Old Milongueros

Dancing with old milongueros is a special experience. They use almost the same set of steps all the time, but each milonoguero has his own timing, accent and energy. That makes each of them different and unique. And also, they use few patterns again and again in one dance, depends on the music, these few patterns feel different from time to time. If you (a follower) are ready to go into his musical world and dance the way he suggests, you would never feel bored to do only few patterns in a dance. Because each pattern, or even each step (I really mean a step) is “tailored” to the music, the way to do the pattern or to make a step is unique in that particular moment.

If you think that old milongeuros dance few patterns all the time because they only know that few patterns, then you’re wrong and you miss the point. Old milongueros definitely know much more than that, but they treat some patterns like a “special weapon”, they only use it at the right moment of the music (or maybe also with the right person who can react and appreciate it). And because they respect the dance floor, they reframe their dance according to the condition of the dance floor. Not every patterns is good for a packed dance floor. For them, dancing is to enjoy the music and to have good time together with a woman. Dancing is not about showing off their skills. And definitely it’s not about creating troubles to other people (traffic jam or hurting people) on the dance floor.

I was chatting with Rosana Devesa in a milonga few days ago. She said the old milongueros might not be technically “perfect” (here perfect means “not up to your  ideal”), but each of them has his unique way of using his body, guiding the lady and interpruting the music. Then later she continued to say, nowadays there are 3 big schools of milonguero style, namely Ana Maria Schapira, Cacho Dante and Susana Miller. But in reality, there are much more variety than that. Rosana is right. In the world of milonguero style, there are still a lot to be discovered and recognized.

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