In this note I want to tell you some myths and anecdotes about the «rondas», the «tandas» and the «cortinas» in this tango world ;).
⭕Ronda: Also called «circulation» on the dance floor (SOCIAL MILONGA).⭕
1- The milongueros move in a counter-clockwise direction. In other words, all the dancers walk with a constant movement, like a mass of people moving around so that there is an order and we all have a pleasant “ronda”.
2- Each couple will have to control the spaces in which they move. Not too slow, not too fast. There is coexistence with oneself, with the partner, and with the other couples that are around. Let’s say like life itself ;).
3- It is not like a train, in a line, in the displacement there are pauses, turns in place, figures that adapt and fit like a board game.
4- It is very important to realize that we are not alone, that is, do not “fall asleep” while dancing and try to feel what happens around us, I suggest you use your peripheral vision since you will be able to achieve better control of the space, this is for both roles. No distraction, more concentration and balance.
One myth I have heard is that you cannot pass the couple ahead of you.
If the couple in front stays in the same place for a long time, you can pass very smoothly and everything will flow as on the highways. Because if we wait for the couple in front who are stuck for a long time, the «ronda» would slow down and the milonga would lose fluidity, creating a back bulge and bunching.
You do not have to rush, but it is true that you can move cautiously and conscientiously and pass the couple in front, if you can and there is space.
There are several lines of dance. It is said that the one who dances well goes to the edge near the tables, he would be the one who has better control and it is true, but if you dance in a second or third line, it does not mean that you are at a lower level.
There are rules of coexistence, but they are also personal decision-making, for space or for pleasure. I have seen in some places that everyone wants to dance on the edge and they end up like a train. Leaving the middle of the «pista» (dance floor) empty. You have to become aware and distribute yourself in the space accordingly.
This topic of going very close to the tables became fashionable due to the rules of the World Tango Championship and other competitions, but of course, this system is for the jury to see the participants better, it is not that it is forbidden, or you are not a good dancer if you go towards the center or second line. This sometimes confuses students.
tango «little train»
«LITTLE TRAIN» EXAMPLE 😉
Many great «milongueros» have asked me to dance and to have a better space they have gone to the middle circle to decongest the bulging of the edges.
Formerly beginners used to go to the center to try a step, but today it is a bit mixed, you can see beginners in the middle as well as professionals. It is not that strict.
It all depends on the size of the milonga (dance floor), the important thing is to be able to coexist with all the different couples and respect their times and stories (A dance, like a song, often tells a story, with a beginning, middle and end). We are not alone.
You don’t have to rush because you want to follow a «ronda». I remember that in the interior of the country where I am from, Chacabuco, province of Buenos Aires (I currently live in the Capital Federal) there were no milongas, they were called neighborhood or senior dances and they played different rhythms and they also danced in ronda (cumbia, paso doble, tango, cuarteto, varied music etc).
In other words, each place has its own experience and many times its own codes, but the important thing is to respect it and ensure that there is a pleasant coexistence in the «ronda».
🎵And what are the «tandas»?
1- They are the tango sets: Tango, milongas or waltzes distributed by modules at night. The most classic thing is that the DJ organizes 4 tangos by the same orchestra, 4 milongas and/or 4 waltzes. Sometimes it is “tango, tango, milonga, waltz” and / or “tango, tango, waltz, milonga”, it can also be the DJ’s decision to play a «tanda» of tangos, waltzes, tangos and milongas. So that style is repeated throughout the night.
Each DJ had and has his organization style. It depends on the community, the number of songs can be more flexible, sometimes they are tandas of 3 songs just to make the milonga more dynamic. There is a lot of influence from the DJ who entertains with his music.
2- The idea of 3 different rhythms is to make the night a little more diverse. Some dancers love to dance milongas, others love to dance tangos, and others waltzes. In this way, in the past, everyone could show off since they didn’t all dance at the same time and there was more space. Let’s agree there was less amount of milongueros.
Some would dance with the D’Arienzo orchestra only, others were fans of Di Sarli and others felt identified with dancing the milonga rhythm.
Hence, we (women) also decided what we wanted to dance and with whom. When there is a match, everything is perfect and exquisite.
3- To be able to enjoy the tanda with more confidence. It is not mandatory to go out in all tandas. Tango is not a sport to see who dances more.
4- There are tandas just to rest, after having a good feeling, I recommend it. We take a pause and we’ll be right back ha. 😉
5- If you felt the opposite and it was a bad tanda, pay attention and take the time to see who you would like to dance with and with whom you would rather not. There is no obligation to purchase. 😉
Sometimes it is better to dance a few but good tandas. Here is an example of a TANDA that I love.
And finally the famous «CORTINAS», which give that special touch to the Milonga.
1- It is the music that ends the tanda or divides the tandas so that people return to their place to sit down, to rest, to go to the bathroom, to have a drink, to eat, to chat. This is where you can relax and socialize before the next dance proposal.
2- Sometimes the “cortinas” are so catchy that many dancers stay dancing or go out to dance even if they weren’t yet on the dance floor to throw a few steps of Latin music or rock and roll.
3- Some DJs repeat the curtains and others don’t. It all depends on the environment and the ages of the dancers.
4- The rhythm is different from tango, this is to loosen up and relax. Many times they play trendy songs or memories from old music.
5- It helps to rest from the tango, milonga or waltz. Since some milongas are 5 or even 6 hours long. It depends on the organizer and the context, (country, time, customs, places, ages, time).
6- The curtains are generally short fragments or they lower the volume making a connection with the next tanda thus starting the 3 or 4 corresponding chosen songs.
Here is an example of a musical curtain
It all depends on the energy of the milonga.
And finally, the most common thing is that when the new tanda begins, the leaders begin to look at the milongueras so they accept to dance. During the first song of the tanda, the tango (song) has already started and this is the moment where the two dancers connect and agree on dancing, it is part of the ritual before the embrace on the dance floor) THE FAMOUS «CABECEO», pre-dancefloor 😉
And everything will also be your decision, but if they ask you out to dance in the last tango of that tanda I do not recommend you go out on the dance floor, they either take you out of obligation or the leader was not even listening to what song of the tanda was.
If you dance one song alone, you did not warm up and you did not even connect with the embrace, it is better to say: “the next tanda”, since this is the last song, it ends and the cortina begins. I’m telling you this because maybe you hadn’t thought about it.
I don’t want it to happen to you that you have to sit down right away. 😉
No matter what, it will be your decision and experience.
I hope you liked this post, I wanted to clarify from my point of view some questions and doubts that have been sent to me.