What Is Milonga?
Milonga Dance Overview: It is always hard to describe a movement tradition in words. The Milonga dance tradition tends to coexist alongside Argentine Tango, symbiotically. Milonga has often, if not usually, been danced by dancers who also know and dance Argentine Tango, and for this reason incorporates some of the movement modalities, styling aesthetic and naming conventions as Argentine Tango. But it would be an error to simply call Milonga "fast tango". It's foundation is a kind of rhythmic, steady walking. Emotionally, Milonga music and dance tend to feel more "upbeat" and light-hearted, even playful, when compared to Argentine Tango. There are different styles of Milonga: "Milonga Lisa", "Milonga con Traspié", in which the dancer uses Traspiés or contrapasos (changes of weight from one foot to the other and back again in double time or three steps in two beats) to interpret the music.
Milonga Music: Milonga music, which precedes the Tango in history, was a solo song cultivated during the 19th Century by the gaucho (a kind of Argentine cowboy) in the vast rural land known as the Pampa, in Argentina. Historical influences led these musicians to concentrate in Buenos Aires and the music developed into rhythmic dance played by dance orchestras. It is generally characterized by specific rhythmic patterns, and a steady beat. But what dance music isn't right? If you're trying to research Milonga music, it's not that hard, since so many Milonga pieces have the word "Milonga" in the title! You can start by looking up Milonga Sentimental, or Milonga del Corazon.
Why You Should Dance Milonga: Milonga is one of the three principal dances danced in Argentine Tango communities, the other two being Argentine Tango and Waltz (the Chacarera gets an honorable mention). At most Tango dances, confusingly called "Milongas", the DJ or orchestra will alternate among Tangos, Waltzes and Milongas. Most beginners start their studies with Tango and Waltz which have largely interchangeable vocabularies. If you plan on dancing in these communities, you'll want to learn Milonga dance eventually. Interestingly, Milonga is much easier, and arguably much more fun to "fake" than Tango or Waltz, as it embodies a joyful, sometimes raucous, energy. And I would imagine that most dancers' experience with Milonga is just that. However, the rewards of Milonga dancing become apparent once you've seen a great Milonga dancer, and it instantly inspires one to take the dance seriously and seek out good teachers. We're confident that the online Milonga dance lessons here on iDance.net will help your Milonga soar to new heights of fun and authenticity!