TangoBarrio Index Page About TangoBarrio and Shashin's biography Tango Dance Lesson and Party- Milonga de Suenos Where to write, discuss and socialize tango online Local DC Area  Tango Artists, DJs, Musicians and Teachers Photographs and Films TangoBarrio's online store Tango Articles, Explanations and Words Tango world wide web links Email address for queries

Chronicle of an ordinary milonga (from a female point of view) by Celine Allard

Oh, one last thing before they announce the last tanda of the night, and you have to reluctantly pack after the 'Comparsita' and yet another great milonga: what should we think about those women who pushed it as far as putting the leading shoes on? Argentine men (and some others) usually dislike it, maybe because they make them feel insecure, or more certainly because they tend to grab their best milongueras to dance with. Well, my humble point of view is that, since tango is sensual and not sexual, nothing should prevent two persons to dance together, regardless of their respective sex. Remember, tango started as a hug-desperate male-only dance. The only thing is that being a female leader gives you no special privilege, and the best way to be accepted by the stronger sex is to behave like a real gentleman: no practicing for ten tandas in a row with the same woman, no bumping into the other couples on the dance floor, no dancing against the flow. Other than that, you're all set, and some men may eventually love to be led by you.

Of course, some seem not to ever want to step on the beat, some still think that women's spines are made of rubber gum, or that their toes were designed to sustain repeated assaults of more than 200 pounds. Well, for those, no need to get angry, they just chose a different path for their tango, and there are ways to discreetly refuse the dance without splashing a resounding no at their face. After all, the porteno cabacceo was not invented for nothing.

On your way home, I invite you to reflect on what made that night so enjoyable. What is, by any chance, as our tango zen master Chan Park puts it, because you danced 'tango here now '1

1 2 3 <- 4


1 Tango Zen: Walking Dance Meditation (2004), Chan Park, Tango Zen House.

Discuss the article

Text by Celine Allard. Photographs by S. Singh, shot in Washington DC and Eastern Market.