Those of you addicted to milongas will probably have noticed that there are certain couple stereotypes that have emerged and never fail to reappear: the clumsy couple, the casual couple, the competitive couple, the arrogant couple, the passionate couple and the, well, no-longer a couple! To those of you completely oblivious to what I’m talking about, perhaps you were too wrapped up in your own partnership, or haven’t yet made it to your first milonga, here, the categories are broken down for you.
1. The clumsy couple –
Smash! Oh… well, there goes another table of glasses. One of the first skills acquired in tango is spatial awareness on the dance floor – to be aware of where you are in relation to other couples, and of course in relation to inanimate objects too! (Silly us for expecting that would go without saying…) And just because it’s one of the first things learnt, it doesn’t mean it should be first to be forgotten! Certainly, it doesn’t come naturally to some, in fact, some people believe that if women were to lead and men were to follow then perhaps there’d be a lot more collisions as it has been scientifically “proven” that women’s spatial awareness is, let’s say, not quite as accurate as men’s! Researchers at the University of Toronto put this down to men playing more video games than women, thereby developing their spatial awareness more. Not sure if we believe this! Just remember boys; you don’t get points for knocking things over in milonga!
2. The casual couple – Oh, should we be dancing? Yes, this is the troublesome twosome that you’ll notice chatting, laughing and tripping over each other on the dance floor. They may not be approached to enter any tango competitions soon, but hey, at least they’re having a good time! You’ll be able to recognise them by their distinguishing grins and consistent looks of bewilderment.
3. The competitive couple – Must. Win. Must. Be. The. Best. …and breathe. Without a doubt, you will all have noted a couple frantically looking at everybody else but their partner. They’ll often copy others and look around hysterically seeking approval and a reaction. As annoying and/or frustrating as it is, it can be made interesting by ignoring them. If everybody acts oblivious, they’ll either provide amusement by gradually becoming more and more drastic in their tango, or they’ll just get fed up and leave. Either way – you win!
4. The arrogant couple – The couple that really do outshine the rest – but boy do they know it! If you have suspicions that you’re in this category, then listen up. Milonga is all about having fun, socialising and expressing your individual self to your partner. So calm down, unwind; because everybody knows you’re good!
5. The passionate couple – Okay, so it is admirable to be passionate about tango and to be able to express this when dancing at a milonga – but ladies and gentlemen; there are boundaries! Ladies, please avoid risky short skirts and revealing tops. And guys; channel your masculinity into leading your lady around the dance floor. Looks of endearment; beautiful, but if things turn physical – take it elsewhere!
6. The no-longer a couple! – Awkward! Everybody has a unique tango style, so obviously there are clashes. The best way to avoid breakups is to communicate – not through dance this time; but verbally. As with any relationship, your partner won’t know what’s bothering you unless you tell them. (Best not to do this very loudly and on the dance floor though, unless you’re trying to get talent-spotted for Eastenders)
Written by Emma Langschied for Tanguito