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Returning to tango - Excerpt from Stories from a Travelling Tanguera

It has been over two years since bright red leather high heels have adorned my feet. I have been in a tango embrace just a handful of times during this period, if dancing in the kitchen counts as dancing tango. Needless to say, it was high time to get back on the horse and see what had changed in the world of tango and whether or not it really is like riding a bike and you never forget.

It was with trepidation and a familiar feeling of butterflies-in-the-stomach, that I approached my first night out in this fair city, at the milonga where it had all started.  Milonga Del Moran has been around for eight years, and is a grand lady of ‘barrio milonga’ - neighbourhood milonga. Held in Club Moran in Villa Pueyrredon, this monthly milonga is run by a young trio of people with an immense passion for tango. Marcelo Lavergata and Lucila Bardach run a class prior to the milonga which welcomes all levels of tango dancers. DJ Mariano Romero keeps a steady flow of tango, vals and milonga throughout the night, drawing on his immense knowledge of tango music to create varied tandas for all tastes.

Two days after I first arrived in Buenos Aires in 2011, a new friend kindly offered to show me around the city before ending up at a milonga - Milonga Del Moran. Exactly six years later, this now husband was again taking me to the same milonga which happens to be in our neighbourhood.  However, I was apprehensive with fears (both old and new). Would I remember how to move in a tango embrace? Would I be able to follow the lead? Would I tense up and forget all that I had worked so hard to overcome in the weekly lessons and numerous milongas that I had attended during the height of my tango addiction? Would I remember how to connect with my dance partner? Questions, doubts, anxiety - it seemed a little strange to have all these within when I was now more knowledgeable about tango and was heading to a milonga with a guarantee of dancing (it is handy having a partner who also dances). 

But I need not have worried. My fears are calmed once we walked inside.  Instead of a peck on the cheek that greeted me all those years ago, I receive a warm, long embrace from the organisers who have now become friends. My feet slip easily into the old comfort of tango dance shoes and the tango addition bug starts to stir within. I see some familiar faces waving to us from within the crowd, pleased to see us out on the dance floor once again. I am more relaxed dancing now that I know that no one is judging how I dance (an easy worry to fall into for new dancers dancing here in Buenos Aires for the first time - rest assured no one is really paying THAT much attention to you).  I even manage to find two fellow kiwi tango dancers, far from home and happy to be experiencing the relaxed barrio milonga vibe that Moran gives. As I sit and talk to them, I realise how far I have come with tango and how it is not a dance that I do anymore, but a part of my new culture and life.

My feet seem to remember what to do despite my ankles giving a little protest at stretching in ways they haven’t for a long time. The tango embrace still gives the warmth and acceptance that it always have, and the music still swirls around, taking you to another world during the tanda. It was only a short evening (as late night milongas are rather a stretch for this old girl now) but one that has left me wanting more.

Things to know:

Milonga Del Moran


Held monthly (usually around the third week of the month) on Saturdays.

Class from 8pm, Milonga from 9.30pm.

Club Social y Deportivo Moran

Pedro Moran 2446

Agronomia, Buenos Aires

Public Transport: Buses 111 and 108 take you from the city centre to nearby. Suarez train leaves you with about 10 blocks to walk.  


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