics are more picaresque.
Men and Women sit at tables around the dance floor and men usually stand up and ask ladies to dance.
Invitation to dance:
Traditionally, at least in Argentine Milongas, invitations to dance follow a strict rule ; the man looks at the woman and nods (“cabeceo”) , at the same timer turning his head towards the dance floor and the woman nods as well if accepting or turns her head the other way if rejecting the invitation.
This system saves the man the embarrassment of walking up to the table and being rejected and the woman too is not embarrassed by rejecting him directly in the eyes of everyone. In the milongas where there are more young people, these rules are less strict and it is normal to see a lady asking a man to dance with her.
End of the dance:
At the end of the dance, the man walks the lady to her table and returns to his own. It is considered rude not to complete a set of dances with the other person. The interval allows time for this or, if both partners agree, they will continue dancing the next set of dances.