Milonga – a Celebration of Argentine Tango

A Tango Dance Party

Milonga is two things: a music style that originated in the Rio de la Plata region of Argentina and Uruguay in the 1870’s, and the name of an event that is dedicated to the Argentine Tango. The word Milonga is of African origin meaning “many words”. The term originated when African slaves would listen to the Gauchos (Argentine cowboys) play and sing their music. Since the Africans couldn’t understand what was being said, they called the music “milonga”. That word stuck and is now commonly used in reference to the music and Argentine Tango parties.

Milongas are regular dance events (monthly or sometimes weekly) that “Milongueros” (people who frequent Milongas) attend to show off their dance moves, perfect their tango, socialize with fellow Milongueros, and all around, celebrate the art of the Tango. Informal rules dictate how to choose your partner and how to navigate the floor.

The Milonga style of Tango is a bit faster than traditional Tango but not as complex. There are two styles of Milonga, Milonga Lisa (Simple Milonga) and Milonga Traspie. In Milonga Lisa, dancers step on each beat of the music. In Milonga Traspie, dancers must transfer their weight from one foot to the other in double time to the music! It helps to be in shape.

From time to time, Cafe 21 hosts a Milonga – great dancing with great food! View our events calendar to see when the next Milonga will be. We hope to see you there!


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