Sunday is the best night at El Beso - one of the most traditional milongas. Once you arrive you are allocated a seat depending on your gender, the company you have arrived and whether or not your face is known. Seating is everything if you are given a seat in the wrong place then it is like starting at the back of the grid in a formula 1 race. After each tanda of 4 songs everybody returns to their seats and the charade of making eye contact with possible dance partners for the next 4 songs starts all over again. The milongueros here abide by the rules nobody asked Johanna to dance until I had got up and started dancing. And at the end of the night one guy came over shook my hand and thanked me for letting him dance with her. You can imagine what she thought about that!!
Two of my all time favourite milongueros were on the dance floor tonight. We shall call them CD and T, who has been dancing over 60 years. I will be taking private lessons with both of these icons as they are both very old school but have different styles. One main difference is that T weaves his way like a snake through the mass of dancers on the floor while OD always stays in lane patiently dancing behind the couple in front.
Here is a quote from one of OD's famous essays on tango:
"The milonguero dances level with the floor, managing space is essential for him, he follows the “ronda”. His steps, turns, and walks are always aimed forwards, he never overtakes another couple, he takes care not to cross other people’s path. He will do his thing (milonguea) in whatever space is left. He dances for himself and his partner, not for the spectators. He does not exhibit."
And a quote from T:
"Kids these days tend to dance in the air. You can do many nice things, but please do them on the floor. Great Masters did all those nice things but mostly on the dance floor. The music, the beat of Tango is very beautiful. It’s a shame to ignore this."
You will probably hear more about these two gentlemen later...