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Pre-Milonga Class in Santa Barbara — May 11, 2012

8 - 9 pm — just before the Milonguita Grande on:

Friday, May 11 — at Lisa's Kay's Studio, Goleta —


Overview:  "Milonga with a Twist" + Milonguita Grande



Friday — May 11, 2012



Lisa Kay's Dance Studio


6396 Hollister Avenue (at Aero Camino) - Goleta, CA


Pre-Milonga Class:


8:00 - 9:00 p.m. - FREE / All Levels Welcome *


Milonguita Grande:


9:00 - 3:00 a.m. - $15/dancer


Hosted by the incomparable Antonio Gaona

"Alas, we do not live by tango alone ... sometimes, there must also be flan."


* All Levels Class = Accessible to Newer Dancers ... with Fresh Challenges + Ideas
for Dancers
with More Experience

Click here for driving directions — scroll down for more background on milonga + the class ...

More Background on Milonga & Adding a "Twist"

Milonga in the Old Days — Known for its Fun & Accessibility

During the "Golden Age" of the 1930s and '40s, milonga, as both music and dance, played a distinctive role in tango culture and helped create the overall shape of an evening of dancing.

For example:  Despite its faster tempo, milonga typically offered dancers in this era a welcome chance to "relax" from the more challenging and intricate demands of tango:

Milonga provided a predictable, even beat that invited a simpler dance vocabulary, a straightforward connection between partners, and plenty of energy and motion — qualities which magnified its lighter, "happier" sensibility.

As tango began to re-emerge in Argentina in the mid-1980s, older tangueros brought this "Golden Age" approach back onto the dance floors of Buenos Aires, reviving milonga as a playful and easy-going interlude within the greater evening of dancing — something that even newer dancers and beginners could find enjoyable and readily accessible.

But just as in earlier time periods, tango was once again on the move — with innovative and progressive dancers creating new shapes + relationships, and pushing the boundaries of the form ...

Milonga in our Own Time — a Reputation as Fast & Challenging

As the 1990s dawned, milonga specialists like Tomi O'Connell and Omar Vega, among others, increasingly began to experiment with traspie — literally, "stumble foot" — injecting rapid double-time steps and syncopations into milonga's more traditional single-time interpretation, and exponentially increasing both its potential and its complexity.

Inspired by this creativity, other open-minded dancers picked up on the new possibilities, and milonga traspie grew more widespread, gradually becoming a dominant form + something we can see on dance floors all over the world.

As a result, while offering unique challenges, opportunities and rewards to more experienced dancers, today's milonga can seem dizzingly fast and daunting to newer dancers —

Milonga can even be frustrating to those dancers able to keep pace with the tempo, but who find themselves somehow "stuck in a groove" — returning to familiar shapes and ideas much more often than they would like — perhaps without ever really discovering their own best way(s) to bust out, to explore and revel in the vitality, energy and sheer joy of the music ...

Ironically, difficulties and frustrations like these — "too hard, too fast, too boring" — are the very opposite of what our tango grandparents experienced with their own milonga on the social dance floors of the 1930s and '40s.

How to bring these two poles together — to link the dynamism and creativity of today's milonga with the effortless pleasures that so many have enjoyed in the past ...?


Back to the Future — Making Milonga Both Accessible + Dynamic

One approach we can use to help resolve and blend these apparently divergent possibilities:

Catch milonga's reliable inner pulse (or "metronome") by tying into the traditional single-time interpretation of our grandparents ... then add something new + unexpected — a "twist."

In Friday night's "Milonga with a Twist," we will take that idea literally by exploring how we can transform some of milonga's simpler underlying shapes in a variety of remarkable ways, all by adding a compelling layer of rotation ...

Along the way, we may take a closer look at assorted/related topics, such as:

  • 4 ways of thinking about direction in tango
  • 3 key pieces of information that leaders + followers send/receive in each new step ... and why milonga uses only 2 of them ...
  • 3 ways for an individual dancer to create, store + express rotation in their own body
  • 3 more ways for the partners to find, share + unfurl rotation in their larger co-creation: The Couple
  • why any rotation has an "easy"+ "hard" side, and how we can turn both ways with more verve + confidence
  • how we can roll the "square" 1-2 of milonga music against various "round" phrases + movements that unfold for the dancers over 3 (or more) moments ...
  • how we can use the principles behind scale + angle changes to create fresh possibilities + artful contrasts
  • how to let our milonga surge + flow in new ways — without the need to call on complex even/uneven system changes, or to execute the rapid footwork of double-timed traspie — so that, beginner + longtime tanguero alike, we'll never again be tempted to leave the dance floor + sit out another tanda of milongas ...

Naturally, like our classes + workshops in Ojai and beyond, "Milonga with a Twist" will also:

  • be tuned to the needs + interests of the improvised, social dance floor
  • address topics + ideas that work well in both closer + more open embraces
  • readily adapt and apply to tango + vals situations ... just as easily as to milonga
  • tap into + reinforce familiar "Core Tango Principles" by helping dancers recognize and apply them in fresh + novel ways
  • be fully accessible to raw beginners, while creating new + challenging options for those with more experience

Give yourself a new "spin" on things — join us for the free class "Milonga with a Twist" and help revolutionize even more of your dancing.

More About ...

Historical Background on Milonga

More about traditional perspectives on milonga in tango's "Golden Era," as well as its transformation into the modern form(s) we know today — from a May 2009 workshop in Ojai with tango teacher + pioneer Daniel Trenner ...

Argentine Tango

More on the sensibility and practice of Argentine Tango, insights into its improvisation and creativity, and links to online resources for additional background and perspective ...


Debbie Edwards + Stephen Bauer

More on Debbie + Stephen as dancers + teachers ...


Bandoneon - graphic

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