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Five key differences between tango and milonga

Ah, the milonga tanda….


For some of us it’s the best moment of the night, for others it is time to hide and despair at how complicated dancing can be….

And yet, milonga is soooo simple to dance…. once you’ve understood a basic truth: Milonga and Tango are not the same dance. 

Definitely not.

True, they do look similar but they are definitely not the same dance. In fact, there are 5 major differences between tango and milonga. 


Nail them, whether you are a leader or a follower, and you are ready to dance….

1. Your embrace should be tighter

Milonga is so precise and sharp that you need a very tight embrace to dance it. It doesn’t mean you should crush your partner’s ribs or prevent them from dancing, but make sure that your embrace is tighter than for a tango.


2. Make smaller steps 

Tango music invites you to take long, powerful steps. By contrast, the milonga rhythm is fast and sharp. If you make the long steps you are used to in tango, you won’t be able to keep up with the milonga music. The steps should be very small and just below yourself.


3. You need to keep your axis in the middle

When you step in tango you are completely transfering your weight: once your step is finished, your axis and your legs are aligned. In milonga we keep the axis and the weight in-between our legs. The center of gravity stays in-between the legs: axis and legs never fully align. 

4. Tighten your upper legs

Everything in the milonga, including the body, is much tighter than in tango. So you can’t let your hips and upper legs get floppy. Keep your knees soft but make sure that your upper legs are tightened. Your pelvic floor and core muscles should be activated too, so the center part of your body will be very tight.


5. The way you step should be different

When you dance milonga, your relationship with the floor changes.Tango walking is soft, elegant. By contrast, the milonga walking is choppy and staccato. Because everything, from the music to your embrace to your legs is tighter, you need to step quickly, very precisely.

Anne x Tango Space

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