Hey everybody, I’m here

I’ve listened to the milongueros viejos talk about the codes and customs in the confiterias bailables along Corrientes during the 1950s.  They described it like going to the theater.  Everyone dressed well.  Each had a reserved table.  They greeted others with a nod.

Hugging and kissing has gone overboard in the milongas.  It started about ten years ago when professionals wanted to impress everyone by showing how many people they knew at a milonga, so they made the rounds hugging and kissing all their students and anybody else they knew.  I remember a milonguero viejo commented that “it takes them twenty minutes to greet everyone before they’re seated at their table.”

A section for men is inside the entrance at Lo de Celia.  I watch women touch the shoulder of the men so they will turn around to greet them — as if to say, just wanted you to know I’m here so you can invite me for a tanda .  The men couldn’t care less.  They choose with whom and when they want to dance.  A milonga isn’t a social gathering of friends, it’s a place where men and women go to dance.  

The women do the same when leaving the milonga.  There is no obligation for a hug or kiss good-bye to anyone, let alone with all of one’s dance partners at a milonga.  You can imagine how long it could take if dancers had to say goodbye to everyone with whom they danced.  It’s not done, because it’s not necessary.

The custom of entering a salon and going to the table quietly is lost in the milongas.


One Response to “Hey everybody, I’m here”

  1. Janet Rieck Says:

    Some are offended if you do not say hello, but the kissing thing is way beyond what it should be. I don’t mind saying hello…but kissing…not so much. Prefer just going to my table and shutting up and waiting to dance. Nothing is what it seems anymore, e en at Celia. People are too desperate these days. No longer do they have to dance well to dance…it is all out of balance. Terrible what it has become.

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