After a fun milonga, we often wake up with sore shoulders the following morning (or afternoon). Either our partners, ourselves, or both parties, put too much tension into the embrace.

We want to get better at tango, and we know it’ll take effort. But those sore shoulders mean we’ve been conflating effort with power. In this dance, the two literally don’t go hand-in-hand.

Effort is about mental focus, detailed body awareness, and self control. Although tango requires some degree of exertion, raw physical power should largely take a backseat to effort.

At the end of a milonga, we’ll know we’re on the right track when our brains are more fatigued than our muscles.

flying squirrels

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#tango #effortvspower


Here are some Tango pet peeves that you may have encountered…



When someone doesn’t notice your obvious cabaceo…





When you show up to a milonga only to discover it’s been cancelled at the last minute…

chevy chase





Somehow messing up a step that you’ve done correctly a million times…






Your favorite tango pros come to town for workshops you’ve been anticipating for months…and then you come down with a nasty illness…

why polar bear





You take off your shoes, you’re about to leave, and a song you really like comes on…

dramatic pug





While at a Halloween milonga, you suddenly realize your costume is totally impractical for dancing…






When your friend sees a really hard step on Youtube and tries it out on you…

clumsy pandas





When you frantically look around for a partner when the last tanda comes on…

frantic puppy


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You might feel this way at a milonga…


…when you spend a lot of time putting together the perfect tango outfit, you look great, you feel confident…then you realize you left your shoes at home…

oh no cat shoes






…when you’re leading, and the person in front of you keeps doing figures against the line of dance while there’s at least five meters of open space in front of them…

hulk LOD.jpg







…when your tango crush turns you down for a dance…

sad corgi rejected tanda







…when your partner keeps talking…

stop talking rabbit







…when the leader starts teaching on the dance floor…

angry panda






…when the follower keeps anticipating…

push penguin






…when avoiding cabaceo from a creeper…







…when you’re determined to make it through an all-nighter…

pingu dance


Can you relate?

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#tango #relatableatmilonga


Whether at a lesson or milonga, we’re determined to prove ourselves. If we’re leading, we often take that to mean trying as many steps as possible within the course of one song. Or if we’re following, we take that to mean getting through figure after figure as though they were items on a to-do list.

Every movement of every step must be articulated and completed. There’s always enough time to do things right, even during fast-paced songs.

Let’s not rush. There are a lot of things during the day that are worth hurrying through. Tango shouldn’t be one of them.

take the time
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Feeling intimidated? 4 helpful strategies to keep in mind

Feeling intimidated at a milonga? It’s normal, even if you’ve been dancing for a while. Here are 4 strategies to help deal with it:

Stick to basics: For leaders, you’re under no obligation to try out the latest steps you learned in order to impress people. In fact, you probably shouldn’t until you’ve practiced them enough in class or at a práctica. What you know in your head will usually be more than what you can actually dance. This is okay. For followers, stay in the moment. Focus on executing and finishing each step as you are invited to dance them. Don’t try to anticipate the next move. Tango is not a guessing game.

– Remember that this isn’t the scariest situation you’ve ever been in: Think back to a time when you were really scared. Have you ever been in a car accident? Have you ever had a medical emergency? A root canal? Have you ever been lost in a bad part of town, or in a foreign country where you didn’t speak the language? Ever been chased by a wild turkey?Those experiences were far worse, yet you survived them. So there’s little doubt you’ll survive a few hours in a nice place full of beautiful music, free food, and sometimes even free wine.

Identify what it is you’re afraid might happen: Make a mental note of your fears, regardless of whether or not they’re rational. Are you afraid that everyone is watching and judging you? Are you afraid of tripping and falling? Or are you afraid of getting locked in the bathroom when a good song comes on? It’s unlikely you’ll overcome all these fears over the course of one evening. However, being at a milonga will at least bring them to the surface where you’re able to clearly identify them. Many of these fears will have little to do with tango, which means we can seek resources to deal with them while away from the dance floor.

Keep coming back: Feeling intimidated or nervous is part of the learning process. Over time, repeated exposure to milongas can do a lot to diminish fears. So make an effort to dance regularly. You’ll eventually be regarded as a steadfast member of the community, make friends, and steadily gain more confidence (which is a big reason many of you started dancing in the first place).


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Sometimes, we try too hard with our cabaceos. Like any other tango figure we’re learning, it too must be practiced.


Below are some more examples of bad cabaceos. Again, this blog post is for entertainment purposes only. If you emulate any of these characters at the next milonga, it is at your own risk! Enjoy 😀








Click here for BAD CABACEOS, PART  ONE

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#badcabaceos #tango