Ask Arlene…About Moving to London and hitting the Milongas

Dear Arlene,
(and everyone else)

can I ask for advise here? I am moving to London (for at least the coming year) end of september. I have started dancing Tango (in Berlin, Germany, where I am originally from) in 2004, but had a major break when I started to work in Afghanistan in 2008 (not much Tango there!). Going to London is of course a chance to ‘restart’! I am thinking of taking a course again to brush me up, and would like to know which ones can be recommended. Also, is there something like a ‘dancepartner fair’ on the net, or is it okay to show up without a partner? Same question goes for Milongas – in Berlin it’s normally no problem to go alone, but I heard different from other locations. Thanks for everyone abloe to guide me here!!


Dear Kristin,

My opinion is to forget about ‘courses’.  If you want to meet people and refresh your Tango, my advice is to go back to basics and do the beginner’s classes before a milonga.  After all, you are a woman and you don’t need to know fancy moves.  If your leader is sensitive and reasonably skilled, you will be able to follow whatever he leads.

I have heard that the dancing in Berlin is mainly ‘Nuevo’.  I don’t know what your preferences are.  I am a strictly salon dancer these days.  Regardless, getting back to basics is not going to hurt you.

It is ok to show up alone to a class or a milonga.  Many people do, but there is no guarantee of dancing when you first start going out.  If you want to get dances you must be seen regularly at the milongas as people tend to dance with those that they are familiar with.  It is a bit of an effort, but worth it.  I am basing this on my own and other people’s experiences.  Going to a class before a milonga ensures you meet potential partners.  You need to network.  Make friends with other women.  You will need it and will have someone to talk to when not dancing.

I hope this helps.  Good luck with your move to London and Happy Dancing!


The Mayor’s Thames Festival – September 10 & 11

Alfresco Ballroom Tango

Star performances, cutting-edge workshops, live music and, of course, dancing into the night on London’s vibrant riverside to a mix of classic and electro tango led by Sean A.McGee and El Farabute.

12noon Free Tango Workshop for beginners.

1pm Milonga – Social Dancing – DJ Diego Doigneau
Resident DJ at Negracha Tango Club as well as regular appearances at Carablanca, El Porteñito, Tango at Spitafields, Stardust Milonga, Milonga Bohemiene and Buenos Aires Practica x.

3.30pm Tango Performance – David Benitez & Kim Schwartz
David & Kim have recently choreographed a ballet/tango fusion piece “Tangos En Movimiento” for principal dancers of the Colon Theatre, Buenos Aires, and have danced live on ITV1 with Jayne Torvill & Christopher Dean.

3.45pm Milonga – Social Dancing – DJ Diego Doigneau
See 1pm listing for details.

4.30pm El Farabute
El Farabute was founded in London’s milongas in 2009. The duo has since performed in the UK, Germany and Argentina, including collaborations with top tango singers Noelia Moncada and Gabriel Mores.

5.30pm Tango Performance  – Leandro Palau & Romina Godoy
Leandro & Romina have recently produced and choreographed their new show ‘Emociones del Alma’, a world class stage performance with 12 dancers, 6 musicians and 2 singers, set to start touring in Europe in 2012, promising to be a great success within the tango audience and beyond.

5.45pm Milonga – Social Dancing – DJ Diego Doigneau
See 1pm listing for details.

6.30pm Milonga – Social Dancing – DJ Sergius
Sergio is a reputed DJ specialising in lounge music including Electrotango, Tango Nuevo, deep house, latin house  and miscellaneous beats that can be dance to tango rhythms.

7pm Live Music: Sean A.McGee – Nebulosa
Sean A.McGee is currently the UK’s only active Electrotango composer/artiste, his album. Nebulosa has become a hit across the international Tango world and has received rave reviews from many countries including the USA, Australia, Germany and of course, the UK.

8pm Argentine and Latin American beats – DJ Sergius
See 6.30pm listing for details.

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