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Integration and... codes

From its beginnings Tango was born as a product of a social integration where the cultural contribution of each individual put a small or a big brick for the construction of its totality. The Afro-American community of the Rio de la Plata, the European communities, especially the Italian, Spanish, French and German were giving of their roots to create what today we call Tango, waltz and milonga. To this day it is still like that, and it will continue to be so because tango is a living entity and built day by day by all its members. More than ever, tango continues to evolve, without this word tinging a negative color to what it was a few years ago. In some cases the evolution can be something that is far away from its origin but in any case everything has a great value and helps us to understand how the tango follows step by step the evolution and transformations of society. Although it is not a dance chosen by the masses, but rather something elitist, where the people who approach the tango represent a small portion of society and usually is the one that has a greater artistic sensibility, even so in this section of people is reflected society.

Tango is a reflection, an expression of society, where society expresses all its feelings, its happiness, joy as well as its bitterness, frustrations and anger.

Something very evident that happens in tango is the integration between social classes and generational integration...these happen naturally and it's a wonderful thing. Integration between social classes is something that happens in all countries more or less equally. This has remained intact and continues to occur but the same does not happen with respect to generational integration.

Tango is not only a couple dance where the couple must be formed by a romantically constituted couple, but it is a couple dance where they can be friends, complete strangers, mother/son, father/daughter, grandfather/granddaughter, grandmother/grandson etc...where age does not distance but it is something that brings different possibilities.

In general, in society the older people have always been a source of wisdom and the young a source of creativity and renewal, and this is also the case in tango, but in spite of knowing this, there is still an internal struggle in every tango community, where young and old are separated. This is clearly not the same in all countries, there are countries where they are more integrated and others where the separation is clearly seen, and like everything else, it is a reflection of how the different generations relate to each other in society.

The problem of integration is seen in all areas of our life and as in everything the only solution is to see the needs of each of the parts and respect them, letting the young people play through their creativity and the older people feel through their embrace and connection... So far it seems all very easy but the problem arises when the two parts come together and share the same embrace or the same space...

What happens here? Why does it bother so much?

Beyond problems of ego and pride, there is something technical that is called invasion of territory: the young person needs space to create and the older person needs time to feel, some want to go fast and with wide movements that invade the space of the other creating dangerous situations and others want to dance slowly without anyone rushing them or approaching them more than necessary creating unnecessary dangers of possible heels that are like knives ... And as there are exceptions to the rule this also happens the other way around.

How do we solve it?

We could spend hours philosophizing about this but to get down to the practical we would simply have to know and apply the “milonga codes”. In society there are rules that help us to live together and this is also the case in tango. These rules transcend age, generations and exist so that we can all share the same space. These are the “codes of the milonga” are equally valid for everyone and in this way we can all enjoy the dance.

So here is a link with the milonga codes.

It is always good to remember them when you go to dance in any milonga in the world because they are international.

Here is a very nice page with reflective illustrations about some situations included in the codes in the milonga.

And if you want to practice a milonga combination for the dance floor, we share with you the link to these classes on our Youtube channel:

In addition you have the whole collection of 5 didactic videos “Buenos Aires Style”.

In these 5 DVDs the figures that you will see will be mainly chosen for being the best adapted to the navigation and the good control of the space, the ones that you need fundamentally to be able to dance in reduced spaces of the milongas all over the world.

  • DVD Tango de Buenos Aires 1

  • DVD Tango de Buenos Aires 2

  • DVD Romantic Tango of Buenos Aires

  • DVD Buenos Aires Vals

  • DVD Milonga of Buenos Aires

5 DVD Combo (digital version for download, there is also a physical version with the DVD)

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