Where do people go to dance tango? (milongas and practicas)


What is a Milonga?Social dances are called “milongas”. It’s like a party or dance night. Usually it is at the same place every week (some are once a month). Every city has a website announcing the milongas. Usually there is a fee at the door (around $10) for 4 or 5 hours of dancing. “Practicas” are also social events, but they are supposed to be for practice. Unfortunately many people treat practicas as milongas, and don’t use them for practice.

Practicas are an informal milonga. There is a DJ to play music and people show up to practice with whoever is there. Some people come with a partner and do not change partners. Many people come alone, in order to practice with various people. Some people change partners after the tanda, others may dance together for a long time. It is more flexible than a milonga. Unlike at a milonga, it’s ok to stop during the song and ask questions, practice a move over and over, or give feedback. People dress up less for a practica, the lights are usually on, and it is cheaper $0-$5.

Most cities have a comprehensive list of events, becuase the locations change every night. Here is the Sydney Guide.

Every event has an “onda” (mood) which is an ineffable mix of the shape of the space, the lighting, the attitude of the organizer, the music, who is there, who is not there, how the traffic is flowing, the weather, the moon, etc. etc. Certain milongas always have a good onda, others always have a bad one, and some have good and bad nights…  You’ll generally find that everyone is affected by an unusually bad onda.

Some people dress up, others dress very casually. The milonga is a space in which you are welcome to express yourself flamboyantly with your clothing and be sexy.

We recommend that beginners attend a milonga along with a group of friends to make sure that you have people to dance with. At milongas, there is a code unique to tango which governs how people ask others to dance (the cabeceo). Usually this code is used at practicas as well.

Note that the word ‘milonga’ has a second meaning, which is a type of music, a very fast and bouncy type of tango music.

See our complete Etiquette Guide to the codigos and beyond.



Getting Started

Are you ready to start dancing Argentine Tango?

Of course there are courses in almost every town where you can meet other beginners. In case you are a bit shy and you’d like to start training and learning first at home, we have a beginner’s package. It includes 10 practice sessions, a book to get you excited (print or e-book), and a home page here at TangoForge with all of our resources for new dancers as well as a forum to ask questions. The practice courses are also useful in case you get very busy or need to travel for work and can’t make it to class. They’ll give you a way to continue improving steadily with or without group class.


Begin Tango Package

Power is the courage, confidence, and competence to make things happen. I want to create in a way that’s incomparable and define my own compensation package. You too?

Syntax of Power is a raw, potent, and spare revelation of how I got to where I am and how I take on the struggle every day.

This book is not about tango, it’s about everything else.

It’s about stepping into the darkness of change, learning how to take care of yourself, and making things happen.

Dyv stands for Duro y Vio. We were inspired by a 2007 conference at Harvard University about tango as a transnational culture. Also we wanted to create something that would help people to imagine a queerer tango. We forbid ourselves to use the word ‘passion’ and instead tried to articulate the experience more precisely.

Argentine Tango is more than an elaborate and difficult dance, it is an international culture of intimacy, desire, and dignity. No mere romance or memoir, the intricately woven stories evoke tango’s true mysteries … the elation, the frustration, the compulsion…

We published the book in 2009. Dancers asked “how did you know what I was feeling?”

Silences in history. Silences by code. Silences of fear. You already know that Tango’s silences can be sublime and they can be devastating.

What I do in my blog is use myself as a lens – sometimes a microscope, sometimes a telescope. I try to be as honest with myself and you as words concede. Then I try to find a deeper meaning and imagine a pathway for us.

A blog post can be a fragment, a wisp of inspiration, an outline for thinking. A book must complete and reconcile it all. Now I drag the social scientist to the scene to enumerate the facts of the case, the mystery which brought both stardom and tragedy to my life.

We didn’t start online education in March of 2020. We started in 2014. Learn more about our Digital School