Retiring from the milonga

I often meet people on the street that I know from the tango community.  I’m finding that I’m not the only one who has retired from the milonga.

Carlos and Lila live two blocks from me.  They were passing by one day recently on their way to the vet with their dog.  I asked how things are at Lo de Celia.  Carlos said they haven’t danced all year and don’t plan on returning.  I saw them every Sunday at Lo de Celia.

I was out walking along Av. Callao on Saturday when I saw a familiar face.  She was sitting on a bench with her dog.  I asked, don’t I know you from Lo de Celia?  Susana recognized me and remembered my name.  I asked if she was still dancing at Lo de Celia.  She replied, I haven’t danced all year.  Lo de Celia isn’t the same without Celia.  It was like family then.  Things have changed.  So many feel the same way.

The same day I saw Eduardo on the street.  He lives a block from me.  He, too, said he no longer dances at Lo de Celia.  He had his reserved seat at the front table near the bar.

Celia was the glue that kept her milonga family together.  She worked hard to build and keep the milonga going for many years.  The people who took over her business have no idea what it takes to run a milonga, so organizers are in charge.  Jonatan Rojas has Wednesday and Sunday; Alberto and Edit have Friday, Adriana has Saturday, and Bibiana Ahmad opens on Monday, January 7.

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2 Responses to “Retiring from the milonga”

  1. douglasjrhodes Says:

    Hearing news like this is really sad. People that actually care about people are rare in business, today. From what I have found here in Italy, organizers, club owners, and instructors are nice as long as you are a regular paying client supporting all of their events, and some don’t want you to support or attend the other tango events in the local community, kind of reminds me of my days when I used to go to church. Recently, the local organizer that I supported for 5 years forbid me to attend a local milonga and demanded to have approval authority on all of my tango activities, period. Like he owned me. I was so disappointed and disgusted, I all but stopped going to any milongas too. Seems, it’s all about business, now. Thank goodness I moved, and I am just starting to have the desire to return to some different milongas, not his.

  2. Felicity Graham Says:

    “Recently, the local organizer that I supported for 5 years forbid me to attend a local milonga and demanded to have approval authority on all of my tango activities, period. Like he owned me.”

    Well done escaping from that. Control of others is always scary. We had a couple like that near me. Used to give pep talks about “loyalty”. Ugh. Super creepy. Unhealthy. Luckily, those kinds of places are not the popular places. Usually they die and while they’re alive they’re cults propped up by attendees who don’t tend to go anywhere else.

    The best milongas I have been to have usually had great hosts, truly well-liked. Luckily that’s something that can’t be coerced. It all starts from the host.

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