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When you fall in love with tango.

Likely you've come to this intoxicating city to see what all the fuss is about. Whether it was Al Pacino in ‘Scent of a Woman’ or Robert Duvall in ‘Assassination Tango’ that whet your curiosity, there’s something about this southern hemisphere city that you just had to come and see for yourself. Since you arrived, you've likely been taken in by the french architecture, the elaborate scrolls on the ironwork barring the windows of old facades, the passion of the people, the maddening bustle of the inner city and the cobblestoned streets. There's just something about this city that makes it charismatic.

Perhaps that's why people who dance tango are so addicted to both the city and the dance. Perhaps this dance that came from these very streets has an alluring charm and energy woven through it that envelopes the onlookers who innocently decide that it certainly won't hurt to take a look at what all the fuss is about. Warning, the web and bookstores are full of stories of men and women who decided to “just take a look” and now either reside in Buenos Aires permanently, travel here every year, or dance at least three times a week in their home town and spend their holidays travelling to bigger cities that have bigger milongas and even milonga marathons with 24 hours non stop music. It’s not for no reason they call it ‘the tango bug’.

People who dance tango come in all shapes and sizes, from all walks of life and are all ages. It can be like a secret little club that the most unexpected of people are usually part of it. The head waiter at a wedding I attended, overheard my conversation about tango I was having with my neighbour and politely informed me that he too loved to dance tango and perhaps I wouldn’t mind if we took a quick spin on the dance floor once the music started up? He was sure he could spare 3 minutes for a dance after dessert was served. The pilot that is flying your Aerolineas plane to Buenos Aires, or the air steward on your LAN flight are probably also tango dancers who spend their stop overs seeking out the local milongas.  It’s also possible that the young 20 something lawyer who you’ve just met on the bus is actually streaming Carlos Gardel through his ipod and not the latest indie band.

Some dancers are former classical or contemporary trained dancers who have reached a stage where they want to apply their discipline to another form of dance outside of their everyday work. It is these dancers who are now bringing together an exciting fusion of elements from ballet and tango, mixing tangueros (tango dancers) with ballet dancers and even having ballet dancers dance tango on pointe.  While it might not be everybody’s cup of tea, watching the finer movements of tango being performed on pointe is something that those of us who also love ballet will find both interesting and alluring.  

NB: It’s important to point out that this is not a growth or change defining “what is tango”. As artists, these dancers and choreographers are taking elements of two types of dances and seeing what happens when they are combined.

One company who is trying to bring the romance and beauty of tango to the people of their  home town is Parasol Arts - who is based in Denver, Colorado. A group of passionate tango dancers, their Creative Director Lorita Travaglia has brought together her passion for choreography, tango and ballet in their latest show Tango Masquerade - a unique performance that blends traditional tango, tango performance and tango ballet. As a perfect example of someone who has been bitten by the tango bug, Travaglia has travelled to Buenos Aires and spent time in milongas and upon returning home, now wants to share this dance with as many people as possible.  


But it’s not just professionals who are taking this dance and putting their own twist on it. While Buenos Aires remains the Mecca of tango and other glorious cities including Berlin, Melbourne and London are full of milongas, there are those of us who decide anywhere is a good place to dance tango.  As these New York Times photos will show, dancers in Finland will dance anywhere and at anytime regardless of whether it is seen as traditional or not.


Milongueros in New Zealand have been known to hold an impromptu milonga on the beach in between classes of a weekend of Milonga workshops. One milonguero and tango teacher from Australia was presenting a cooking workshop at a festival and reminded his students that while you are waiting for the food to cook, ensure that you take a few minutes to tango in the kitchen with your beautiful partner.

Indeed, tango infuses itself into your life as it has done all over this city, finding ways to be both modern and traditional, mix itself in with other interests or passions you have, and leaves you with wanting more. There will surely be milongas or performances in your local area to help give you the fix you need.


  • Hi Judy,
    Thanks for your comment and apologies for taking so long to get back to you! The video you are talking about is in this blog post
    We hope you enjoy it!

    Posted by TangoTix on January 19, 2015
  • I heard you had a little video of a couple dancing on a floor the size of a tabletop. (It was in reference to floor-craft.) How do I find this?

    Posted by Judy on January 09, 2015

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